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Utah Wants To Give ISPs That Filter a "G-Rating"

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the there-goes-sundance dept.

Censorship 328

An anonymous reader writes "HB407 in Utah would create a child-friendly designation for ISPs that block out a range of prohibited materials. Google, Yahoo, and others are fighting the bill, but Rep. Michael Morley says, 'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'"

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328 comments

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Unworkable (5, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562134)

It will never work, the state and/or companies that would try and implement it would needlessly expose themselves to liability once parents who let the computer screen baby sit their kids realize it's not fool proof.

Re:Unworkable (1)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562194)

Or, they go a seemingly-workable whitelist route and then get sued for, say, putting xenu.net on the whitelist.

Re:Unworkable (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562334)

Except that's not pornographic. I guess it wouldn't stop the CoS though.

Re:Unworkable (5, Insightful)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562434)

Utah would create a child-friendly designation for ISPs that block out a range of prohibited materials.
Considering a scientologist is lead to believe that certain knowledge they aren't ready for can kill them. [xenu.net] I could totally see CoS getting on board with this and blocking xenu.net to 'protect their children'.

Re:Unworkable (5, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562842)

Except that's not pornographic. I guess it wouldn't stop the CoS though.

That reminds me of a couple years back, when in one year Yahoo three times killed off their own breast-cancer support-group mailing list. Talking about breasts is porn, y'know, and we can't let impressionable children read about them. (It might be interesting to collect a list of examples of this sort of blocking.)

The problem here isn't limited to computer software. I was a student at the U of Wisconsin back in the late 60s, when there was an attempt to rescind the state's ban on birth-control pills. The problem was that even talking in public about birth control was legally considered pornographic, so the supporters of the bill couldn't get the media to broadcast or publish any of their material. People who tried distributing birth-control literature were arrested and charged with distributing porn. I recall the computer geeks calling this a bug in the legal system, and there didn't seem to be any way to debug the problem. It lasted until the US Supreme Court invalidated such laws. If they hadn't done this, we'd probably still have these laws on the books.

Once censorship becomes legal, it can be very difficult to do anything to fight it. Talking in public against the censorship also becomes illegal, as that would put illegal ideas into young minds.

Re:Unworkable (3, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562224)

So they'll just pull an Australia and make it governmentally mandated or something like that.

O'course, now, children will grow up unable to see the Venus de Milo or the Vitruvian Man or any of those other naughty art bits, but that's OK, right? Because it's protecting the children?

And it's not like they'll be able to learn about STDs or how to protect oneself against 'em, but that's OK--without all those nasty naked people, why would they want to have sex?

Re:Unworkable (5, Funny)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562330)

It starts with naked people, who are incredibly dangerous and an affront to any morally upstanding U.S. citizen such as myself. Next we ban anything about drugs that isn't inline with our current policy. Then we ban violence. Then we ban info on anything the state deems illegal or subversive. Then we ban known dissidents from speaking in a non approved forum. Then we are safe.

Re:Unworkable (5, Funny)

middlemen (765373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562742)

It starts with naked people, who are incredibly dangerous and an affront to any morally upstanding U.S. citizen such as myself. Next we ban anything about drugs that isn't inline with our current policy. Then we ban violence. Then we ban info on anything the state deems illegal or subversive. Then we ban known dissidents from speaking in a non approved forum. Then we are safe.

Haha... I am waiting for them to actually ban evolution, not the theory but the phenomenon. That law would have to be intelligently designed.

Re:Unworkable (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562770)

And it's not like they'll be able to learn about STDs or how to protect oneself against 'em
With the internet properly filtered, underage sex will no longer be a concern. Without pornography, kids won't know how to have sex until their parents present them with the "birds and the bees" book on their wedding night.

Problem solved.

Re:Unworkable (1)

Firefalcon (7323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562836)

How did we manage to procreate before the internet? :-p

Re:Unworkable (2, Interesting)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562568)

The parent in me understands the concerns at play here; that we want to restrict the nature of the media that our children are exposed to. The geek in me understands why this short-term impossible, medium-to-long-term semi-workable on a small-scale, but undesirable for the ISPs, the search engines, and the like.

