Utah governor signs Net-porn bill

William Allen Simpson wsimpson at greendragon.com
Tue Mar 22 22:40:38 UTC 2005

Steven M. Bellovin wrote:

>The news.com article links to the bill:
Steven M. Bellovin wrote:

>That is, in fact, similar to a Pennsylvania law that was struck down by 
>a Federal court.  CDT's analysis of the Utah law is at
>		--Prof. Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
Thankfully, Steve's on the ball, and folks should read those.

Presumably, every ISP is a financial supporter of EFF and CDT.  If not,
now's the time!

But the bill goes a lot farther than reported.

(1) It takes current Utah prohibition on "pornography" and raises the
penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony.  Every ISP operator can look
forward to MONTHS and YEARS (instead of the previous 7 days) in jail.

(2) It adds "harmful to minors" -- and makes it a state attorney general
decision on whatever that might be.  This is a silly nebulous term
that has been used lately by the peeping tom religious right, because
every other legal term they've tried has already been struck down by
the courts.

Just like shrub's administration made up the new term "enemy combatants"
instead of the old term "prisoner of war".

AFAIK, no court has ever found ANYTHING to be harmful to minors.  Making
this an attorney general decision is an attempt at bypassing public
hearings.  Note the list itself will be "access restricted electronic
format" -- that is, secret.

(3) A new criminal penalty for a content provider's failure to properly
rate content.

Looks like every hosting provider will have to leave the state.  You'll
probably have to shut down all outside access to any universities,
schools, and libraries.  And every corporation will need to move it's
data and web presence out of state.

(4) Every ISP will have to make sure they have fewer than 7500
customers, because that's the level at which you can charge them for
the millions it's going to cost to defend your lawsuits.

Presumably, you can do this by creating separate subsidiaries.

Alert your CEOs now.

William Allen Simpson
    Key fingerprint =  17 40 5E 67 15 6F 31 26  DD 0D B9 9B 6A 15 2C 32

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