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Texas Bill to Filter Highway Rest Stop Internet

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the but-this-could-never-happen-with-municipal-wifi dept.

Censorship 627

girlchik writes "HB 3314, up for hearing in the Texas House State Affairs committee on Monday, would require the state to filter wireless internet access at highway rest stops. This bill mandates filtering at any state-provided wireless network on public property. Since last May, the Texas Department of Transportation has offered wifi access at state rest stops. There is also wifi access at some Texas state parks provided in partnership with Tengo Internet. This bill protects truckers at highway rest stops and campers in their RVs at campsites from adult content. Sounds both wasteful and unconstitutional."

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627 comments

CB radios (3, Funny)

fembots (753724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266468)

Are they subject to filtering soon too?

Re:CB radios (1)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266493)

Yes, actually. But that's the FCC's power grab.

Re:CB radios (5, Funny)

ShaniaTwain (197446) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266534)

This bill protects truckers at highway rest stops and campers in their RVs at campsites from adult content.

THANK GOD! someone is finally protecting the nations truckers from adult content.. this is particularly good for all those underage truckers. We'll definately want to get those CB's filtered, as well as payphones, cellphones and conversations in diners. It might take a lot of work, but eventually we'll get everything clean clean clean.

Then we can start to work on preventing Male Trucker Lactation [bugshit.com]

Breaker, breaker (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266469)

Smokey on my IP Log, Bandit.

consider the jihad (0, Troll)

bitmsk (867537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266471)

CORRECTION (0, Offtopic)

bitmsk (867537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266495)

Sorry, that should be "editors'", not "editor's". In jihad, jihadi_31337

Gee, how will they get around this? (4, Insightful)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266473)

I guess truckers need to learn how to use web proxies now?

Filesharing? (0, Redundant)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266474)

So they plan to filter filesharing? even those running on port 80? /didnt RTFA....

I dunno about both. (5, Insightful)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266476)

Wasteful, definately. I don't know about unconstitutional though. The state's constitution definately allows it to provide public services like this. I would think that filtering would just be providing less of a service (eg not full internet access).

The biggest problem is that this filtering stuff is pretty much totally ineffective. It blocks a lot of decent stuff that I actually need (sysadmin tools for example), and the pr0ns people still find ways to get the waving wangs through the filters.

Re:I dunno about both. (0, Troll)

squirter_kant (709888) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266484)

Thank you! We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view, you ridiculous little carnival freak. Your ineffective imitation of good posting style only serves to illuminate your lack of substance, good taste, and decency.

Thanks for your contribution, but if I had wanted to hear from somebody with your IQ, I'd be at my local supermarket talking to the vegetables. If you're going to say something that ignorant, you could at least fake a stroke. However, I'll consider letting you have the last word if you guarantee it will be your last. I am reminded of something relevant that Benjamin Disraeli said: "He was distinguished for ignorance - for he had only one idea and that was wrong."

Most repair manuals are far more interesting than you, and far less turgid to read. You have the warm personal charm of a millipede and about as much class as a bucket of mucous lodged on top of a dumpster in a Blue Light district of New Jersey. Maybe you wouldn't read like such a pathetic loser if you weren't so dumb that even blondes tell jokes about you; if your weren't so fat that when you stand on the Speaking Scale, it screams, or if you didn't have a face that is registered as a biological weapon. Who am I kidding? You would.

In conclusion, why don't you go away and play Russian roulette with all chambers fully-loaded?

Re:I dunno about both. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266590)

Cute. What website did you copy that from?

Re:I dunno about both. (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266637)

It's everywhere! [google.com]

Re:I dunno about both. (1)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266663)

Sys admin tools? Whatever. The only thing you'll find on sites blocked that contain these "tools" are warez, cracks and serial numbers.

Re:I dunno about both. (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266614)

Is it really wasteful, though? The state is providing access, so that means the state is footing the bandwidth bill. Would you want to pay for a staggering amount of bandwidth used by horny truckers downloading pics and movies constantly?

One could argue that it's PREVENTING waste of money.

Re:I dunno about both. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266620)

Google cache defeats most filters. Its pathetic.