The only way you can pull this off is with a trust-system. The ratings analogy seems to conveniently skip over the existing infrastructure of that trust-system. The content producers are responsible for obtaining the ratings, and the end-distributors (movie houses, broadcasters) will only carry that content which already has obtained such ratings.

So you can try to get ISPs to only serve websites that have previously been "rated" by some certified body (something as reasoned and transparent as the MPAA-rating-committee, I'm sure) - but the sprawling nature of the web, and the user-driven-content model of the so-called "Web 2.0" sites are going to move most of the web off the field for that. What you're left with are a few sites that are specifically kid-oriented, and can probably be more easily achieved with a home-grown routing whitelist.

Are there not consumer products that easily allow parents to set such a list? Or are we talking about something that sounds nice in theory, but that no one is actually looking for? Seems to me that if you're worried about this kind of stuff in your home that it should be solvable with a $50 router and an hour reading the manual.

Re:Unworkable (4, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562808)

The weakness in that argument is that it requires that parents take responsibility and make an effort to educate themselves.

Your typical soccer mom "doesn't know anything about computers" and has no interest in doing so--but wants to make sure the kids are safe, because anything other than total and utter safety Just Won't Do.

Now, if you decided to build yourself a cheapass firewall/filter/proxy appliance, form factor about the same as your typical cable modem and priced at about the $50 point you mentioned (with, say, $19.95/month updating service) that you could plug inline between the modem and the home LAN, you could conceivably make a profit--but if it required any activation by the parent more complicated than a typical windows "click yes" wizard and selecting a secret code, you can forget about any sort of widespread adoption.

Re:Unworkable (1)

doubletrigger (1238082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562828)

doesn't the Opt-In model work better for this kind of censorship? perhaps a panel of motivated parents (think PTA) that could decide what websites kids should be allowed to see (think MPAA)?

also WTF?!! the article mentions ISPs getting a "G-Rating" but then talks about "blocking pornography." using the MPAA guidelines as a reference point, there is a broad spectrum of morally and intellectually ambiguous behaviors that separate G from X (or NC-17 for that matter). block ron jeremy but allow jenkem? block jenna jameson but allow cutters? block polygamy but allow-- oh wait. utah is curious.

Boronx (-1, Troll)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562148)

Is this the same Utah that voted twice overwhelmingly for the endless war and torture candidate?

Filtering (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562152)

This is what a PARENT should be doing. PARENTS should be telling their children what they can and can not see. Not the government, not some company, not anyone else. It's the parents job to raise their children, teach them what's right and wrong, and to allow the to see what they can and can't see. Nobody elses.

please tag this article 'nannystate' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562378)

nannystate

Re:Filtering (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562384)

The PARENTS are busy looking at PORN, though... they need someone to handle the easy job of raising their children right, since, looking at the world around me, they are not qualified to do it.

Re:Filtering (5, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562592)

This is only a tool available to parents to do just what you are suggesting. There is nothing saying you have to have a child friendly ISP, but that you can. I agree that parents should probably know what there kids are doing, but I can't see anything wrong with them having an option available that more matches their ideals.

Re:Filtering (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562734)

This is what a PARENT should be doing.
PARENTS should be telling their children what they can and can not see. Not the government, not some company, not anyone else. It's the parents job to raise their children, teach them what's right and wrong, and to allow the to see what they can and can't see. Nobody elses.
While I agree with what you're saying, the sentiment misses a really important point. That is, what these folks are proposing will not work as advertised.

The counter-argument to your point would be that the ISPs are providing a service that parents volunteer to select in the name of raising their children responsibly. The government is simply providing some expertise in flagging what ISPs are providing that service so parents can choose accordingly. But again - the problem is that it won't work as advertised.

