Politicians' Latest Grandstanding: Force ISPs To Hide Rogue Internet Pharmacies

from the haven't-we-been-through-this-before dept

The problem with legislators is that all they know how to do is legislate. Even if there are perfectly acceptable laws in place, you don't get re-elected for saying, "you know what, we didn't need any new laws this time around." No, you have to propose and support legislation that makes it sound like you're solving a big problem -- even if the problem isn't that big and your proposed solution will likely make it worse. The latest such situation concerns unauthorized internet pharmacies. Sure, there may be some problems with people getting access to prescription medicine they shouldn't be able to order, but even the DEA says that they don't need any new laws, as existing laws are perfectly well suited for shutting these pharmacies down. Of course, that won't stop the politicians from pushing forward. However, not only are they proposing more restrictions and penalties for such pharmacies, but also demanding that ISPs and search engines proactively block these sites -- and also block advertisements for these sites. Yes, despite the fact that courts throw out every attempt by politicians to force ISPs to block sites they don't like, the politicians insist that this time it won't violate the Constitution. Yes, despite the fact that those who really want to access these sites will get around the blocks, politicians insist they're useful. Even better, they got a law professor to claim that "It is no burden to (the ISPs). They know how to do it; they can do it in a minute." Trying telling that to the ISPs who would now be responsible for blocking content. Once again, the ISPs are simply running connectivity. They should have no responsibility for what's done over that connectivity. If the sites, themselves, are illegal, go after the sites. If the sites are offshore, then block the shipments through customs. But, requiring ISPs to waste time, effort, money and resources on putting up ineffective blocks that aren't needed won't help the situation. It'll just waste time, effort, money and resources so that some politicians can claim they were tough on illegal internet pharmacies during the next election.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2007 @ 1:49am

    Yes, despite the fact that courts throw out every attempt by politicians to force ISPs to block sites they don't like, the politicians insist that this time it won't violate the Constitution.
    That's because there was no punishment the last time they did it. The worse that can happen, from the politician's point of view, is that the law will be declared invalid. So they continue to pass laws they know to be unconstitutional.

    Imagine how many bank robbers there would be if the worst that could happen for trying is that they would have to give the money back if they got caught. It wouldn't be much of a deterrent to trying, would it? It is a similar situation with politicians who are sworn to uphold the constitution and then waste no time finding ways to try to subvert it. Now if voting for unconstitutional laws was treated as an act of treason and punished as such then I think politicians might be deterred from doing it as often. As it is they don't give a whit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Charles Griswold, 18 May 2007 @ 2:28am

      Re:

      That's because there was no punishment the last time they did it. The worse that can happen, from the politician's point of view, is that the law will be declared invalid. So they continue to pass laws they know to be unconstitutional.
      IMHO, politicians that knowingly vote for unconstitutional legislation should be dishonorably discharged from office, with all of the penalties that the phrase "dishonorably discharged" implies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The infamous Joe, 18 May 2007 @ 3:50am

    but even the DEA says that they don't any new laws, as existing laws are perfectly well suited for shutting these pharmacies down.

    You forgot the word "need" or maybe "want" between the bold words. I hate to be "that guy", but whatev. :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Count Porkula, 18 May 2007 @ 4:51am

    Uh....what constitution? Ours has been dead for quite some time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 May 2007 @ 5:31am

    but even the DEA says that they don't any new laws

    This clause no verb.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    LesterRay, 18 May 2007 @ 5:53am

    Please forgive me for saying this as I am a Christian who certainly believes in the biggness of GOD, but, Quit policing the Internet. Legislature may be big but not as big as the WEB, and believe it or not the WEB is bigger than GOD in the sense that no one will ever be able to stop it or pull the plug on it. It is a monster that only the user can control.
    If you are not a WEB whisperer then you are going to have problems that no amount of legislation will ever cure...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TheDock22, 18 May 2007 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      Legislature may be big but not as big as the WEB, and believe it or not the WEB is bigger than GOD in the sense that no one will ever be able to stop it or pull the plug on it. It is a monster that only the user can control.

      Huh? Isn't saying the Internet is bigger than God against the rules in the bible or something?

      Anyway, it should not be up to the ISP to block content to "save me". If I am dumb enough to get illegal prescriptions, then so be it. I'm tired of the government treating me like a criminal because I *might* get a hold of illegal prescriptions. These sites have been around for years, but I choose to go to my doctor if I need medications.

      Maybe the better way would be for drug users, sexual offenders, and criminals to be denied access to the Internet. Then everyone wins!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tarky7, 18 May 2007 @ 7:32am

    Help !

    "Save the Children !"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rob S., 20 May 2007 @ 8:39am

    "Sure, there may be some problems with people getting access to prescription medicine they shouldn't be able to order..."

    Ain't it great that we as 'free' people aren't allowed to put a drug in our own body that the FDA doesn't sanction?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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