Thursday, September 01, 2005

Kids- Don't Try This At Home

Several bookstores, local artists, the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, various Internet service providers and others filed the original lawsuit against the state in June, attempting to prevent anti-pornography enforcement by the new law.

The law, which Shurtleff calls "The Truth in Porn Law," requires Internet providers to "truthfully identify material that is harmful to minors," he said. "However, it doesn't restrict anyone's access to the Internet unless they request it."

House Bill 260 requires Internet providers to make a filtering system available by January 2006, which consumers can activate if they choose. By May 1, 2006, Utah-based Internet content providers will also be required to identify adult material according to regulations prepared by the state. On the same date, the law requires the Attorney General's Office to prepare a list of "adult content" Web sites that consumers can ask their Internet provider to block.

The law is intended to offer consumers viable protection in the form of an optional filtering system, not one that would be forced upon every user. The requirements would have no effect on Internet users who choose not to block any sites.

Shurtleff said HB 260 differs from federal law and other state laws, some of which have been found to be unconstitutional, in that the consumer, not the government, decides whether a site is blocked.

The law would apply the "harmful to minors" standard to the Internet, a standard that has been used for books, magazines, art and movies for nearly 30 years. It is also only directed at Internet service providers doing business in Utah and Utah-based Internet content providers that post material which may be harmful to minors.

Those involved in the lawsuit claim the law violates constitutional rights and could inaccurately put them on the registry with content that is constitutionally approved for adults.

In Tuesday's response, the state mentioned the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the "harmful to minors" standard and cites a report to Congress that "server-based" filters are the most effective way to keep children from gaining harmful material on the Internet.

"Why would the ACLU want to stop parents from protecting their children from Internet pornography," said Jerrold Jensen, assistant attorney general representing the state in the lawsuit. "We have 'adult only' sections in magazine stores. Why should the Internet be different?"

Indeed, this is hardly censorship. Thank goodness that the judge in this case is appears to be a sensible one who is considering dismissing the ACLU's case.

Hat Tip: Bob G

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Blogging For Katrina's Victims

Hugh Hewitt (spelling corrected :) proposed that bloggers dedicate today's post to helping the victims of hurricane Katrina. Considering the slow responce of several major companies to Katrina's victims (h/t: 44 South Street), I am more than willing to join in.

Upon recovering from the shock of hearing casualty estimates, I felt a terrible pang of regret for never having visited New Orleans when I had the chance. It was a place I had always wanted to experience- the music, the food & the beautiful architecture. It was a lesson on the ephemeral nature of beauty & the folly of procrastination.

While many have been behaved in a manner so brave & noble that they stand as a credit to all of humanity, some have displayed the worst of human characteristics. I cannot help but look back at the NYC blackout in 2003, where despite the chaos, there was very little looting & rampant crime. The possibility of terrorist involvement as well as the experience of 9/11 no doubt had a sobering effect on the city.

As for the Kosmanauts, the DUmp & company, I refuse to dignify their tripe by exerting the effort to refute them.

To help the victims of Katrina, I will be donating to the Salvation Army, a charity which I have seen do a lot of fine work & one which spends the monies entrusted to them efficiently as well as Soliders Angels who are helping military families affected by the disaster. They need not only money, but also diapers, personal care items, clothing as well as a variety of other necessities to help the refugees. The affected families will also need help re-establishing their lives.

I pray that no one will need to use this, but this is the link to the Missing Persons Board. In an unrelated note, if anyone has had any news of Sulfuric Attitude, please leave a comment or email me. We miss the H2So4, can't wait to have you get back in the blogosphere my friend.

My thoughts & prayers go out to all the victims of Katrina & their families. God Bless America.

Update: I don't want to point fingers, but this picture raised my blood pressure a tad.

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