back to article Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

Lawmakers in South Carolina are mulling over banning the sale of computers, tablets and phones unless they have a device that automatically blocks pornography from popping up on-screen. The Human Trafficking Prevention Act amendment, introduced by State Representative Bill Chumley (R‑Spartanburg), calls for manufacturers and …

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  1. ma1010 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    More Magic Technology

    Brought to you by our brilliant politicians. Put it on the shelf next to the advanced crypto that's unbreakable by any foreign nation state -- but easily read by the cops here.

    And while you're at it, how about reviving that law making pi = 3.0? That would sure be a help for kids in school - make those math problems easier, you know.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: More Magic Technology

      You forgot to mention "guns that only fire at bad people".

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: More Magic Technology

        So everyone just watches porn on their phone instead of their PC, wait - isn't that what they are doing now?

        1. Mark Cathcart

          Re: More Magic Technology

          Shame you only read the headline, not the actual article...

      2. John H Woods Silver badge

        Re: More Magic Technology

        Meanwhile the UK's own DaFT is proposing "new technology" that blocks mobile phones in cars.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: More Magic Technology

          "Meanwhile the UK's own DaFT is proposing "new technology" that blocks mobile phones in cars."

          So what if there's a crash and someone has to call the emergency number?

          1. This Side Up

            Re: More Magic Technology

            <<"Meanwhile the UK's own DaFT is proposing "new technology" that blocks mobile phones in cars."

            So what if there's a crash and someone has to call the emergency number?>>

            It's legal to call the emergency numbers so any device would have to permit it.

            Anyway they can't even block mobile phones in prisons which ought to be possible using microcells or by erecting a faraday cage around the whole caboodle. Actually it might be more productive to snoop in prisoners' calls which of course they can't be making because mobile phones aren't allowed.

          2. This Side Up

            Re: More Magic Technology

            <<"Meanwhile the UK's own DaFT is proposing "new technology" that blocks mobile phones in cars."

            So what if there's a crash and someone has to call the emergency number?>>

            It's legal to call the emergency numbers so any device would have to permit it.

            Anyway they can't even block mobile phones in prisons which ought to be possible using microcells or by erecting a faraday cage around the whole caboodle. Actually it might be more productive to snoop on prisoners' calls which of course they can't be making because mobile phones aren't allowed.

    2. Kane Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: More Magic Technology

      "And while you're at it, how about reviving that law making pi = 3.0?"

      Ahem, I bring to you the Bergholt Stuttley Johnson "New Pie" Mail Sorting Engine.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: More Magic Technology

        Have an upvote for the sir Pterry reference.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Magic Technology

      I live in SC, and I'll say this, this is the first time that anyone, myself included, is hearing of this. There has never been any discussion of this prior and Local news has not even reported on this yet, so, is this real? I'm thinking someone has played a joke and everyone has fell for it.

      1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Anonymous

        Oh it's real. From your legislature's .gov website:

        "A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 15, TITLE 16 SO AS TO ENACT THE "HUMAN TRAFFICKING PREVENTION ACT", TO REQUIRE A BUSINESS, MANUFACTURER, WHOLESALER, OR INDIVIDUAL THAT MANUFACTURES, DISTRIBUTES, OR SELLS A PRODUCT THAT MAKES CONTENT ACCESSIBLE ON THE INTERNET TO INSTALL AND OPERATE A DIGITAL BLOCKING CAPABILITY THAT RENDERS OBSCENITY INACCESSIBLE AND TO SET MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BLOCKING CAPABILITY"

        C.

        1. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: Anonymous

          A DIGITAL BLOCKING CAPABILITY THAT RENDERS OBSCENITY INACCESSIBLE

          The true extent of blocking access to "obscenity" has hardly been touched on...

          Though perhaps obscenity-sensitive sunglasses would be useful, but they may prove dangerous in Walmart....

          1. billse10

            Re: Anonymous

            "The true extent of blocking access to "obscenity" has hardly been touched on..."

