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Re: Utah governor signs Net-porn bill

  • From: pashdown
  • Date: Tue Mar 22 17:52:17 2005

On Tue, Mar 22, 2005 at 02:59:20PM -0600, Rachael Treu wrote:

> How, exactly, *did* this pass, anyway?

Any bill with "anti-pornography" as its title is going to be a freight train
in the Utah legislature.  Nobody is going to get in front of it for fear of
being portrayed as "pro-pornography".

I knew this sobering fact early on in the life of this bill.  In its original
form, it would have used IP addresses for blocking and would have introduced
criminal penalties on ISPs if anything managed to slip by.  Regardless of
whether the ISP's filter was being circumvented or not.

The bill's sponsor was good in working with me, the only ISP here that
knew or was willing to come out against the bill.  However, I was well aware
that all I could strive for was to reduce the ISP impact of the bill, not make
large deletions or changes.  There were also a handful of individuals here who
had direct experience with commercial software who were appalled at the nature
of the bill and also worked against it.  Large nationwide ISPs, who were
involved in discussions early on, were strangely silent, instead letting the
Internet Alliance write a letter for them.

I do not believe the Attorney General's office here knows what they are
signing up for.  You may remember they had a "porn-czar" a few years back
whose position was dissolved over lack of funding.  Somehow the AG believes
that maintaining and arbitrating an Internet blacklist will be easier and
cheaper. 

In the end the bill itself doesn't have a big impact on this ISP's business.
We have used Dansguardian for many years now along with URLblacklist.com for
our customers that request filtering.  The fact that its lists and software
are open for editing and inspection is the reason I chose this over other
commercial methods. 

This bill is a waste of time and money.  It also does further damage to the
Utah tech industry, portraying it as an idiotic backwater.  Please do not
generalize and think everyone here agrees with the methods promoted by a
select few.




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