The underlying issue is that filtering is an extremely difficult problem. The mechanics of the Internet offer little with which to base filtering. So what we end up with is a large portion of the undesired content filtered with an even larger unknown amount of content just waiting to be discovered. The flip side is overly aggressive filtering techniques that end up filtering out content that is perfectly fine (and that's not even counting filter technology providers who mis-categorize content based on some political or personal bias). Parents who put their faith and "good parenting" stock in these schemes will ultimately find that the system has failed them.

And that's the big problem. The government may be meaning well, but it will ultimately be wasting tax payer's money on a program that does not deliver what it promises. And parents who have every intention of being responsible parents may find themselves buying in to a system that has betrayed that responsibility.

Fighting pornography? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562154)

Is that where naked women hit each other with fish and such?

Yum.

Re:Fighting pornography? (1)

Shnyzx (786435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562750)

No they slap each other with dirty shaven pussy cats obviously!

This means war! (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562158)

Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?

Re:This means war! (4, Funny)

Tmack (593755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562236)

Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?
Goatse?

Re:This means war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562356)

That which does not kill us makes us stronger! That's why I have goatse as my desktop background.
It also protects my computer from unauthorized use!

Re:This means war! (4, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562432)

That's why I have goatse as my desktop background.
It also protects my computer from any use!
Fixed...

Gotta go drain-o my brain now...

Re:This means war! (4, Insightful)

Tmack (593755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562540)

To reply to myself... seriously though, "fighting" pr0n is about like the war on drugs. Its a way for politicians to look good in the face of supporters and contributors that dump $$ to their campaigns and give them the votes that keep them in business, while actually doing little towards what it intends to accomplish. Its the "thinkofthechildrens!!!" effect. Because on average most parents these days seem to expect everyone else to protect their kids and make the whole world G rated and safe so they dont have to do anything themselves, and will file lawsuits and cause problems the instant its not. Most people dont have the understanding of how to protect their kids from online pr0n (if they even try), so they expect someone else to do it for them. Its similar reasons that caused such a huge uproar over a nipple being shown on tv, neglecting the fact that most kids suck on one for the first few years of their lives, and for more similar reasons (ultraconservativereligiouscontrolfreaks) that you wont hear swearwords on TV or radio. Its not like parents have a way to filter out such content on there own right??? Ohyeh, V-chip (another government mandated protection bit), and now hardware in dvd players that can actively filter only the "objectionable" content (walk by the dvd players in Target, most have one on a motion activated display setup thing), but we still must prevent obscene material from ever hitting our eternally virgin eyes and ears since the act that makes babies is dirty and should never happen or even be known about!

</rant>

tm

Re:This means war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562332)

because *THIS BOOK!* says it's evil and that's good enough for us!

Re:This means war! (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562398)

What he said is 'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'

I don't see how its going to be any easier to find fighting pornography or sites dedicated to the provision thereof. Thats what Google is for, the world is you oyster with Google, Jello and copious quantities of lube.

Re:This means war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562428)

Nudity bad, shooting people good - Duh!

Re:This means war! (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562446)

  1. 2girls1cup
  2. goatse
  3. tubgirl

Re:This means war! (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562538)

Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?

Well gee, you guys jump me for writing journals about drunken whores so I do one about attempted murder and how do you act? Now you're against fighting! Do I have to do one about two naked hookers catfighting? Or would you rather have me write about a couple of old ladies drinking tea? That would be a great read now wouldn't it?

Well what's on the telly then?
Looks like a penguin to me.


Damn, you CAN'T please everybody! Or, it seems, anybody. At least I can't.

Er, speaking of my often NSFW journals (particularly the one titled "NSFW") does this mean you won't be reading slashdot in Utah any more? Do they even have nerds in Utah?

Has anybody RTFM? How do they propose to tell one picture from another? If their algorythms are that advanced, how can they tell a breast in playboy from a breast in an anti-cancer site? Is Michaelangelo's David [pbs.org] and its gay little pecker to be censored? How about Picasso's Vagina series? Sorry, google's failed me there as "moderate safe search" is on.

Re:This means war! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562642)

Pornography needs to be fought because it's one of the things that someone thinks is harmful to children, like www.mcdonalds.com.

