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Utah Anti-Kids-Spam Registry "a Flop"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the show-me-the-money dept.

Spam 117

Eric Goldman writes "A couple of years ago Utah enacted a 'Child Protection Registry.' The idea was to allow parents to register kids' email addresses and then to require certain email senders to filter their lists against that database before sending their emails. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah registry has been a 'financial flop.' Initially projected to generate $3-6 million in revenues for Utah, it has instead produced total revenues of less than $200,000. 80% of this has gone to Unspam, the for-profit registry operator; Utah's share of the registry's revenues has been a paltry $37,445. Worse, Utah has spent $100,000 (so far) to defend the private company from legal challenges by free-speech, advertising, and porn interests."

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117 comments

Let me get this straight (4, Insightful)

fatduck (961824) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012055)

From TFA:

The Utah law requires companies that sell adult-oriented products and services to submit their e-mail lists to Unspam to be "scrubbed" of addresses to which minors have access. The cost is half a cent for every address they submit, and Unspam gets 80 percent of the money.
So they passed a law requiring mass email-senders to pay for a service from a specific private corporation? Brilliant.

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012145)

I have an idea. Let's tinker and fine-tune the law to say "Politicians of any race, creed, party, or ideology shall not be allowed to use, be near, or think about any piece of technology more advanced than the ballpoint pen. Nor shall any legislation based on said technology ever be even mentioned."

I don't think I've ever read anything good come out of any proposal made by a politician about the Internet. Senators, Representatives.... Please, go home (walking in the snow, uphill both ways, of course) back to your world where the only "net" you know anything about is for fishing. Leave the Internet and its policies to people who aren't you.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012293)

The internet was initially funded by the US government. Go figure.

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Insightful)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012395)

This is true. But, IIRC, wasn't its initial purpose something along the lines of military communication in the event of an emergency? I seem to recall something like that, and I'd like to see what senators/reps. and such were involved.

Regardless, it feels almost like the Internet was an accident in that way. A great accident, IMHO, but an accident nonetheless. And I can't help but feel the vast majority of lawmakers have no clue as to the Internet or how it works. To be fair, I'll admit my knowledge of the infrastructure of the net is rather limited, but on the other hand, that would be why I don't submit proposals for new laws on it. I just can't help but get this feeling like we're trying to explain a combustion engine to 4th century British peasants.

Reading about the idea here, I can't help but think, "What the hell were they thinking?" I mean, how many spammers are "legit" anyway? How many would listen to such a list? How would this generate a profit when it would obviously require extensive maintenance and, of course, the buttload of lawsuits that would happen (let's face it, what DOESN'T end in a lawsuit these days?)?

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012563)

wasn't its initial purpose something along the lines of military communication in the event of an emergency?
There were actually a few purposes, one of which is mentioned here [wikipedia.org] (note the Background of Arpanet section). Basically, apart from communications, it was also meant to make new software readily available. One other purpose not really mentioned in the Wikipedia article is that one would not need to always upgrade a multi-million dollar (in those days) computer just to run computations faster. One could simply send the problem to the fastest computer and have it run the problem. This also had potential (now realized) for parallel processing since one only needs to pass the computed data back and forth between processors.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19014783)

Which can be really great depending on the problem. If you look at folding at home, the ratio of data : computation is quite low, so you get a good deal. Pass a little bit of data, and have the computers run the process, and send back a little bit of data. However, if you're doing something like parallelized video compression, you need a fairly fast network over which the data is travelling, because of a very high data : computation ratio. Stuff like this can be parallelized over a home network, but doing so over the internet isn't worth most people's times because a single computer can do the computation before it could even be distributed between the other computer(s).