Re:I dunno about both. (1)

thedustbustr (848311) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266653)

Not anymore... My HS used Bess, and it categorized google cache and other similar services like altavista as "loopholes," which my school chose to block. Does it block legitimate traffic? Absolutely, but the porn-hungry teenagers don't get their fix at school.

Same for Municipal WiFi? (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266478)

"This bill mandates filtering at any state-provided wireless network on public property."

Does muni WiFi still sound like a good idea?

Re:Same for Municipal WiFi? (4, Insightful)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266594)

You know what, when one of the last WiFi stories came up I had a similar comment [slashdot.org] . It was modded flamebait because everyone wants muni WiFi (but they don't want to think about any possible down sides).
In fact, I said:
Just wait a few years when the religious zealots in town decide that "their" tax money isn't going to go to pr0n and that there should be filters in place. Hasn't this been the argument when it comes to filtering any other publicly funded access?

Now, who told you so?

Hmmm! (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266479)

Sounds like they're afraid of people using rest-stop connections for drive-by kiddie-porn downloads/uploads. That's the only real use for this filtering that I could see.

Then... (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266670)

perhaps they should also make all open WiFi routers illegal. Data will always find some way to get through, and the best thing to do is find those who abuse children, rather than sweeping them under the proverbial rug. Of course, then people get angry.

dam the pornmag industry (3, Insightful)

UlfGabe (846629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266480)

It's these fellows who have been lobbying so hardcore for filtering on reststops. Think about it, no free internet PORN = a garunteed purchase by male truckdriver/camper/12 year old of a 10 dollar titty mag.

ARG. worst. cockblock. evar.

well... (1)

maiki (857449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266483)

but then again, they ARE offering FREE access, so it's hard to complain... it's not like the truckers and people are paying for it, so it's not like they're entitled to have access to adult content.... maybe..

Re:well... (5, Funny)

maxjenius22 (560382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266499)

Yes, because the state gets it's money from magical gnomes who collect underpants.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266504)

Time to go to work, work all night
search for underpants hey!
We wont stop until we have underpants
Yum tum yummy tum day!

Re:well... (1)

maiki (857449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266558)

hmm, i suppose that makes sense :P

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266518)

Free isn't really free. The money for it comes from somewhere and that somewhere is tax dollars. So the truckers and others did indeed pay for it, as did those who don't use it.

Re:well... (1)

maxjenius22 (560382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266574)

Well, mexican truckers can't complain... or oklahomans.

Re:well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266565)

*cough*Taxes*cough*

Re:well... (0, Troll)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266641)

I guess that there are three sure things in life:

1) Death.
2) Taxes.
3) The will of right wingers to take things away from others, in all situations that would apparently not affect them (you know there are people in the Christian Coallition who like their porn).

Unconstitutional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266488)

I realize censorship is quite unpopular here (and frankly I generally disagree with it myself), but why don't they have the right to filter conent? I see nothing that would make it unconstitutional. If you don't agree with it, you still have the right to (ideally) speak with your votes.

Re:Unconstitutional? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266587)

How about censoring anything to do with the Democratic party? Sure, that's no what they're doing. But if the politicians are told "yes, you can censor stuff" it opens the possibility to them censoring other stuff.

We see it with the FBI, CIA, etc. "Oh no, we can't release that information. National security and all that." They were told, yes you can censor stuff in the name of national security. Now they're censoring stuff that in all likelihood has nothing to do with national security.

Speak with your votes? (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266624)

Voting is now a branch of game theory, where one must attempt to find the best possible outcome, rather than a method of expressing opinion. Complaints like this are what is needed to make a difference. I doubt that an issue like this would make an issue to the majority at a vote, but to those who care about freedom on the internet (or porn) it is important. Also, a precedent set in Texas could affect other areas. Speaking with votes won't make a difference, but communication like this will.

hmm (4, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266492)

Maybe to prevent walking by a car and seeing some pervert jacking off? I know I don't want to walk by a car and notice some girl being screwed by a horse while some weird looking guy smiles politely and acts like he's not doing anything...