Re:This means war! (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562664)

Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?
Charity [youtube.com] .

Re:This means war! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562726)

players.on.nimp.org

Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno!
Hey everybody, I'm looking at gay porno!

Re:This means war! (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562732)

Can anyone remind me why pornography needs to be "fought"?

because religion is a bigger business, and they are in direct competition.

How about an "adult-friendly" rating ... (3, Informative)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562160)

... so all those politicians, holy rollers, and "protect the children" types can more easily find their daily dose of pr0n ...

Hurah for Utah! (5, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562162)

I for one am quite pleased to see Utah fighting outsourcing like this. We no longer need to go to China to get this sort of thing.

Except for that nagging little fact that (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562170)

Porn, except for some extreme examples is completely and totally legal in the US. This is just like fighting smoking in adults... you might not like it, but unless you make it illegal you have no fucking argument and need to live with it and STFU.

Re:Except for that nagging little fact that (2, Insightful)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562460)

Actually - I'm not really sure what arguement you are trying to make, but you may have just proven the exact opposite point. Pornography IS illegal for children under 18 and 21 in some states. So - in other words, it's actually MORE like fighting smoking in children. I've never seen anyone cry censorship over that.

Re:Except for that nagging little fact that (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562520)

They only want to certify ISPs that (claim to) block porn. Not force* everyone to use them.

*Of course, all (both of the) broadband ISPs will either be certified or not. I imagine, in Utah, it will be worth the business to become certified. So I suppose you can always get some awesome dial-up porno.

New Zealand has an interesting approach to this (5, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562180)

Here in New Zealand, the government provided funds for Watchdog [watchdog.net.nz] to develop a filtering system suitable for schools. Part of the deal was that any other ISP had access to the system and could supply their own customers with internet access filtered by the system.

Whilst not perfect, it did provide schools etc with a default option and a starting point for internet access.

Re:New Zealand has an interesting approach to this (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562834)

Here in New Zealand, the government provided funds for Watchdog to develop a filtering system suitable for schools. Part of the deal was that any other ISP had access to the system and could supply their own customers with internet access filtered by the system.

Thing is that if the resulting filtering system is actually suitable for schools it will not be suitable for anyone else.

/Really?? (-1, Troll)

realsilly (186931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562192)

This is coming from the same state that houses polygamists and mormons?

Re:/Really?? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562694)

This is coming from the same state that houses polygamists and mormons?
FYI: Polygamy is illegal in Utah. It's not practiced by the LDS church. It is practiced by a few who are in Utah.

Whether the state government tolerates polygamy is another question.

Surely... (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562232)

.. there are several sites dedicated to Fighting Pornography. I guess Senator Morley hasn't been googling very hard.

Re:Surely... (1)

closetpsycho (1175221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562482)

I'm sure he has been googling. He just happened to get... "sidetracked" by some of the results.

Ironically... (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562248)

'I think it's a positive thing for those who are looking for a site that is dedicated to fighting pornography.'

It's also a positive thing for those of us looking to avoid ass-clowns and the companies that they run.

!Censorship (4, Insightful)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562266)

I wouldn't really classify this as censorship personally. I think it's a parents right to filter whatever content they want from their children. You can't really say that it's censorship if you opt-in for it. Under this line of thinking, the do not call list is censorship because you are filtering phone networks for content you don't want. In the end, however, if they were good at parenting they wouldn't really need to do this. It's just another case of children being raised by the next form of entertainment that comes their way - it used to be the tv.

Re:!Censorship (5, Interesting)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562436)

There is absolutely no need for the government to become involved in this. If a company wants to offer a filtered package, that is something they can advertise. The government has no business rating ISPs based on its arbitrary standards.

Re:!Censorship (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562562)

While that may be true in the strictest sense of what 'government' is, you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that this doesn't provide a desired service to the taxpaying constituents. If you look at what our 'government' actually does provide, this sort of opt-in service falls right in line.

What's a better use of tax dollars: fighting yet another pointless war overseas or providing something actually of (at least limited) use on the home front?

