March 22, 2005

State Of Utah to Provide List Of Free Hardcore Pornography Sites (HB 260)

Utah's HB 260 censorware bill has become law. While other commenters will deal with its almost-certain unConstitutionality, and I've previously noted HB 260 coerces censorware marketing, an under-explored section of the law has the amusing consequence of turning the state of Utah into a purveyor of an interesting porn site list:

67-5-19. Adult content registry.

(2) The attorney general, in consultation with other entities as the attorney general considers appropriate, shall:
(a) create a database, called the adult content registry, consisting of a list of content providers' sites, that shall be based on a Uniform Resource Locator address, domain name, and Internet Protocol address or a similar addressing system, that:
(i) are added to the database under Subsection (2)(b); and
(ii) provide material harmful to minors that is not access restricted;
(b) add a content provider site to the adult content registry only if the attorney general determines that the content provider is providing content that contains material harmful to minors that is not access restricted;

Note "harmful to minors" is a legal standard, which is doubly vague, but basically means obscenity-lite. According to HB 260, the Utah government porn list will consist of such site which have been presumably really human-reviewed (since this is a government determination), and are also not access restricted, i.e. free. And they'll make the list available:

(3) The attorney general shall make the adult content registry available for public dissemination in a readily accessible access restricted electronic format.

Remember, "access restricted" there doesn't mean encrypted, but age-checked:

76-10-1230. Definitions. As used in Sections 76-10-1231 , 76-10-1232 , and 76-10-1233 :

(1) "Access restricted" means that a content provider limits access to material harmful to minors by:
(a) properly rating content;
(b) providing an age verification mechanism designed to prevent a minor's access to material harmful to minors, including requiring use of a credit card, adult access code, or digital certificate verifying age; or
(c) any other reasonable measures feasible under available technology.

But I believe it's not copyrighted information. And I'm sure many people will be happy to mirror the State Of Utah's official list of hard-porn sites which don't restrict access. As well as, err, fact-check it.

I expect the law will be swiftly challenged and overturned. But it would be fascinating in the meantime to see what happens with the above provision. Your tax dollars at ... work?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware | on March 22, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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How will yahoo react to having yahoo groups on the list?

Posted by: Ian at March 23, 2005 04:23 PM

Given that such a list will be a bonanza to both anti-porn and pro-porn groups, I propose that it be named the "Utah Strange Bedfellows List"--which has the added cuteness of double entendre.

Posted by: Dawn Owens-Nicholson at March 23, 2005 06:22 PM

This is a great illustration of the definition of "clueless".

When I was in high school, I worked as a page in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. There were few legislators that I thought had a clue. After a aged a bit, I thought that maybe it was just my juvenile view of those old people. Now that I have aged enough that I am one of those old people, I know that they *were* and their successors still *are* clueless.

Shouldn't they think through the consequences of the laws they propose? Do they ask anyone to review these things?


Posted by: Fred Brehm at March 23, 2005 10:39 PM