Re:hmm (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266508)

Three words: camera phone, blackmail

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266546)

Brings new meaning to the phrase "car jacking."

Re:hmm (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266567)

Have you ever seen a magazine rack at a truck stop?

Re:hmm (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266644)

Yes, and they didn't even have a copy of Linux Journal, sheesh.

unconstitutional? (1)

LokiSnake (795582) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266494)

I think by limiting who can get access, it can get rid of many issues like hackers using the open network, and allow the state to worry less in terms of liability because of offering internet access.

And, I still can't see why it's unconstitutional. It's like if I don't punch you at your request, I'm limiting your rights as a US citizen.

Well this is great news... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266498)

for truck stop prostitutes!

Truckers will crack system (2, Insightful)

Hao Wu (652581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266500)

Do not underestimate force and resolve of truck driving industry.

Those willful men can crack ANY internet cyber-code system, and bring Texas lawmen to their knees.

The War on Adult Content (2, Insightful)

liangzai (837960) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266501)

I was just thinking about why America is an empire on its downfall, but now I believe it is rather obvious: expensive political micromanagement on a scale that is unfathomable and hardly in line with what the founding fathers ever had in mind for this new, great nation.

Re:The War on Adult Content (1)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266581)

Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin didn't have to deal with "Mighty Bruce & his 12-inch Love-Log", or "Lucy Does Lumberjacks".

Remember, this was waaaay back when France was our friend...

Texas state constitution - nothing about net (1)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266505)

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/txconst/articles/cn 000100.html

Here are the main sections of the Texas state constitution.

I can't find anything about requiring access to the entire internet if you provide access to some of the internet.

Sec. 1 - FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE
Sec. 2 - INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Sec. 3 - EQUAL RIGHTS
Sec. 3a - EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW
Sec. 4 - RELIGIOUS TESTS
Sec. 5 - WITNESSES NOT DISQUALIFIED BY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS; OATHS AND AFFIRMATIONS
Sec. 6 - FREEDOM OF WORSHIP
Sec. 7 - APPROPRIATIONS FOR SECTARIAN PURPOSES
Sec. 8 - FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL
Sec. 9 - SEARCHES AND SEIZURES
Sec. 10 - RIGHTS OF ACCUSED IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS
Sec. 11 - BAIL
Sec. 11a - MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS; DENIAL OF BAIL
Sec. 12 - HABEAS CORPUS
Sec. 13 - EXCESSIVE BAIL OR FINES; CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT; REMEDY BY DUE COURSE OF LAW
Sec. 14 - DOUBLE JEOPARDY
Sec. 15 - RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY
Sec. 15-a - COMMITMENT OF PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND
Sec. 16 - BILLS OF ATTAINDER; EX POST FACTO OR RETROACTIVE LAWS; IMPAIRING OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS
Sec. 17 - TAKING, DAMAGING, OR DESTROYING PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC USE; SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES; CONTROL OF PRIVILEGES AND FRANCHISES
Sec. 18 - IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT
Sec. 19 - DEPRIVATION OF LIFE, LIBERTY, ETC.; DUE COURSE OF LAW
Sec. 20 - OUTLAWRY OR TRANSPORTATION FOR OFFENSE
Sec. 21 - CORRUPTION OF BLOOD; FORFEITURE; SUICIDES
Sec. 22 - TREASON
Sec. 23 - RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
Sec. 24 - MILITARY SUBORDINATE TO CIVIL AUTHORITY
Sec. 25 - QUARTERING SOLDIERS IN HOUSES
Sec. 26 - PERPETUITIES AND MONOPOLIES; PRIMOGENITURE OR ENTAILMENTS
Sec. 27 - RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY; PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES
Sec. 28 - SUSPENSION OF LAWS
Sec. 29 - PROVISIONS OF BILL OF RIGHTS EXCEPTED FROM POWERS OF GOVERNMENT; TO FOREVER REMAIN INVIOLATE
Sec. 30 - RIGHTS OF CRIME VICTIMS
Sec. 31 - COMPENSATION TO VICTIMS OF CRIME FUND; COMPENSATION TO VICTIMS OF CRIME AUXILIARY FUND; USE OF FUND MONEY

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266522)

I refer to your latest discharge of plebeian verbiage; in which, you have proven, once again, that there is no such thing as unutterable nonsense. In future, kindly proofread your posts before assaulting unsuspecting readers of this message board with a litany of misspellings, egregious grammatical errors, and other verbal atrocities.