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Evilest Doer (969227) | more than 6 years ago | (#19016445)

Which can be really great depending on the problem. If you look at folding at home, the ratio of data : computation is quite low, so you get a good deal. Pass a little bit of data, and have the computers run the process, and send back a little bit of data. However, if you're doing something like parallelized video compression, you need a fairly fast network over which the data is travelling, because of a very high data : computation ratio. Stuff like this can be parallelized over a home network, but doing so over the internet isn't worth most people's times because a single computer can do the computation before it could even be distributed between the other computer(s).
Oh, very true. The best type of problem to solve by doing parallel processing this way, or even just sending the problem to a faster computer to process, is when both the code that needs to be compiled, the data to be run, and the data to return (or, if the code is resident on the computer, just the data to be run and the data to return) are all fairly small. An example of this is complex finite element analysis. The code, input data, and output data aren't generally very big (especially if you have modelled your problem efficiently), but the amount of computation required to obtain a result is enormous by comparison. This is the sort of problem that Arpanet was originally designed to handle by relaying data between computers - simply defined but computationally intensive physics/engineering problems.

Re:Let me get this straight (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012893)

we're trying to explain a combustion engine to 4th century British peasants.
Did you try 7th century French ones? Much more technically savvy. Of course, you'd need to speak to them in French, which is probably a bit difficult for a fat american fucktard like you.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013579)

As much as I know not to feed AC trolls...

The analogy was simply a statement to say that politicians in office today are too old-fashioned (read: out of date) to possibly understand modern technology. Similarly, a combustion engine is probably a bit beyond a random farmer from the Middle Ages. Technological advancements seem to go hand in hand with educational advancements.

And I object to being called a fat American fucktard. I'm a rather skinny and pasty American fucktard, thank you very much, and I am part French, so I'm well aware of their culture and language.

Re:Let me get this straight (0, Flamebait)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#19014295)

Since when does the French populace have culture?

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19014425)

*Sigh* I should know better, but...

The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, vineyards, cuisine, literature...

What the fuck is wrong with you people and the mockery of France? Has the country made some stupid decisions? Yes. As have all countries. (America's made plenty. More than I care to list.) But France has massive amounts of culture. In Paris alone... it's staggering. To say the French have no culture is like saying that Rome has no history. You only make yourself out to be an ignorant dumbass.

Re:Let me get this straight (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19016325)

So culture is shit people made a long time ago. How exciting and vibrant. Nothing like gazing into the past to propel your civilization into the future.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | more than 6 years ago | (#19015171)

Culture can also mean they're growing bacteria colonies, mind you. Or some sort of fungus.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#19014741)

It was a big accident because it was pretty much completely developed into it's current form before any business interests or politicians even knew what it was. Because of this, it was able to evolve into something that was open and free (as in speech) for all it's users. Had it's entire development been overseen by the government and corporations, I think it would have ended up being a huge flop.

Re:Let me get this straight (3, Insightful)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012213)

It is common for state regulations to be enforced by private sub-contractors which charge fees. This means less cost for the government.

In this case, because there is a free speech issue with the regulation, both the state and sub-contractor are getting sued instead instead collecting fees. So the regulation is costing money instead of making it.

My advice for the people of Utah is that if they believe the regulation is a good one, why should it matter if it turns a profit? If protecting kids is their goal, they should fight this to the bitter end.

Two issues with that. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012345)

#1. Is it protecting the kids? Is anyone taking any before and after measurements to see whether it is doing anything more than just costing money? I couldn't find anything about that in the article.

#2. How much money do we want to spend on "protecting the children"? Is a trillion dollars a month too much to spend to prevent one kid from seeing one naked picture?

Re:Two issues with that. (1)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012539)

Why, this handy dandy bill is fool-proof child molester repellent! ...What's that? Can I prove that? Do you see any child molesters around here?

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013439)

My advice for the people of Utah is that if they believe the regulation is a good one, why should it matter if it turns a profit? If protecting kids is their goal, they should fight this to the bitter end.


Before the people of Utah waste tax payer dollars on a regulation they believe to be a "good one" perhaps there should be some clarification as to whether it is effective and whether it is constitutional. There is a group of people in Utah who see a way to scam tax payers out of their hard earned dollars by tricking them into believing that if they don't agree to these illegal scams they are somehow on the side of harming children with pornography.

It will be a bitter end because it is a lost cause when you foolishly write laws which demand the entire universe bend to your will because they wont.

Re:Let me get this straight (4, Informative)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013641)

This means less cost for the government.


Is this why Brent Hatch, who lobbied to have this idiotic bill passed, was hired for 3 to 4 times what state attorneys are paid to now defend this idiotic legistation?

