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Friday, March 04, 2005

Will linking to porn sites soon be a crime?

Silicon.com: Will linking to porn sites soon be a crime?

The governor of Utah is deciding whether to sign a bill that would require internet providers to block websites deemed pornographic and that could also target email providers and search engines.

Late Wednesday night, the Utah Senate approved controversial legislation that would create an official list of websites with publicly available material found to be "harmful to minors". Internet providers in Utah must offer their customers a way to disable access to sites on the list or face felony charges.

A spokesperson for newly elected Republican Gov. Jon Huntsman said his aides would need to review the final version. "We have until March 22 to figure out what to do," spokeswoman Tammy Kikuchi said on Thursday.

Technology companies had opposed the bill, saying it is constitutionally suspect and is worded so vaguely that its full impact is still unclear.

Markham Erickson, director of federal policy for lobbying group NetCoalition, said: "I'd be shocked if the governor did not sign this bill. But I'm quite certain there will be a constitutional challenge." NetCoalition members include Google, Yahoo!, and silicon.com publisher CNET Networks.

Supporters of the Utah bill, such as advocacy group Citizens Against Pornography, had pressed for the measure as a way to give parents more control of their home internet connections.

Opponents, though, worry that the legislation could go far beyond just broadband and dial-up providers. Kate Dean, manager of the U.S. Internet Service Provider Association in Washington, D.C, asked: "Does this cover only major internet providers, or are they talking about the local coffee shop that offers Wi-Fi?"

The measure, S.B.260, says: "Upon request by a consumer, a service provider may not transmit material from a content provider site listed on the adult content registry." A service provider is defined as any person or company who "provides an internet access service to a consumer".

Also targeted are content providers, defined as any company that "creates, collects, acquires or organises electronic data" for profit. Any content provider that hosts material deemed harmful to minors by the Utah attorney general must rate it or face third-degree felony charges.

A letter that NetCoalition sent to the state Senate earlier this week said the wording is so vague it could affect search engines, email providers and Web hosting companies. "A search engine that links to a website in Utah might be required...to 'properly rate' the website," the letter said.

A federal judge struck down a similar law in Pennsylvania last year.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can't resist this one.

Let's define what is harmful to a minor.

1. The propaganda machine we call an education system.

2. The mall mythology we call the real news.

3. The obscenity of sending young people to kill other people. (It's only a video game anyways.)

We are a little slow tonight so we'll cut it off by saying, you think that these idiots who suck up all the taxes people pay could find something better to do with their time. Politicians are the only people We know who are obsessed with sex 24/7.

The only problem minors have is the sick twisted fantasies of these religious idiots who assume that minors should be deceived about the real world until they are 18. Sexual Abuse in 90% of all cases occur at home by a parent or family member and a large percentage of the parents who commit this type of crime are upstanding members of the more extreme religious sects in America.

No on can protect minors from everything adults perceive to be harmful. If you want to protect your minors teach them to learn to deal with reality. By trying to hide any subject from a minor only makes it an imperative that minor will find out about the subject matter which is restricted on their own.

3:16 AM, March 05, 2005  

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