If your brain matter was axle grease, there wouldn't be enough in your head to grease the dynamo on a lightening bug's ass. You are obviously suffering from Clue Deficit Disorder. If you knew what you're talking about, you'd be dangerous. To quote Thomas Brackett Reed: "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."


What possessed you to think that you were capable of being entertaining or interesting to read? There's nothing wrong with you that couldn't be cured with a little Prozac and a polo mallet, or, better yet, suicide. Maybe you wouldn't be such a Jerk-In-The-Box if you had enough brains to find water after falling down a well; if your weren't so fat that all the restaurants in town have signs that say: "Maximum Occupancy: 80 Patrons OR You.", or if you didn't have a face so ugly that Peeping Toms break into your house and close the blinds. Nah, of course you would.


Please try to have some small idea of what in the hell you're talking about before you try to post again.

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266615)

Freedom of speach does not mean that the government has to pay to get your message across. If you want your message to get out there, pay for a webhost. Or print up flyers and pass it around. Or find a soapbox, get up on it, and start babbling at anybody who cares to listen.

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (1, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266552)

Here are the main sections of the Texas state constitution.
I can't find anything about requiring access to the entire internet if you provide access to some of the internet.


It's section 8.
Didn't look hard, did you?

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (1)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266592)

You mean this:

Section 8 - FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL

Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

I can't find anything in there that requires the state of Texas to provide porn to truckers. I believe that the people of Texas have a right to spend their tax money as they please.

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266563)

"I can't find anything about requiring access to the entire internet if you provide access to some of the internet."

That is because you my friend are not an activist judge.

You naively read the law as it was written and try to interpret what the legislators intended. That method is obsolete.

Today's judges must be more flexible. They must read current public opinion, foreign law cases, and their emotions. Anything that provides less than everything must necessarily be unconstitional, because the purpose of government is to provide everything to everyone.

Is that clear?

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (1)

Kymermosst (33885) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266577)

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/txconst/articles/cn 000100.html

Here are the main sections of the Texas state constitution.


No, the list you provided is the sections of article 1 of the Texas State Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

Full document here [state.tx.us] .


I can't find anything about requiring access to the entire internet if you provide access to some of the internet.


Despite your inaccuracy, I believe that point still stands, though.

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266622)

You are of course correct - I did post the Bill of Rights - not the entire constitution.


Althought the Bill of Rights is the usual place for the mandatory free porn section of the constitution.

Re:Texas state constitution - nothing about net (0, Flamebait)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266599)

Hell, you got to pass a 'Sec 4 RELIGIOUS TEST' to be a Texan?

I'm taking bets... (1)

netcrusher88 (743318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266510)

How long do you give it before someone finds their way around this and publishes their method? My school has a firewall, and the site blocking is slightly overzealous, and it took me all of about 10 seconds to get around the URL-based system.

Re:I'm taking bets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266646)

You must be from a country starting with R to be that 1337.

what about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266511)

VPfuckinN? thats all I got to say about that...

subtitle (-1, Flamebait)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266513)

OK....so this article is subtitled: "But this could not happen to municipal WiFi".

What is scary is...it could. Governments love to censor: schools, libraries, wherever. The dumbass christian fundementalists majority is just too powerful a voting block. Corporate monopolised wifi isn't much better, with high prices and coverage only in proftiable areas. What we need is local small buisness and free workers who are also users (syndicalist economics!). We need wifi collectives and cooperatives to allow true free democratic network access. Lets stop bitching about how our plutocratic lords won't give us wireless internet, and lets show 'em and and do it better ourselves! Leave your access access points set to SSID "default". Offer free pre-wimax or at least 802.11g to your neighbors. Start a town wide project with your frieds who also have networking experience.