Looks more and more like a scam where local cons are skimming tax dollars.

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Interesting)

elanghe (682691) | more than 6 years ago | (#19016427)

Where do you get the idea that Brent Hatch lobbied for this? At least provide the back ground to backup what you are saying.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#19015651)

The concept that the people paying a private contractor who then generates a profit saves the government money, wtf, the people are the government. Whether they pay for it in private profit generating 'taxes' or they are taxed on their income and a part of that tax pays for those services, the cost to them is nearly the same, apart from of course the profit that gets milked off at the taxpayers expense.

Well at least a part of the profit comes back, to pay to get those politicians who support those scams re-elected. So all you have here is a private company whose profit is funded by the government as a result of reduced operating costs, or what is better known as corporate welfare.

So to the people of any state, what does it matter how much it costs the state as long as a favoured corporation makes a profit, well, it matters a whole bloody lot. Lets track down all the personal ties, election funding, private contributions, family associations, and see what is really going on here.

Re:Let me get this straight (4, Informative)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012223)

I think the lawmaker who thought this up just didn't know how these things worked. Hell, look at this nugget.

According to audio recordings of legislative proceedings, not a single legislator openly questioned the legitimacy, constitutionality or cost of the innocuous-sounding bill, despite written warnings from legislative analysts that it faced a "high probability" of being overturned in court.
From TFA. They didn't even include the financial estmates on how much the lawsuits would cost:P Its not even just THIS pile of joy. Look at the other "trademark" bill. Why the hell would a company want to pay $250 to trademark itself in Utah for just the internet? Why the hell trademark your stuff in just Utah when the FEDERAL copyright office gives you the same rights? I don't remember where, but didn't the supreme court affirm trademarks work on the internet? Does Utah think they have a "Utah Internet"?

I always thought Utah was a bit religious, but freaking naive?

Re:Let me get this straight (2, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012383)

I always thought Utah was a bit religious, but freaking naive?

Have you ever been to Utah? I think it has something to do with a critical number of residents wearing magical underwear. Some boundary condition is met and insanity ensues.

I can't wait until some hacker gets his hands on this "children's registry". You haven't seen a marketing feeding frenzy until you've seen advertisers who think they've got a direct pipeline to the eyes and ears of "tweeners".

I remember how transfixed I used to get as a kid when the commercials for Duncan Yo-Yos or Slinkys came on TV. There was not going to be anything preventing me from getting a Yo-Yo and a Slinky. Today, it's a few levels of magnitude more intense. The marketing starts at age Zero. No kidding. You can't imagine the lengths a company will go to in order to create a lifelong customer. It's called "cradle to grave" marketing for a reason.

Re:Let me get this straight (0, Offtopic)

IP_Troll (1097511) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012267)

Title should read: SCO Group's Anti-kids-spam registry "a Flop"

Brent Hatch is involved in SCO's crusade against linux. Many other similar players like Ralph Yarro and his CP80 crusade.

http://sconewsroundup.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] Has more info, and cites TFA.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013627)

Brent Hatch is involved in SCO's crusade against linux. Many other similar players like Ralph Yarro and his CP80 crusade.


Heavily involved. Hatch lobbied for the current law that is now costing tax payers and, lo and behold, Hatch was hired to defend the law at 3 to 4 times what state attorneys are paid.

Ralph Yarro is also CEO of Think Atomic, the company that will be making money off the laws that he claims are needed to enable CP80. These people are using the religious right's unfounded fear of pornography to fleece law makers and tax payers for their own personal financial gain. They appear to be a bunch of hoodwinking grifters.

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012285)

So they passed a law requiring mass email-senders to pay for a service from a specific private corporation? Pork Barrel.

Fixed that for you.

CAN-SPAM? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013025)

Didn't the CAN-SPAM law preempt state laws on SPAM, making this law unenforceable?

Re:CAN-SPAM? Apparently no preemption (2, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013139)

Re:CAN-SPAM? Apparently no preemption (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013325)

The fine article in the summary is dated April 29.
The fine article you cite is from May (this month).
So this law has cleared the legal hurdles mentioned in the summary. It could, in theory, make money now that Judge Kimball has made this law legal!