It may be a limited example, but I'm certain you have already put together a similar one in your own mind...

Re:!Censorship (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562594)

Agreed. The government has their hands in a lot of things it probably shouldn't. The FCC currently regulates a lot of the content that gets put out on radio or television. Not a very popular idea, but it's probably only a matter of time...

But don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that they actually do this - I'm saying it's not censorship either way. As an aside, I think it might actually make good business sense for an ISP to provide this kind of service. They would be much more efficient then any filtering package.

Re:!Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562506)

But in most areas, there really isn't more than one option for an ISP. So what happens if they say "If you don't like it, go to another ISP that's not G-Rated" and there aren't any? That's effectively censorship.

Re:!Censorship (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562650)

Effectively, yes, but in this case the free market effects it.

If every ISP jumps on the G-rated bandwagon as a parent-friendly market maneuver, that's purely capitalism at its raw, uncut self. It would be just like everyone boycotting the NRA because of its liberal views.

The distinction that prevents this from being censorship is that compliance is purely voluntary.

It's like this:

If I sell earplugs so nobody has to listen to you, I'm not engaged in censorship.

If I start duct taping your mouth shut so you can't speak, THAT's censorship.

Re:!Censorship (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562672)

Four letters - RTFA

Re:!Censorship (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562708)

And how does a certification process causes this to happen any more than without it? Anyplace where there is only a single option there is possibility that the one option abuses that power. Interestingly enough if the single ISP did become "child friendly" then it would open the possibility for a second ISP to start up. Mind you that is only if having an adult friendly ISP is profitable (I would assume so).

Re:!Censorship (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562578)

it is alittle diffrent then the do not call list..

when someone calls your house it is something that is unexpected to you . they are the same as someone randomly walking up to you and start talking about something.

when you are on they net and going to websites - even clicking on links you are asking for something - you are the person walking up to another and start the conversation.

the diffrence is with web sites - as being a public website it is understood the site wants to be talked to so it is ok for you to go and talk do it. but with telemarketers they are blind calling not knowing if the person wants to be talked to or not.

when you opt in to the do not call list you are saying "i don't want to be talked to" on a web server you put a password auth on the content and the web server is saying "i don't want to be talked to"

by filtering what sites people can and can't go do they arn't saying "i don't want to be talked to" - instead you have a third party coming over as you are walking over to the webserver and saying "sorry but i say it doesn't matter what you or the webserver think but you can't talk to each other"

filtering web connections is censorship - the do not call list is a premtive conversation stating intent from one party to another.

!=

Re:!Censorship (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562634)

You're missing the point. It's not about when YOU click on the link. It's about when children click on the link.

Re:!Censorship (1)

kartan (906030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562718)

The last thing the government needs to be doing is making it easier for parents to be bad parents. Similarly, they should allow adult programming at all times of the day, but only on adult channels. This would make it painfully obvious to all but the most dense parents that neither TV nor the Internet are acceptable substitutes for active parenting.

My Money (1)

oceanjohn (705046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562762)

This is a waste of my money, (tax dollars I pay to the State of UT), is what this is. And in a republican state that thinks they want less government. Sadly very hypocritical.

tag war (3, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562290)

That is not "censorship". I strongly advise all trigger-taggy-happy types to go and check what censorship means.

Re:tag war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562486)

That is not "censorship".

It is once Child "Protection" Services start kidnapping children because they have an X-rated ISP in their house and therefore their parents are a danger to them.

Why give the government the power to blow tax money on officially labeling things if they're not going to use the labels?

Re:tag war (1)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562630)

That is not "censorship". I strongly advise all trigger-taggy-happy types to go and check what censorship means.
Censorship [wikipedia.org] is the suppression or deletion of material, which may be considered objectionable, harmful or sensitive, as determined by a censor.

Unintended effects (0, Flamebait)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562302)

If you ban porn, kids in Utah will just find a way to whack off to Veggie Tales.