Re:subtitle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266544)

It sounds like English; it even looks like English, but I can't understand a word you're blabbering. Rumor has it that you are almost incomprehensible in person (as revealed by your desperate urge to babble nonsensically on message boards.) No doubt, this rumor is true.


Are you normally this dumb or are you just having a blonde moment? Wouldn't clues have more room to fit in your head if you got rid of some of the gobbledygook in there? Reading your post makes blindness a wonderful thing to look forward to. I am reminded of something relevant that Benjamin Disraeli said: "He was distinguished for ignorance - for he had only one idea and that was wrong."


Reading your post is less interesting than watching paint dry. If wit was spit, your mouth would be drier than a shallow well in an African heat wave. Looking at you, Darwin would NOT be pleased to see how inefficiently evolution sometimes works. Maybe you wouldn't come across as such a jellyfish-sucking mental midget if you didn't have an intellect rivaled only by the Village Idiot's stupider brother; if your weren't so fat that your clothes come in three sizes: Extra Large, Jumbo, and Oh-My-God-It's-Coming-Towards-Us!, or if you didn't have a face like a bulldog chewing a stinging nettle while taking a constipated dump in a heat wave. Who am I kidding? You would.


In closing, I offer these heartfelt words: Go suck on a frozen pineapple, asshole.

Re:subtitle (1)

kyouteki (835576) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266595)

Do I smell an automated flame generator?

Re:subtitle (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266606)

lets show 'em and and do it better ourselves!

Please do. Instead of the usual nasty battles over the political pie, just do it without the government. While you may dislike the Christian fundamentalists, they're one one group out of dozens lobbying the government to legislate morality at an ever increasing rate.

Re:subtitle (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266647)

Leave your access access points set to SSID "default".

Actually, no, you do that and I'll keep my network secure, thanks. I don't exactly feel like having everyone leech my bandwidth to get into all sorts of trouble that would be traced back to me.

Re:subtitle (1)

Magic Thread (692357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266662)

Way to not trust your neighbors.

You realize this is why America sucks so much, right?

Re:subtitle (1)

hyperorbiter (876833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266660)

i suspect you're being a little generalised here. christian fundamentalist majority? what stats do you base that on? when you talk about democratic networks aren't you implying that the majority determines what is appropriate to view? surely if you're listening democratically to the majority then you need to just allow the due process to let the 'christian fundamentalists' rule this decision. you aren't talking about democracy, you're talking about anarchy...your free access points also subvert parental control (which is the one concession most make to filtering for minors). your need for free porn is not shared by everyone...

What does "may" mean? (3, Interesting)

kwerle (39371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266516)

My legalese is not that great, but it looks like they will only prohibit access to porn, etc, at correctional facilities. They MAY prohibit access at others sites, and will have (it looks like one person) someone to help these other sites implement filters if they want them.

The article as posted certainly seems like flamebait to me. There is no requirement that the state of texas provide net access to anyone. If certain locallities want to implement porn filters, I don't see how that's a bad thing at all. If you want your net porn, go buy it.

Last I checked, my local library doesn't stock hustler - though they do have people mag. Is that also an attack on my 1st amendment rights?

Re:What does "may" mean? (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266626)

First, I read Hustler for the articles and People mag? Have you ever seen it? It's obscene to me!

Re:What does "may" mean? (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266627)

It's censorship if somone on Slashdot objects to it. At least I think that's the current definition. Your library analogy is spot on. It's not censorship if library (even a public elementary school library) doesn't carry Hustler. But that won't stop people from crying foul.

My library doesn't carry Linux Magazine or DaemonNews. But you don't see me funding the ACLU over it...

Re:What does "may" mean? (1, Informative)

qw(name) (718245) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266640)

Evidently, anytime the issue of net filtering is mentioned on /. the 1st amendment crowd starts hootin' and hollerin' about rights, etc.

You make a very good point. Net access is not a right and the State of Texas providing a free service to the public does not constitute the establishment of a new right. Also, you're right about libraries. They don't stock hard-core porn so why should they provide it via the internet? If someone desperately needs porn they should go buy it with their own money.

One thing that both of these have in common is they are both services provided to the public free of charge with tax payer money. I would not want to fund the porn addiction of some trucker driving through my state.