Re:Let me get this straight (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013117)

I wonder who the owner of that company is, and who he's buddies with in the legislature?

There have to be better ways to do this. In fact, I don't remember getting adult spam in a long time, with exception to spam promoting ED pills.

Just as well (2, Interesting)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012091)

This would never have made money for Utah.
Imagine: a database of genuine e-mail addresses belonging to minors. If there wasn't adequate enforcement, we'd get a large-scale equivalent of those "unsubscribe" links that don't.
Of course, enforcing a do-not-spam list for minors would cost something even if there weren't lawsuits against the existence of the list...

Re:Just as well (0, Flamebait)

hazem (472289) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012485)

Imagine: a database of genuine e-mail addresses belonging to minors.

Yeah, I'll bet pedophiles and the fundamentalist Mormons (the ones who like to force 14 year old girls into marriage with their relatives) would love such a database.

I'm afraid of the meta-analogy police but.. (1)

AllanVanHulst (999396) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012093)

The original idea was as stupid as forcing slashdot posters to check their analogies in a dictionary.

Re:I'm afraid of the meta-analogy police but.. (5, Funny)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012197)

The original idea was as stupid as forcing slashdot posters to check their analogies in a dictionary.
Eh? That makes no sense. Checking analogies in a dictionary would be like having a car with automatic toenail clippers.

Re:I'm afraid of the meta-analogy police but.. (3, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012295)

a car with automatic toenail clippers.

Cool! I could use one of those. Mine has the old manual kind, and it is kinda dangerous to use while I'm driving while trying to keep the cell phone balanced on my shoulder and reading the paper and shaving.

With this type of success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012097)

...who WOULDN'T want to be on board with the porn-free port 80 proposal?

More stupidity (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012143)

Yet another attempt to regulate the Internet. Apparently, governments need help to understand that there is no way to line their pockets by regulating the internet, and no matter what they make into law, it will never apply to people in other countries.

They need to spend money on educating users, and supporting people that will help users protect themselves from the threats that will continue to happen. Just as MS or antivirus software vendors: as soon as they plug one hole another appears. Spam is even worse. They were never able to stop people from sending junk mail to your mail box, they can't stop people from stealing ID information, and they will never be able to control the bits on the Internet to stop emails from getting to your inbox with laws.

Parents need to protect their own children, and admittedly, they could use some sound solid advice. Why don't government groups spend time with that problem?

Re:More stupidity (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012373)

"and no matter what they make into law, it will never apply to people in other countries."

Do you mean that people inside Utah can recieve spam that originated from outside Utah, perhaps outside the USA??? This internet is a confusing and dangerous thing....

"Parents need to protect their own children, and admittedly, they could use some sound solid advice. Why don't government groups spend time with that problem?"

And just who, in our wonderfully technology savvy government, would you have giving this sound solid advice? The politicians obvious haven't clue #1 about the tubes, as illustrated by my first quote from your post.

Re:More stupidity (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012497)

I personally would vote for subsidies to small businesses (VARs) that provide free or low cost training to home user's with kids on how to secure their home networks or PCs in order to protect themselves and kids from unwanted spam, and malicious websites. That means everything from mandating user friendly books on how to install and maintain software tools etc. to subsidies for Linux distributors who put up web pages that explain how to protect themselves. It wouldn't take much effort to get this going in a way that it becomes common knowledge. The money most needed is for public awareness campaigns. Everyone knows how expensive that sort of advertising is and I think that the government could well sponsor that with subsidies so as to avoid promoting one product over another. Its always political, but any news of it all would increase awareness of how to use tools and equipment that would help protect users from malicious entities on the Internet.

Remember what was done when conmen were conning old people out of their savings? This isn't much different in its roots. Prey on the naive to take their money or resources. (warning MS bash coming) MS and others have done the worst thing that they can possibly do; they proclaim their product to be the safest OS yet, or safest way to surf etc. This is false and misleading, and leads to bewilderment by users. They can't trust anyone it seems and they don't know where to look or who to ask on how to protect themselves. Many blindly think that having a 6 month old copy of Symantec means they will be safe. Many think that Vista will be better, and that reloading the OS will clean out any virii that are on their machine. Many believe that there is no way to stop malicious software or protect against it.