            True, after all, there's this:

            http://www.scstatehouse.gov/billsearch.php?billnumbers=3003&session=122&summary=B

            And of course, this:

            https://www.snooperscharter.co.uk/

            Both are certainly obscene.("repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles", or "so excessive as to be offensive" - Merriam Webster)

            1. Sherrie Ludwig

              Re: Anonymous

              obscene.("repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles", or "so excessive as to be offensive" - Merriam Webster)

              Wow, that means I get NO political news out of Washington DC? Sign me up! If I never have to see the Orange Cheat-o's face or his porn queen third wife again, it might be worth it.

              1. bombastic bob Silver badge
                Devil

                Re: Anonymous

                obscene.("repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles", or "so excessive as to be offensive" - Merriam Webster)

                in the realm of legalese and ninny-nanny anti-pr0n laws, they usually include the words "prurient content" to distinguish smut from art. And like watching paint dry for several hours to rate a rather funny effort at thumbing nose and 'dropping trou' at the sensors, these people have to actually *WATCH* the content in order to BAN it.

                Just sayin'

            2. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Anonymous

              ""so excessive as to be offensive"

              Isn't pretty much all US culture an obscenity by that definition?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anonymous

            I wonder if climate science counts as obscenity.

            I wonder who decides what is obscene? Is this compatible with freedom of speech? Why not simply make it copy all your traffic to the NSA (oh, it probably will),

            I really can't see any reasonable way of blocking generic themes of content (a worry for when my kids grow up) although a DNS block could be far easier to implement elsewhere.

            Even educational content can be considered obscene though. Our medical doctors and nurses still have to know what is, and is not supposed to be in certain places. Not sure you want them to find out for the first time when you are really in trouble.

            Maybe students/schoolchildren will be exempt ?

            Its all very sad really...

            1. Johnr

              Re: Anonymous

              To all concerned:

              As a resident of the United states I apologize.

              It should be readily apparent to any observer that the dismantling and dumbing down of the school system here in the US has exceeded beyond their wildest dreams.

              We now have a majority of the population devoid of any critical thinking skills whatsoever

              We are now a nation of morons as can be witnessed by the recent election.

              It would appear however that South Carolina has garnered more than their fair share of the aforementioned morons.

              1. Tom Paine Silver badge

                Re: Anonymous

                Can't speak for anyone but myself, but as a Brit with plenty of (sane) Murcan friends -- I feel your pain :(

                As a side note, ISTR one of them pointed out to me that one particular state (Texas? Oklahoma? Kansas?) had *specifically* named "critical thinking skills" as an outlawed, verboten topic in schools. Mindblowingly perverse and self-destructive. I sometimes wonder whether there's a secret underground of the nuttier sort of evangelist, the ones who get all excited about the second coming and the rapture and the mahdi* and all that malarkey, and they're secretly working from within the state to bring about apocalypse and trumpets and the dead rising from the graves and so on and so forth. Or... wait. Scratch "secretly". It's hidden in plain sight isn't it...

                1. Wzrd1

                  Re: Anonymous

                  "As a side note, ISTR one of them pointed out to me that one particular state (Texas? Oklahoma? Kansas?) had *specifically* named "critical thinking skills" as an outlawed, verboten topic in schools."

                  It was Texas.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Anonymous

                  That would be Trump's pick for Department od Education, DeVos. She and her husband are for dismantling public schools for taxpayer funded religious schools. They do promote for-profit schools, but only as an means to enabling the creationist ends.

              2. Scott 53

                Re: Anonymous

                Johnr

                It's "succeeded", which I think proves your point.

            2. Dave 15 Silver badge

              Re: Anonymous

              Fat people.. I find fat people, especially those on the beach in swimming costumes obscene...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Anonymous

                "Fat people.. I find fat people, especially those on the beach in swimming costumes obscene..."

                So when I thought was vacation I was actually doing pornos?

                I'm feeling a little smug....

            3. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: Anonymous

              "I wonder who decides what is obscene?"

              It's the usual bunch. The 'ninny-nanny' moral guardians. It's "for the children" !!!

