Minnesota Is The Latest State To Try To Force ISPs To Block Gambling Sites

from the this-will-end-badly-too dept

There have been a few attempts by state governments to force ISPs to block certain sites, and such attempts almost always end badly. Recently, for example, the state of Kentucky has been not just trying to block access to gambling-related websites, but to seize the domains in question. That failed when the courts pointed out how ridiculous it was. Perhaps the most famous such attempt was Pennsylvania's law to try to force ISPs to block "undesirable" sites from a list the gov't would put together. A federal court tossed the law, saying that it was unreasonable. You would think that other states would take notice before trekking down a similar path. But, apparently the news hasn't reached Minnesota.

Slashdot points out that Minnesota is trying to twist a law from half a century ago to mean that ISPs need to block gambling websites. Basically, the law says that common carriers need to comply with government requests to block gambling services. Of course, that assumes that ISPs are, in fact, common carriers -- a point that many would dispute. Also, the law was clearly intended for a very different purpose than someone using a broadband connection to access a gambling site. Still, gambling is another topic that politicians love to grandstand about, so expect this to keep moving forward, even if it makes no sense and has little chance of surviving a legal challenge.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    TheStupidOne, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:55pm

    My Definition

    Gambling: A process by which rational persons spend money for their amusement with the slim possibility that they might win more money than they spent.

     

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

  2.  
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    Tgeigs, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 1:58pm

    Good law?

    "the law was clearly intended for a very different purpose than someone using a broadband connection to access a gambling site"

    I will have to review the law in question, which I have not done as it is blocked at work, but there is a precedent that good laws are malleable enough to address modernized situations. In fact, the excellence of the US Constitution is based on that very fact, which is why there has needed to be so few amendments (and why we shouldn't need to amend it for silly, political diatribes like defining marriage).

    If the spirit of the law was to force enablers of access to gambling to comply with govt. requests to deny that access, AND if that law is still has the common backing of the people of Minnesota...well, isn't that kind of an example of a REALLY well written law?

     

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  3.  
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    Matt, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Good law?

    just because a law is passed, doesn't mean it's just/constitutional/even worth modifying instead of being stricken and sending congress back to the drawing board.

     

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

  4.  
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    Glaze, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:35pm

    Living in the state of Minnesota, I know that gambling is legal on native american/indian (which ever you prefer) grounds, because they are considered a sovreign nation. My thought is if the server hosting gambling websites is on sovreign ground, then the gov't doesn't really have a right to say what kind of things are hosted.

    I know they are going after the ISP's to block the sites, but that won't do any good in the end, becuase then the server ISP could be moved to another country say, Canada or somewhere else where it is legal to gamble, and to have these kinds of sites.

    Basically what I am trying to say is that it seems pretty futile for the gov't to do such a thing, when there are so many ways for it to be circumvented.

     

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

  5.  
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    DJ, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Good law?

    "[If] that law still has the common backing of the people...", AND it is considered, by the highest appropriate court, to be "just", then NOBODY has an argument; regardless of how valid you may THINK your argument might be.

    So the question here is twofold:
    1)Does this law that MN is trying to pass have the common backing of the citizens of MINNESOTA (NO OTHER STATE MATTERS)?
    2)Is this law considered, by the highest appropriate MINNESOTA STATE court, to be "just"?

    If either answer is "No", then (and no sooner) it needs to be addressed BY THE PEOPLE OF MINNESOTA (catch the theme yet?)

     

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

  6.  
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    DJ, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    Re:

    "...there are so many ways for it to be circumvented." What?! NO!! Government control is absolute!

     

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

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2009 @ 5:45pm

    What good does it do blocking a gambling website? Have none of these dipstick politians ever heard of a proxy server? It takes all of about two seconds to get around a web site block.

     

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

  8.  
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    Dan, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:51am

    Sounds like the state's own lottery is doing poorly. Their gambling BAAAAD ours is GOOOOD!

     

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

  9.  
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    Roy, May 1st, 2009 @ 5:05am

    Benefit in disguise?

    If Minnesota manages to push this, a side effect might be declaring ISPs to be common carriers. That bodes well for Net Neutrality, does it not?

     

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

  10.  
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    Bobby T, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:00pm

    Bad Minnesota

    Fix your bridges first. Then worry about violating your citizen's rights.

     

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

  11.  
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    gambling, Jun 7th, 2009 @ 5:24am

    block gambling sites

    I agree from that article. The government put right step to block the gambling sites. The youngsters playing gambling on that sites and waste lot of money and time.if these sites for only entertainment then ok but peoples playing gambling as a profession. Then i think government has done right task to block gambling sites.

     

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


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