Re:What does "may" mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266665)

Does your local library get every magazine published for a flat fee and then refuse to carry the ones it finds objectionable? Is calling you on sloppy metaphors also an attack on your First Amendment rights?

Not to mention infeasible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266517)

Who do you think is going to be more clever & resourceful... The person trying to hide pr0n, or the person trying to find it?

Re:Not to mention infeasible. (1)

hazah (807503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266664)

It all depends on the scale on which we're measuring. At some point, they're all sick bastards.

What Ceasar funds... (4, Interesting)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266519)

... Caesar controls.

Of course, this seems to open the possibility that obscene materials could also be banned in email. Or am I misreading things?

I like this section;

(e) This section does not apply to a university system or
institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003,
Education Code.


So at least college kids can still look at porn and med students won't have the breasts filtered out of their diagrams.

Correction (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266537)

- opens the possibility that obscene materials could be banned in email if that email were read at a correctional facility or truck stop.

Re:What Ceasar funds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266589)

So then, why doesn't the public control what the public funds?

what a coincidence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266520)

Sounds both wasteful and unconstitutional.

Then it's fitting that it'd be in Texas, home of the most wasteful and unconstitutional president you've had in a long time.

Now, before you mod this flamebait, realize how much your president has spent on frivolous unnecessary wars, and how he's actually hoping to use the constitution to TAKE AWAY Americans' rights. If, after that, you still want to mod it flamebait, well, go nuts, good luck, and have fun at your next KKK ral- er, I mean, RNC hangout!

Unconstitutional? (2, Insightful)

NickHydroxide (870424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266521)

Unconstitutional? How is this unconstitutional? Last time I checked the US Bill of Rights, I don't remember a guarantee of access to free porn.

If there is free access provided then I would suggest that they are perfectly within their rights to restrict it in some ways.

Ha (3, Interesting)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266527)

This bill protects truckers...adult content.

Don't make me laugh.

On a more serious note, how much protection does any adult need? Further, howbout making it so this protection is opt out? Yeah, I didn't think the Texas state legislature would have satisfactory answers to either question.

Unconstitutional? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266530)

Why is filtering a state-provided service unconstitutional? If the government chooses to filter a service they provide for the public, shouldn't they be allowed?

It's not censorship to filter pornographic material on a free service. Now if they were blocking some political party's website, or someone's blog, or any other general info site, you can cry foul. But it's reasonable to expect that a service available to a general audience will be filtered. You don't open it up to the lowest common denominator of filtering; you try to pick a fair medium that will allow access to most material while not to material that a lot of people would find offensive. (especially if you know that kids could access this, which, given the fact that families pull into rest stops all the time, is quite possible)

Wasteful? (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266533)

From the story submission:

"Sounds both wasteful and unconstitutional."

Yep, sounds like a big waste of money. They should make people pay for it (preferably by a non-government outfit), then the whole censorship thing would be a complete non-issue. They should have done that in the first place.

useless (0, Flamebait)

sfcat (872532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266536)

Whoes standard do they use. Decency laws are supposed to be set by community standard, but a rest stop isn't a community. Whoes standard will they use. And isn't it the parent's responsibility to make those decisions, not the state? This sounds more like China than the US, wait Texas, nevermind. But it is a free hotspot, but since it is provided by the government this is subject to the laws 1st amendment. The problem with this is that it will never make it to court because it isn't important enough to go to jail for so it won't be struck down in court.

Obscenity definition (3, Funny)

kschawel (823163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266538)

In the bill, it references section 43.21 of the Texas penal code. I looked it up to find the definition of obscenity (and material, but that's not interesting). Here:
1. "Obscene" means material or a performance that:

A. the average person, applying contemporary community standards,would find that taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest insex;

B. depicts or describes:

i. patently offensive representations or descriptions of ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including sexual intercourse, sodomy, and sexual bestiality; or

ii. patently offensive representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions, sadism, masochism, lewd exhibition of the genitals, the male or female genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal, covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state or a device designed and marketed as useful primarily for stimulation of the human genital organs; and

C. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political,and scientific value.
I found C pretty funny, isn't that pretty much half of the internet?