              They'd have a cow over a good portion of the anime I like to watch. I'm sure they'd ban it and arrest me if they could, and none of it is really "porn". After all, to THESE people, men have a DISEASE because they like looking at the naked bodies of YOUNGER women [even in animation or photographs or art], and both the religious ninny-nannies _AND_ the feminista ninny-nannies are "in bed together" (ha ha ha) on THIS one. It's all about "the control", but they SAY it's for "the children", right?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anonymous

            I wonder if said device would also block Trump..... Or anything pertaining to him. I'm still in shock he is going to be the future president of the USA. God help the world.

        2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Anonymous

          The preamble seems very confusing, as it suggests that it is the device serving the content that contains the blocking rather than the viewing device.

          TO REQUIRE A BUSINESS, MANUFACTURER, WHOLESALER, OR INDIVIDUAL THAT MANUFACTURES, DISTRIBUTES, OR SELLS A PRODUCT THAT MAKES CONTENT ACCESSIBLE ON THE INTERNET TO INSTALL AND OPERATE A DIGITAL BLOCKING CAPABILITY THAT RENDERS OBSCENITY INACCESSIBLE AND TO SET MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BLOCKING CAPABILITY;

          If turning the block off doesn't happen fast enough then the bill offers the consumer an alternative, as it will

          AUTHORIZE A CONSUMER TO SEEK JUDICIAL RELIEF IF THE FILTERED CONTENT IS NOT UNBLOCKED WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME;

          Is that where they disappear into the lavatory for twenty minutes with a copy of the Handbook on Constitutional Law?

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Anonymous

          "Oh it's real"

          I had no doubt as to the validity of the article's claim. Never underestimate the ability of "feely" politicians to manipulate their constituents into voting for your re-election, and maybe create a gummint revenue stream at the same time, by the use of stupid legislation that has no practical way of actually doing any good...

          and worse, it's a "rider" on something that may actually do some good [in name, that is, not the actual final legislation].

          "for the children" indeed...

        4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: Anonymous

          THAT RENDERS OBSCENITY INACCESSIBLE

          So, no Trump news, then.

        5. x 7 Silver badge

          Re: Anonymous

          " A DIGITAL BLOCKING CAPABILITY THAT RENDERS OBSCENITY INACCESSIBLE"

          Well thats one way to block Donald Trumps press releases and twatter posts

        6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Anonymous

          DO THEY HAVE TO SHOUT????

          Or is literacy a problem in SC?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Anonymous

            DO THEY HAVE TO SHOUT????

            Masturbation makes you deaf.

            I SAID: MASTURBATION MAKES YOU DEAF!

      2. bish

        Re: More Magic Technology

        "this is the first time that anyone, myself included"

        If you didn't know about it, how were you able to determine whether anyone else did?

        'Hey, Buddy! Do you know about that thing I haven't heard about and which might not even exist? What do you mean 'which one'? Well, ok, I'll just mark you down as a 'No'.'

        1. Yesnomaybe

          Re: More Magic Technology

          Completely impractical and very poorly thought out. It is virtually guaranteed to pass.

      3. Wzrd1

        Re: More Magic Technology

        No, it's actually real.

        One of those wonderful suggestions that die in committee when it's learned that large corporations will move to a saner state if the bill gets passed into law.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: More Magic Technology

          "One of those wonderful suggestions that die in committee when it's learned that large corporations will move to a saner state if the bill gets passed into law."

          Oh? North Carolina HB2 (concerning gender and bathrooms) passed AND was signed into law...IN SPITE of threats (which were in turn carried out) of varied businesses up and leaving the state.

          So don't hold out your hopes of bills like this dying in committee. Some people would rather live the life of a destitute bumpkin than defy the supposed words of their deity.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: More Magic Technology

            This in today's news.... NC is working to repeal that law.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: More Magic Technology

              "This in today's news.... NC is working to repeal that law."