The government could do several things to sponsor awareness, promote it... alas sadly, that will never get them any money so it is difficult to get them to see what needs to be done. Businesses only want to do such things in as much as it will further increase their revenues. I think that the F/OSS community at large has the most to gain by an awareness program.

Re:More stupidity (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012625)

"there is no way to line their pockets by regulating the internet,"

This is not true, unforutnately. However, they need to realize that one cannot regularte the source of information on the internet, only the end users in your jurisdiction. Want to tax your citizens who are people buying used cars over the internet? Ok add a tax as they bring the car in for registration. Want to tax the sender of an MP3 of a local band in Batswana? Not going to happen.

This particular piece of legislation was doomed to fail, as Utah legislators did't realize that most spam comes from groups in Russia with lists of millions of e-mail addresses all around the world. They have no way of knowing if maryjane420@aol.com is in Utah or not, and even if they did they wouldn't care.

1/2 cent? You can find e-mail lists with 1 billion addresses on them or more. You're asking someone outside of your jurisdiction to pay you 5 million dollars to go to the trouble of vetting their addresses of your citizens? You'd be luck to convince them to agree if you did that for free (which it really should be). Quite frankly, this makes no sense. You're strongly disincentivizing a behavior which has a negative effect on someone's business and no positive one. Personally, I feel like the legislators, not the state, should be forced to pay for the legal fees in the particular case due to simple gross negligence on their part.

Welcome to (3, Interesting)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012173)

Utah [heraldextra.com]

Re:Welcome to (0, Offtopic)

bogidu (300637) | more than 6 years ago | (#19015331)

Brought to you by the same group that ignores/denounces the mountain meadows massacre, pretends underaged, incestuous, polygamous, relationships did not exist and that polygamy is STILL not a part of their core doctrines, denies any connection between the masonic rituals and their own devinely inspired ceremonies, etc, etc, etc.

Utah's dominate religion gives power to a group of individuals in government that are PROUD of the skewed perspective they have on various aspects of daily life. Most people outside of the religion are unaware of the extreme points of view that are contained within the mormon belief structure and that it is supported by a large silent majority of individuals who have been indoctrinated from birth to not see any other point of view as having validity. This point cannot be proven any more completely than through the religion's own persecution of what they term 'intellectuals'.

The lawmakers were able to push through this crappy piece of legislation primarily due to the cultural environment that exists in Utah and the lack of a constituency that has the ability to apply unbiased critical thought processes to any subject linked to their core values.

Hitler had a silent majority, they were an effective ally in his war against the Jews.

How is aggregating tons of email addresses (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012191)

in a central locatio, esp. those belonging to children, a GOOD idea? I'm surprised the spammers weren't using them to harvest email addresses....

Re:How is aggregating tons of email addresses (1)

fatduck (961824) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012343)

That way the porn sites can use targeted advertising, as studies have shown kids aren't as willing to pay for adult porn and are frustrated with the difficulty of finding child porn.

Re:How is aggregating tons of email addresses (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#19016047)

Most spammers wouldn't really have an interest in spamming children, so assuming the email addresses largely belong to children, it could have been effective. It'll fall to pieces when (inevitably), people start registering their own addresses as children's addresses.

The private sector saves us again (1, Insightful)

sfjoe (470510) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012233)

80% of this has gone to Unspam, the for-profit registry operator; Utah's share of the registry's revenues has been a paltry $37,445. Worse, Utah has spent $100,000 (so far) to defend the private company from legal challenges by free-speech, advertising, and porn interests."

Conservatives would have us believe that privatization is the solution to all problems. It seems that it's really only a solution to the problem of falling profits.

Re:The private sector saves us again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012309)

Slashdot: where offtopic, partisan attacks are insightful, but only if they're against 'conservatives'.

Re:The private sector saves us again (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012933)

...or niggers.

Re:The private sector saves us again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012405)

What does the private sector have anything to do with this? The problem is the idea was bogus to begin with, regardless of who was involved.