Re:Unintended effects (2, Interesting)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562336)

There are many Bible-thumpers who would love the idea of jerking off to "Christian Moral Values" works. You think I'm making this up, of course. You haven't seen how screwed up some hardcore Christians can get.

Re:Unintended effects (1)

doubletrigger (1238082) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562504)

so true. JC Penney's catalogs and National Geographic worked just fine for me when i was 12 years old.

This works so well too... (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562306)

I mean, nobody can possibly use anonymizing services, proxy servers, filters, or encryption to circumvent such things. And even if they could, such systems are completely unheard of outside of a small club.

Oh, you want to know the clubs name? Why, it's name is EVERYBODY! We meet at the bar!

filter does not imply child friendly (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562352)

This is going to do nothing but cause a false sense of security, will not block the soft stuff that most kids are perfectly happy with anyway, and will block legitimate sites. I often use an ISP connection that is highly filtered to weed out content not appropriate for kids. I sometimes even go further on put on google full safe search. The stuff that is supposed to filtered is still there, and often shows up on otherwise innocuous searches. OTOH, I have been blocked from perfectly reasonable content, for reasons I cannot fantom. I have had similar results on filtered pubic access connections.

The reality is that not everything can be filtered. Combine that with the fact that nearly every kid over the age of 10 have access to proxy server, and the whole notion of a g-rated filtered pipe becomes quite humorous. The only way to remotely sell a legitimate rated service is to white list acceptable sites. It si time consuming, but effective. There are still tricks to get around it, but the bar is significantly raised.

So long as they ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562360)

... leave the hookers (but they can have the meth labs) around 1700 South State St. in SLC alone I guess I could live with it.

Excellent idea! (4, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562364)

We can give a bunch of ISP's g-ratings, then we can consolidate all of them and refer to it as the g-spot.

...and then wait to see how long it takes for them to notice.

Re:Excellent idea! (2, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562608)

then we can consolidate all of them and refer to it as the g-spot....and then wait to see how long it takes for them to notice.
If you call it the g-spot none of them would find it let alone notice it

Re:Excellent idea! (1)

NewsLeech (1217678) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562666)

no one ever notices the g-spot.

AOL? (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562386)

I never got onto the whole AOL thing when it first came out because it had a lot of proprietary crap that broke from established standards, so I don't have any direct experience with their original interface. But I seem to remember something about a child safe online environment being one of their schticks originally, was it not? If so, does that still hold true today?

Re:AOL? (1)

dafrazzman (1246706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562544)

It sure isn't true anymore. I see an article about a porn star on the front page almost weekly. This hypocrisy is the main reason I hate AOL.

Multiple issues at issue (2, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562396)

From the blurb, it is first said that the bill would designate ISPs who block a range of prohibited materials as child friendly. Then the quote specifically says about blocking pornography. So which is it? Is Utah going to be a nanny state and tell its citizens what is and is not prohibited or is it going after just pornography?

What is considered "a range of prohibited materials"? Pornography in all its forms or just porn between two men (but not two women*)? What about transvestite or shemale sex? Does that range include sites on abortion or anti-religious views, including shots at LDS? What about sites calling for the impeachment of George Bush? Who decides and on what basis is it determined that a site should be blocked?

I guess the good folks of Utah have no problem being considered the same as China, North Korea, Myanmar and a whole host of other countries who prohibit their citizens from seeing certain material because it is deemed offensive or against public morals.

*Why is it, when talking about gay porn, it is always about two men having sex but no one seems to have a problem with two women having sex? Why is the chant, "It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" rather than, "It's Adam and Eve not Shannon and Eve"?

Re:Multiple issues at issue (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562560)

It'd have absolutely nothing to do with the male-majority of law makers being homophobic, while still maintaining fantasies of a ménage à trois with their wife and mistress?

Re:Multiple issues at issue (2, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562612)

"*Why is it, when talking about gay porn, it is always about two men having sex but no one seems to have a problem with two women having sex? Why is the chant, "It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" rather than, "It's Adam and Eve not Shannon and Eve"?"

Simple arithmetic, my friend.