Re:Obscenity definition (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266580)

I believe you have to meet all three criteria. It's not multiple definitions.

But even so, yeah, about half the internet is porn.

If you want odd legal standards, though, techically forcing an object into someone's mouth (even if the act is totally nonsexual) would be considered rape according to Illinois Law.

"Adult Content" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266556)

What, like political discussion about free speech?

Do you feel comfortable letting you Congressman decide what is or isn't acceptable for you to view on the Internet?

Obscene content is worse than spam or hacking? (-1, Troll)

Caseyscrib (728790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266559)

The bill [state.tx.us] aims to restrict obscene content but makes no attempt to regulate spam or unauthorized hacking. Where the fuck are their priorities?

Ohh yeah and PORN IS NOT FUCKING ILLEGAL!!!

Re:Obscene content is worse than spam or hacking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266659)

Likely the politicians don't know how to access internet pr0n, and misery loves company.

"A puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere is having fun."

Government responsibilities (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266572)

In my opinion, government should have a light touch, only doing what they absolutely need to do. They shouldn't be going around making laws based on moral reasons.

Re:Government responsibilities (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266591)

In my opinion, government should have a light touch, only doing what they absolutely need to do.

Like, provide free wireless internet at highway rest stops.

What?? (4, Insightful)

crowemojo (841007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266578)

Sounds both wasteful and unconstitutional.

Since when do we have the right to a free internet connection? Not only that, but the right to do whatever the heck we want on a connection that is by no means ours. Come on, that's taking it a bit far. I'm all for individual's rights, and not letting the man go too far, but it seems like people are quick to cry unconstitutional sometimes, which is a shame, becuase it dilutes the impact of similar, legitimate claims.

Re:What?? (1)

girlchik (243180) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266636)

I posted the original article.

I don't think that providing internet service at rest stops is unconstitutional. Mandating filtering for adult users is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court (U.S. v. American Library Association) ruled in a case about filtering in libraries that adults must be given the ability to turn a filter off. Justice Kennedy wrote, that "on the request of an adult user, a librarian will unblock filtered material or disable the Internet software filter without significant delay."

To meet this test at a highway rest stop, either the filter needs to somehow authenticate an adult, or a state trooper needs to be around to turn the filter off.

I'm feeling all protected inside! (3, Funny)

theraccoon (592935) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266593)

Finally! Now I'll be protected from all that p0rn getting onto my hard drive. And I'm certain those lonely truckers will be extra grateful for the protection. This is a win-win, folks!

allah bless iran !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266604)

i meant god bless america

Interesting Issue (4, Informative)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266608)

While this is certainly a disturbing development the constitutionality of it is unclear and quite interesting.

On the one hand the first ammendment certainly does not require libraries to provide pornographic magazines or otherwise provide some unbiased representation of viewpoints. In general the first ammendment does not restrict the government from providing some content but not others (except when this infringes on the establishment clause).

However, while library filtering has been deemed constitional the supreme court has also ruled that libraries must allow adults to bypass the filters. In other words apparently the supreme court has recognized that internet filtering is significantly different than buying library books. The library has legitimate financial constraints in what books it provides but does not in internet filtering. [cdt.org]

So the question becomes very unclear in the case of truck stops. Since these are entierly automated they can't very well demand a librarian turn the filtering off. Still, since one does need to be at least 16 to drive and because of the real possibility that by providing enough government internet access filtering could stifle free speech I imagine it would be declared unconstitutional but it is a tough call.

Re:Interesting Issue (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266625)

Here it is with the link fixed

While this is certainly a disturbing development the constitutionality of it is unclear and quite interesting.

On the one hand the first ammendment certainly does not require libraries to provide pornographic magazines or otherwise provide some unbiased representation of viewpoints. In general the first ammendment does not restrict the government from providing some content but not others (except when this infringes on the establishment clause).

However, while library filtering has been deemed constitional (link here) [cdt.org] the supreme court has also ruled that libraries must allow adults to bypass the filters. In other words apparently the supreme court has recognized that internet filtering is significantly different than buying library books. The library has legitimate financial constraints in what books it provides but does not in internet filtering.