Re:The private sector saves us again (1)

furball (2853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012591)

You have that wrong. Conservatives would have you believe that competition is the solution to all problems. One of the ways that you achieve competition is through privatization since the government is terrible at competing with itself. However, privatization that results in one company doing the work on behalf of the state (as the case above), there is no competition. There is no performance difference in a single private organization doing work on behalf of the state and a public organization doing work on behalf of the state.

But while we're addressing this particular case, you should do your math. If Unspam is sucking up 80% of the revenue and Utah is only getting $37k, there isn't enough revenue in the entire market to even meet $3-6 million. In other words, there is not a $3-6 million market in Utah for this business no matter how much revenue Unspam sucks up. Even if Unspam sucks up 0% of the revenue, Utah still isn't getting $3-6 million in revenue.

Squeeze a rock all you want. There ain't no water.

Re:The private sector saves us again (1)

terraformer (617565) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012715)

You missed something. Without the law, the market for this was ZERO. Forget about 3-6 million.

Re:The private sector saves us again (1)

furball (2853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013229)

You are incorrect. There are suckers born every minute. The market for anything is never zero as long as suckers are born.

Willful ignorance (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012301)

It's been known for years that e-mail opt-out lists are completely unworkable for controlling spam. None -- absolutely zero -- attempts have ever been successful.

So Utah legislators decided that they -- and they alone -- would be the ones to implement the very first successful opt-out list.

It takes willful ignorance to believe that you will succeed where thousands before you have failed. Utah legislators must have deliberately ignored all advice given to them by the technical experts.

This is not ordinary hubris. This is a special kind of hubris that's infused with a stubborn, childish refusal to educate oneself.

Re:Willful ignorance (1)

Groggnrath (1089073) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012807)

This is not ordinary hubris. This is a special kind of hubris that's infused with a stubborn, childish refusal to educate oneself.


The phrase "unwavering obtuse" comes to mind. Also an old English word, which sounds like a very bad word, so I'll not utter it here.

Re:Willful ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012983)

Actually, after doing a bit of thinking between the lines, my initial guess was that protecting the minors had nothing to do with it, and that they really wanted to protect LDS members from porn and/or kick people out of LDS if they appeared on too many porn spam lists.

But now that you mention willful ignorance as a root cause, I can see that too: the LDS virus does apparently cause an insatiable desire to get rich quick at the expense of all reason (think SCO).

Re: the same technical experts.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19014893)

...advised them to pay $699 for a Linux "license".

Re:Willful ignorance (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 6 years ago | (#19017055)

Michigan has a similar law and a similar list, though I don't think Unspam runs it. I could be wrong about that.

Re:Willful ignorance (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 6 years ago | (#19017237)

Utah legislators must have deliberately ignored all advice given to them by the technical experts.
You're making the assumption that the legislature ever sought technical expertise to begin with. So often, the reason these stupid laws come about is that nobody ever bothers to "ask the experts."

What About Me? (4, Funny)

moehoward (668736) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012353)


Hey, now. I have "porn interests" and I haven't seen a dime. What gives?

Re:What About Me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19013239)

Don't worry, the slush is cuming right at you

It just needs more.. (2, Insightful)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012355)

YAY GOVERNMENT!

Give this project more money THEN it will work. Go government go! Your the solution to every problem! Whoo!

(Alright so I'm kinda jaded today with our suck ass government and there suck ass programs.)

Re:It just needs more.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012389)

Why blame the concept of government when it is the fault of incompetent and corrupt people? Government in the hands of the bright and wise would be a refreshing experience.

Re:It just needs more.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012473)

This is more an example of what happens when the LESS GOVERNMENT types have control. After all, Utah is an extremely conservative state. The less government types are never for fewer actual laws (except for those regulating commerce)

They are just for "privatization," of which this is a prime example. private armies, private prisons, private law enforcement. And they are upset not because this program hasn't stopped spam (though it indeed hasn't) but rather that it's not as profitable as they had hoped.

THIS is what the "less government" privatization types get you.

Re:It just needs more.. (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013105)

I think in the idea of "less government" that would not include funding internet filters of any kind either government controlled or otherwise.