Naked Woman: +1
Naked Man: -1
Sex Act: +1

So...

Man+woman+sex=+1-1+1=+1

Man+man+sex=-1-1+1=-1

Woman+woman+sex=+1+1+1=3

As is plainly demonstrated, visual representations of lesbians having sex are 3 times as good as those representing heterosexual couples, whereas visual representations of gays having sex are the opposite of good, which is to say, bad.

For the student: Assign numerical values to various sex acts and intermediate/alternate genders/species and present all permutations for any 4 factors.

Re:Multiple issues at issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22562766)

Because lesbians are hot. Duh.

No requirement for ISPs (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562406)

From reading the bill it doesn't say anywhere that it is a requirement of ISPs to become a Community Conscious Internet Provider so what is the point? The ability to market to the Utah Mormon population or parents who want the facade of protection under the guise of censorship? It will fine those CCIPs that violate their censorship but nothing about those who aren't involved. I don't see this happening, but I'm sure wilder things have happened in Utah that I'm not aware of.

Yeah, right (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562426)

How are you going to ensure that everything on your net is "G" rated? Do these people have any idea how much labor would be involved in the constant policing?

Re:Yeah, right (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562678)

To the first question: you can't.

To the second question: no.

But it sure looks great on paper to the general public!

Quote from the article... (1)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562496)

Candice Daly, representing the American Electronics Association testified that companies she represents, including Google and Yahoo, were opposed to the legislation. "They're very concerned about this particular piece of legislation," Daly said. "They don't see themselves as signing up for this seal."

Already typical slashdotters are crying censorship. Basically, Yahoo and Google can't possibly earn this type of seal, so they are opposed to it. But let's face it... it is voluntary for an ISP to sign up for the program, they only get fined if they sign up and don't deliver, and no one is forcing anyone to get this seal of approval. Meanwhile, for those people who don't want porn to come down their internet pipe, this is a valuable seal of approval, as they don't have to install net nannies and the like to keep their children from porn. So where exactly is the censorship when the program is optional, and those consumers signing up will obviously have a choice - ISPs that have the seal and ISPs that don't...

Welfare for the Intollerant (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562590)

I guarantee you that this law will lead to more taxes being spent to shore up under-performing ISPs who claim this designation but cannot deliver. Why? Because it's fine to tax people to limit their freedoms because it is for the children. It's fine to throw money at corporations in the name of protection from scary things. Utah is already in the red when it comes to Federal taxes paid vs. Federal funding received...

Ralph Yarro / CP80 are at it again. (2, Informative)

2or3 (35632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562502)

The text of this bill comes almost verbatim from the "1st State Initiative [cp80.com] " documents posted at http://www.cp80.com/resources/listall [cp80.com] .
This is the latest in a series who's last gem was would have essentially shut down free-wifi in Utah.
Apparently it's easier to get a Utah legislator to rubber-stamp your bill than I'd expect.

double plus good! (3, Insightful)

mbaGeek (1219224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562508)

porn is never the issue "free speech" is the issue

and of course there is no "right" to not be offended ;-)

Not Censorship (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562512)

What's the big issue? Why is this tagged censorship?

Not sure why everyone gets up in arms because a state wants to offer services to certify certain processes so that the public can know what they are dealing with. No one is saying an ISP has to be kid friendly, just saying that if they are they you can be well informed of this in a unified fashion.

Believe it or not it's probably OK to keep your kids away from porn, violence, guns, hot stoves, etc. As an adult you are still free to view all the porn, watch all the violence, own most of the guns, and touch and hot stoves your would like, no one is suggesting stopping you.

Re:Not Censorship (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562586)

Why do we need the state to police our kids in our homes? I thought it was a parent's job to raise their children, and a pack of politicians (many of which possess sufficiently questionable morals).

Re:Not Censorship (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562804)

Until the state starts installing filtered internet access into your home it's still ultimately in the hands of the parents (or the market if it is determined adult content ISPs are not profitable). No one is saying that you have to have a filtered ISP, if they did then we would be talking censorship. In this case people are being given an option with an organization, which happens to be the government, offering a seal of approval that the content meets certain criteria.