              This in last night's news. Session adjourned with nothing happening. Finger-pointing all around. Like I said, for many what they consider right is more important than anything, even if it's different from everyone else's.

    4. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: More Magic Technology

      How would such a device differentiate between naked flesh in say an orgy, and the acres of bare flesh in an average American's holiday photos?

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: More Magic Technology

        "How would such a device differentiate between naked flesh in say an orgy, and the acres of bare flesh in an average American's holiday photos?"

        Why would you want it to?

        1. My-Handle

          Re: More Magic Technology

          So that I could watch porn but block Facebook?

    5. fidodogbreath Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: More Magic Technology

      Both the UK and Australia have proposed similar nonsense in recent memory.

      Oz wanted to build a pr0n add-on for their Chinese-style Great Firewall, and Britain wanted the nasties filtered at the ISP level.

      "The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power." -- George Orwell, 1984

    6. ricardian

      Re: More Magic Technology

      I wonder if there's a relative of Professor Dionysius Lardner in the legislature?

      http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/dionysiuslardner/

      "He was sometimes ridiculed for his colorful predictions many of them risibly wrong: he warned that high speed rail travel with steam locomotives was impossible because passengers would asphyxiate in tunnels, and that crossing the Atlantic by steamship was impossible because of water resistance. "

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Out of State

    Bad for businesses selling PCs in the State, good for anyone over the border.

    Is there actually a politician alive who has the faintest idea what they are asking for when they pull these marvellous ideas out of their arses?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Out of State

      Well, they voted for Trump so what do you expect.

      Perhaps their next law will be to build a wall around the state. That will keep the pron out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Out of State

        Well, they voted for Trump so what do you expect.

        I think that the global political establishment of all colours and persuasions have missed the memo on Trump, Brexit, the Italian referendum, and indeed quite a few other things as well. The memo reads something like "Stop fucking us over, and passing shite laws like an incontinent anus, stop dipping your filthy grasping paws in the till, and just do the basic job to a minimum standard of competence".

        I can appreciate that turkeys don't vote for Christmas, so the politicians are all sticking their fingers in their ears. At a more proletarian level though, Guardian readers in particular don't seem to understand the message, despite the utter collapse of their preferred party. As a right winger myself, I don't rejoice in that, as I'm no happier with Mrs May's "progressive" attitude on social engineering, and her total failure to address the unaffordable follies of prior energy polices, or government's ridiculous and unproductive foreign aid obsession. Clearly the Tories haven't got the memo either.

        1. Bucky 2

          Re: Out of State

          The memo reads something like "Stop fucking us over, and passing shite laws like an incontinent anus, stop dipping your filthy grasping paws in the till, and just do the basic job to a minimum standard of competence

          Pundits have been saying this since the election. The problem is that it doesn't make a lick of sense.

          If this were the memo, voting for Trump would be the LAST thing anyone would do. He pretty much embodies the very behavior this analysis says the Trump voter is trying to reject. No. That's what everyone ELSE wants. It doesn't define the Trump voter at all.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Out of State

            If this were the memo, voting for Trump would be the LAST thing anyone would do. He pretty much embodies the very behavior this analysis says the Trump voter is trying to reject. No. That's what everyone ELSE wants. It doesn't define the Trump voter at all.

            Whilst, yes, Trump would be the last person to vote for in this case, you are wrong about the Trumo voters - most of who voted for Trump for these very reasons, but were too stupid to realise he was feeding the bullshit.

            The main difference between Trump voters and others is not their position regarding the political system - it's their intelligence.

            1. Smirnov

              Re: Out of State

              "Whilst, yes, Trump would be the last person to vote for in this case, you are wrong about the Trumo voters - most of who voted for Trump for these very reasons, but were too stupid to realise he was feeding the bullshit."

              Not much different to Brexit where people fed up by austerity, bed room tax and other government shenanigans decided to protest by ejecting their country from the single largest market on earth - after having voted the same lot that caused all the misery in the first place voted back in again just a year ago.

              Churchill was absolutely right when he said that the best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with your average voter. Stupid is as stupid does.

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