Government funded "privatization" of social programs is not LESS GOVERNMENT. Less government would be no funding of any kind and no program.. its an individual choice if they want a filter or not and there are many out there, if people want one, they can go get on.. that is in the spirit of Liberty, not forcing people to pay for a crappy government system.

I'm English, so forgive the stupid question... (2, Interesting)

WombatDeath (681651) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012397)

...but is there something a bit mental about Utah politicians? They seem to crop up in the headlines doing all sorts of demented crap. Do they put lead in the water supply down there?

Re:I'm English, so forgive the stupid question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012495)

Close. It's actually worse [wikipedia.org] than lead.

Re:I'm English, so forgive the stupid question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012575)

I think they do. I moved to Utah a couple years ago, and now I feel stupider.

Re:I'm English, so forgive the stupid question... (0, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013461)

Nope, it's a combination of the heat and the underwear [mormon-underwear.com] . You'd be batshit crazy too.

Nobody markets that any more (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012407)

I don't think much spam is aimed at kids any more. Most of the spam I get (after ordinary spam filtering) is either for 1) Viagra, or 2) penny stocks. Neither subject is likely to interest kids much.

Looking at the last ten spams in the trash:

  1. "???? IS SET TO ROCK YOUR PORTFOLIO!"
  2. "Discount Pharmacy Online"
  3. "Thank you for your loan request, which we recieved (misspelling in original) yesterday."
  4. Repeat of #2.
  5. "???? have released very hot news. Check this out, info and call to your brocker (in original) right now!!"
  6. " Buy your drugs from the comfort of your home and save up to 20% on pharmaceutical products."
  7. "$49 Windows XP Pro w/SP2"
  8. Another #2.
  9. "Los mejores precios del mercado en Notebook, desde $357.000!" (from Santiago, Chili)
  10. "Great and Powerful, by Leonid Pisnoy" (in Russian; seems to be a political rant)

None of these are "harmful to children". They're mostly aimed at adults with room-temperature IQs.

Re:Nobody markets that any more (1)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013335)

I don't think much spam is aimed at kids any more. Most of the spam I get (after ordinary spam filtering) is either for 1) Viagra, or 2) penny stocks. Neither subject is likely to interest kids much.
I don't think the point was to stop spam from being aimed at kids, but to stop kids from seeing spam targeted at adults (particularly porn).

Re:Nobody markets that any more (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#19015263)

I'm not even seeing porn spam much any more. It's the same old stock pump and dump scams and that "discount pharmacy" guy, day in and day out, all with random headings. That may be because the upstream spam filters are dropping anything with a link to a known annoyance site, though.

Re:Nobody markets that any more (1)

melandy (803088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19019671)

None of these are "harmful to children". They're mostly aimed at adults with room-temperature IQs.

Is that room-temp in Fahrenheit or Celsius? I assume from context that you're not talking about Kelvin.

forgetaboutit (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012421)

Valentine had more trouble remembering last summer's conversation about hiring Hatch. "I have no idea," he said. "I don't remember anything about this." House Speaker Greg Curtis also had difficulty recalling the meeting.

It seems like there are a lot of forgetful minds in the U.S. government. Maybe there needs to be some kind of memorization test before anyone is allowed to work for or with the government. I don't know or recall if they already have one or not. I'm not sure. I don't remember.

any spam registry is a flop (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012489)

these types of registries are enacted by dumb politicians who don't know their ass from a hole in the wall when it comes to technology.

most spammers operate out of foreign nations such as china. They don't give a crap about Utah's registry.

most spammers don't give a crap about any registries.

Re:any spam registry is a flop (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19017649)

China sells it's domain names cheap but that is not where the servers are - sorry we can't really blame it on them, it just looks like it's leading to China. That said where I am in Australia is within an hours WALK of many of the top 100 named spammers (one famously bought an expensive block of land opposite a very expensive Mormon Temple just over a kilometre away from me) - they have done the same thing.

Re:any spam registry is a flop (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 6 years ago | (#19019905)

Actually most spammers operate from Florida. Their botnets may be mostly in China, but that's just because that is where most of the internet connected home computers are.

Profit! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012507)

1. Get parents to register the mail addresses of their kids (i.e. THE target group for any kind of marketing).
2. Sell that list.
3. Prof...

