back to article Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

Over to North Dakota, US, now and a new front in the war against cyber-smut has opened up. A proposed law will force porno-blocking filters onto computers and smartphones sold in the conservative state – with a charge to remove the censorship. Bill 1185 [PDF] will require laptops, cellphones and other internet-capable devices …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Taleban

    Conservative state? More like Taleban State.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: Taleban

      I love it how all these far-right nut jobs are claiming that the other parties are trying to enact Sharia Law in the US, when they are trying to implement it themselves (Except with a slightly different bearded middle-eastern guy as their mascot)

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Taleban

      Talibaptists actually.

      However, still not enough upvotes for you!

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Japan now inaccessible from North Dakota!

    Oh fuck.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Japan now inaccessible from North Dakota!

      Oh fuck.

      503 Service unavailable, cross the state line and retry your request.

      Though the more appropriate will be for the state legislature web site to return 418. It is one case where this error code is spot on way too many levels.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Japan now inaccessible from North Dakota!

        error code 418? What about 422 "unprocessable entity", or perhaps error 426 should be applied to members of the legislature that fail to laugh in the face of the people drafting this POS ...

        slightly more seriously - does any use 451 "Unavailable for Legal Reasons" - that would seem to be the actual code that should be used?

      2. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Japan now inaccessible from North Dakota! (Error 418)

        That is the error for "I'm a teapot" - Maybe they could file an RFC for "481: I'm a crackpot"

      3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Japan now inaccessible from North Dakota!

        Could be worse, the porn site could respond back with "411 - Length Required"

    2. Daniel von Asmuth Bronze badge
      WTF?

      The Register now inaccessible from North Dakota!

      ....after 'Destroy All Monsters' posted dirty word.

  3. fishman

    Move along, there's nothing to see.....

    Crackpot bills (submitted by crackpot legislators) are submitted all of the time.

    It doesn't mean that it has a chance of passing.

    1. DryBones

      Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

      Well get him his pills, then!

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

        "Well get him his pills, then!"

        Dried frog pills, I trust

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

      Probably has a very good chance of passing...

      Why are these people allowed out on their own? I assume they're allowed to own automatic weapons and drive fast cars, but does someone make sure they aren't allowed near sharp objects or matches?

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

        "Why are these people allowed out on their own?"

        Because all the nursing homes are over-crowded? It seems that the only difference between Congress and a nursing home is that Congress gets more funding. Last time I was there, the place was a sea of crazy old white guys that look like they'd die if you breathed near them.

      2. s2bu

        Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

        Semi-automatic, really. Fully automatic is very very pricey since you can only buy them if they were made before 1986. And yes, there's a big difference between the two.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

      If there's a crackpot at the top, it has a very good chance of passing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

        Too bad for you he just had his last speech!

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

      Don't hold your breath on that.... It may very well pass given the way things have been going lately. I'm not sure if things are actually getting worse or if the idiots are getting more press coverage since the election. There's a another state pulling a similar stunt.

      Some things are just un-frikkin-believable... and this is one of them.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Move along, there's nothing to see.....

      It doesn't mean that it has a chance of passing.

      You've not been keeping up with the times, have you?

  4. Lusty Silver badge

    "go to funding human trafficking victims,"

    While I'd ba happy to pay for rehabilitation etc. for victims I think it's a little hipocritical to use the money from a porn filter to fund more victims!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: "go to funding human trafficking victims,"

      Rhino exactley what you mean.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck with that one.

      "Brilliant law guys, just fekkin brilliant. When even the blind guy can see the flaws in something, what does that say about the twits whom produced it?"

      Or even the twits who voted them in.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Good luck with that one.

      "I can already see the residents driving over state lines to purchase their devices elsewhere that doesn't have such a boneheaded bullshit policy."

      hopefully, THAT reality will just kill it to death, deader than hell [as it ought to be]

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the plus side it will kill the internet of things/shit.

  7. David Roberts Silver badge
    WTF?

    Linux and DD-WRT

    Who is the manufacturer who is required to provide the filter?

