Utah to Force Content Blocking?

A bill has been sent to the governor of Utah that would require ISPs and content providers to block “objectionable” material, mainly targeted at pr0n. As Techdirt points out, Pennsylvania had a similar law in place for a few years that was thrown out for all the obvious reasons.

What the Utah state legislature, Cnet, and Techdirt all fail to notice is that we already have a system in place to deal with this. It’s called the Platform for Internet Content Selection, or PICS for short. While participation is voluntary, the standard is well-established and Internet pr0nographers seem to have accepted it as a fair and reasonable means of keeping their material out of the hands of minors. There are a fairly well-known handful of developers that publish software for Internet filtering based on PICS (and other) ratings. This software is widely available and fairly inexpensive. So why must we rely on government to censor the Internet?

The government isn’t responsible for raising your children. You, the parents, are. So stop shirking the responsibility and buy some filtering software. Let your state lawmakers deal with more important things, like declaring Ken Jennings the patron saint of Utah.

posted by Chris on 03 March 2005 at 2229 in computing


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