What? Oh, can't be used by spammers from the US? Ok. As we all know, it's impossible to get spam from abroad, so it's safe. Damn.

Surely an entirely coincidental link to SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19012657)

For the conspiracy theorists out there:

SCO News Roundup [blogspot.com]
Thursday, April 12 2007

# More fodder for nutty IP trolls in Utah, this time in the guise of the state's new "Trademark Protection Act" More stories at SL Trib and WebProNews

And unsurprisingly, the EFF opposes the new law.

So who's behind this thing? Well, here's a "guest blog" post promoting the law on the Utah Senate's website. The byline on the article describes the author as "Matthew Prince, Adjunct Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School". But as the SL Trib article notes, that's not his current occupation:

        "The Trademark Protection Act is the creation of Unspam's Prince, father of the controversial child-protection registry. That law, which is being challenged in court by a pornography trade group, requires companies that sell adult-oriented products and services to submit their e-mail lists to Unspam to be "scrubbed" of e-mail addresses to which minors have access. The cost is half a cent for every address they submit."
        "Likewise, Prince has positioned himself to benefit from the new law. If the state decides to hire an outside company to manage the database of registered trademarks, and if the deal is financially attractive, Prince said he might create a company and bid on the contract."
        "The entrepreneur insisted that wasn't his primary motivation in pushing the bill. [yeah, right] The idea, he said, came out of a class he taught two years ago at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago."

You remember UnSpam, right? They're the company behind Utah's "Child Protection Registry", and they made the news last October after failing to conceal kids' email addresses. Note that their high-powered attorney is Brent O. Hatch [son of Sen. Orin Hatch], who you may recognize from his work for SCO. Apparently the guy specializes in hopeless damage control jobs.


The business model that SCO has adopted must be more popular in Utah than I would have thought. Seems like the state's whole legislature is trying to attract these shysters to set up shop in their state. /sarcasm

Whew, what a relief... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#19012729)

I would have been shocked if that idea worked. Making a central list of all children's email addresses must be a pervert's dream come true...

Re:Whew, what a relief... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#19017671)

They just have to make sure it doesn't fall into the hands of someone that thinks fathering children with 13 year old girls is a God given right - just as well it's Utah.

Bigoted flamebait I know and you get criminals of this sort in a lot of places - just Utah is currently infamous for it internationally. This list would be a bad idea anywhere.

Re:Whew, what a relief... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#19017773)

Making a central list of all children's email addresses must be a pervert's dream come true

Yes, because reading a list of email addresses is so stimulating.

Do you imagine a "pervert" would randomly send out solicitations? If he did, he'd be on the FBI's watch list within the hour, and arranging "meet ups" that would send him directly to jail.

SCO Connection (1)

oasisbob (460665) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013331)

What is it about Utah's bad internet legislative efforts being associated with SCO people?

From the article [sltrib.com] :

In August, the Attorney General's Office quietly hired private attorney Brent Hatch, who had been defending Unspam Technologies and its money-making interests in Utah's Child Protection Registry. So far, Hatch has been paid $100,000 - half of what his contract allows, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said.

Does the name Brent Hatch ring a bell? It should [groklaw.net] , he's on the SCO legal team.

And remember CP80 [cp80.org] , the effort to use all those unused channels on the internets? None other than Ralph Yarro. [wikipedia.org]

And in other news... (3, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 6 years ago | (#19013349)

...a kids registry of "do not kill" requiring child killers to filter out their murder via consulting a list, failed to work.

Perfect way to generate valid email (0, Redundant)

swchurchill (1098519) | more than 6 years ago | (#19014171)

Step 1: spammer submits list of emails to be "scrubbed" Step 2: All emails on the list (which are valid emails, one assumes) are removed. Step 3: Spammer receives "scrubbed" list back Step 4: Spammer checks against the original list to see what email addresses are gone. In other words, this would have the EXACT opposite effect - this is a way for spammers to GENERATE lists of valid email addresses for minors.

mod 13own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19014961)

racist? How is [anti-slash.org] teeth intou when Clear she couldn't these rules will mire of decay, obtain a copy of fucking market to yet another

you f4il 1t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19015165)

wwil not work. And
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