Parents (2, Insightful)

ruinevil (852677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562534)

I thought Mormons were all about family values. If the parents teach the kids good values, and set the computer in the family room, and watch the kids on the computer, they shouldn't need filter, which is something that doesn't work anyways, as the Australians now realized 47 million aussie dollars later. If you don't teach kids how to filter garbage, they will be doomed believe it once they leave the walls of your home.

Re:Parents (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562810)

If you don't teach kids how to filter garbage, they will be doomed to believe it once they leave the walls of your home.

Which, of course, is exactly what keeps Mormonism alive.

Wait for the day when Microsoft update get blocked (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562584)

If some like this where to used and it end blocking windows / Microsoft update and then your systems got hacked who would be at fault?

I can see it now a daycare, school , camp, and other places has the isp block sites then a false positive or a dumb bot that just auto lists stuff with little to no over site makes windows update / Microsoft get blocked as well as it's ip and then a hacker get in from the out side uses a hole in windows to get info one the kids, staff and others.

And this may end up costing less then install software on 5+ systems.

Proposed branding (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562598)

Do you think we can get those politicians to advocate their state as "The G-Spot of Online Safety"?

Perhaps Santorum would make the pitch?

Filter this site (4, Informative)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562632)

I found a website they need to censor. It has gross pictures [utah.gov] , pictures of dead people [utah.gov] , and a giant phallus! [utah.gov] There are even naked breasts [utah.gov] . Would someone think of the children?!

'Site'? (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562636)

A site? An ISP is not a site. What a moron.

"Accidentally" landing at a porn site these days? (2, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562660)

I don't know about you, but it's been a LONG time since I got any porno pop-ups or redirections during regular web usage. Years, in fact. I think the thing is, people who WANT to find porn, WILL find porn. Those who aren't interested in searching for/looking at porn, really won't.

The only exception I can think of is spam, which is completely different than what they're trying to do here anyway.

Responsibility lies with YOU, not with those who wish to host a porn site, for legitimate reasons.

Why not? (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562670)

Let them do it. I don't see why Google and Yahoo care, they're not ISP's. Let the ISP's try to create some system that won't work, then they'll be sued out of existence when they are held liable. I don't see how this is bad for anyone except for the people who choose to pay for this service. People who live in Utah and have a brain will be completely unaffected.

Why legislate? Leave it to the market. (3, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562700)

Why the hell does this need legislation? If Utah's parents want to use ISPs that block certain kinds of material, then they can surely just choose to use ISPs that block those kinds of material, regardless of whether there's a law like this in place or not. We live in a capitalist society - if there's demand for that kind of blocking, then the market will provide it, without any need for the government to stick its nose in.

And of course the market will provide a better solution, because different ISPs can try different kinds of blocking, and give their customers more choice and more control, and see what there's actually a market for, instead of trying to force a single government-mandated standard on everyone.

This kind of issue is a situation where there is no need, and no place, for a one-size-fits-all government-coercion approach; this is about personal choice and personal morality, not the provision of essential services. On many issues (notably healthcare) I come down on the side of government involvement, but this is just ridiculous.

It's Still Okay For Me To Marry A 14-Year Old (0, Troll)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562730)

Against her will in Utah, right? Ok, then this is okay with me.

Not a big deal (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562738)

As long as the ISP lets consumers know "we filter out porn" I don't see this as a big issue. The big ISPs aren't going to touch this... so I don't think overall competition will suffer much. What you'll end up getting is a few smaller ISPs working together to make it happen and they'll probably get the contract with the schools.

Any ISP that does go for the "G-Rating" would probably lose more subscribers than they would gain. Unless the gov't also plans on subsidising it, I don't see it as a good business move.

And I don't see how people are claiming censorship when it's out in the open and a choice to go with it or not. It is what it is, filtered content... that you have to sign up for.

I for one welcome our pending G-rated overlords... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22562740)

Whazzup, -G?
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