So the question becomes very unclear in the case of truck stops. Since these are entierly automated they can't very well demand a librarian turn the filtering off. Still, since one does need to be at least 16 to drive and because of the real possibility that by providing enough government internet access filtering could stifle free speech I imagine it would be declared unconstitutional but it is a tough call.

Protects Truckers (5, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266610)

It is important to protect truckers from adult content. You know how sensitive they can be! The last thing that I would want to see after a long drive, at the end of the day, would be a naked woman doing something sexual. Instead, it would be far better for me to read Slashdot, or something of that nature.

You know what delicate flowers truckers can be!

Municipal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266621)

It's municipal. Naturally, it's subject to filtering.

They filter the water, don't they? The analogy is perfect. Perhaps I want mercury and lead in my tap water. Is the municipality trampling my rights by filtering the water supply? Surely, they are actively depriving me of something which is available (water contaminants).

What's the difference?

Think of the truckers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266632)

Did anyone think to ask the truckers if they wanted to be "protected"?

But I agree, think of a 10 day trip across the country, with wifi at every truck stop. Some poor dude opens the truck doors at the end and is just washed away by a river of semen.

(idea shamelessly stolen from Adam Corolla)

New slashdot poll: who to protect? (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266634)

This bill protects truckers at highway rest stops and campers in their RVs at campsites from adult content.

Who would you want to protect from adult content?
* Children
* Video game players
* Campers (not the video game type)
* Yourself
* Truckers

Yeah, that's right. I'd vote to save the truckers from adult content. Truckers are just so vulnerable and are easily influenced.

Then again, the article itself doesn't even have the word "protect" in it. As for blocking obscene material, I don't see any actual problem with that. Just because the state decides to provide a public service, doesn't mean they have to give you an open pipe. Is it considered socially acceptable to download porn at a public library? At work? At school? Probably not.

-------------
Please help save the truckers! Donate today!

Filtering software (2, Insightful)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266638)

To date, no filtering software can successfully filter out pornographic or obscene materials. We simply haven't developed the AI that can distinguish between benign (or even educational) content and unacceptable content.

When the government starts putting stock in these filtering packages, it opens them up to two types of problems.

1. Lawsuits from organizations that produce otherwise perfectly acceptable content that are mistakenly labeled as obscene and blocked by the filters. We haven't seen this happen en masse yet, but I suspect liable suits will eventually become quite common.

2. Lawsuits from individuals who are exposed to obscene content, and claim that the government was being remiss in its implied promise that the content would be safe "I only let my kids surf the web at the rest-stop because the state told me naughty websites wouldn't be allowed to get through. The government failed to do this, and now my kids have been exposed to naked women pooping on puppies".

I am not a lawyer, so I may be missing something, but I'm really surprised the above two things haven't been happening more often with libraries and schools using filtering.

Meanwhile, I'm just pissed off that when I'm away from home, so many of the websites I frequent are blocked. And not all of those websites are porno.

Won't somebody (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266645)

Will somebody please think of the truckers?

gee... (1)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266652)

This bill protects truckers at highway rest stops and campers in their RVs at campsites from adult content.

[sarcasm]
Oh yeah, truckers. I'm so sure that truckers at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night need to be protected from seeing internet porn.
[/sarcasm]

If I were looking to start a business, I'd think about machines at rest stops offering internet access, lotion, and packs of tissues.

Libraries (1)

wk633 (442820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12266656)

For everyone upset at the state providing free internet access, remember that government at various levels provides free access to books. Although they don't usually spend rescources on porn, there is general resistence to the idea of someone else deciding what you and I can view via library provided Internet.

Classic example, is it ok to do research on breast cancer?

In the case of print material, libraries providing porn costs more.

In the case of Internet filtering, providing porn (not filtering) costs less.

I say spend less, and let the truckers have their porn.

...bath houses of the 90's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12266666)

Ted's therapist: You know rest areas are homosexual hangouts. Ted: hmm? Ted's therapist: Highway rest areas, they're the bath houses of the 90's for many, many, many, many gay men.
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