    1. Phil Kingston Silver badge

      Re: Linux and DD-WRT

      I'd guess the writers of the bill would say that it would be the vendor/supplier of the device to the end-user rather than the manufacturer that'll be responsible.

      I'd like to say that it's moot as there's no chance of such a ridiculous bill passing any kind of legislative body not comprised of complete numpties. Then I remembered who they're about to inaugurate as their President.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Linux and DD-WRT

      "Who is the manufacturer who is required to provide the filter?"

      I bet they'll just outlaw anything other than "Windows for Wussies" (encumbered Win-10-nic) and expect everyone to just comply.

      And, maybe they'll require ISPs to "filter" any downloads of ISO or IMG files for non-Windows operating systems as "potential pr0n" or something

      I suppose you could have a few people illegally distributing non-compliant ISO and IMG files. Add more fun, pre-load them with *PR0N* in the form of wallpapers and screen savers. And a whole lot of anime screenshots, too (particularly furo scenes). Yum!

      Their 'final solution':

      "Wait... what's that 451 message doing on freebsd.org? I can't access the site any more!"

      a sad day indeed, when you must manually configure Tor to go to the darknet to get an update for Firefox (or a non-windows OS) that does NOT include the pr0n filter...

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @Bob

        Why furo? Bath scenes aren't generally particularly risque.

    3. Boo Radley

      Re: Linux and DD-WRT

      And who is in charge of deciding what sites need to be blocked, and on what basis?

      Sounds almost like NK to me.

  8. DougS Silver badge

    North Dakota is a very low population state

    If I was say Apple or Dell, I'd just refuse to sell my products to residents of that state. Not financially worth the cost of making special provisions for such a small number of customers. Let's see how the state legislators react when angry constituents call them when they can't buy a new iPhone or Dell XPS 13.

    Nevermind how third parties like Amazon are supposed to handle this. They aren't allowed to add software to the phones and computers they resell, so they may have no option but to refuse permission to sell stuff too. All it will do is create hassle for citizens of the state as they will have to go to neighboring states to buy phones and computers.

    I hope they pass this law, the fallout will be a great object lesson to anyone else who gets such a stupid idea. A state the size of California or New York can get away with stuff like this, but not the little or even medium sized ones.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: North Dakota is a very low population state

      Forget the next state. I-29 is in North Dakota which goes through to Canada.

    2. Old Used Programmer

      Re: North Dakota is a very low population state

      The state legislatures, their families and the state itself wouldn't be able to buy new gear. That's where such policies would really bite.

    3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: North Dakota is a very low population state

      There is the question of what exactly is an end device? Where is the line on the spectrum of 'complete system, ready to use' and 'a pile of parts that needs to be assembled'?

      If I were to sell a computer sans hard disk to someone in North Dakota, would I have to provide them with blocking software? What if I sell them a hard drive and ship it in a separate parcel? What about a complete system, but doesn't have the OS installed?

      I am also curious as to what constitutes a new machine, if I re-use my old hard disk in a new system, does it need the blocking software?

  9. Sampler

    How would this even work?

    I mean, software on a pc, once reformatted? Same thing for a phone - ok technical, but easy circumventable (and not even getting into proxies/vpns) but then, game consoles with browsers and their ilk?

    It doesn't seem feasible from a device point of view. ISP level I could understand a list being maintained (and, again, easily overcome, or should that be, over cum)

    1. Richard Barnes

      Re: How would this even work?

      And if you order your device online, is it Amazon's / (insert online vendor of choice) responsibility to add a filter to every device posted to a North Dakota address?

      How do elected representatives get to be this stupid and still have a job?

      1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        Re: How would this even work?

        What if you have a permit to view lurid images? Do you have to submit the paperwork to Amazon so they don't install the block?

        For that matter, how would disabling work anyway? Do you get a special code that disables it or is it based on IP address or something? What would prevent someone from sharing the method of disabling the block?

        1. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: How would this even work?

          The kinds of people who dream up things like this think of computers as little magic boxes that can do most anything if you just ask the tiny wizard living inside nicely enough. Like how a blurred, low-resolution image from a security cam can eventually be transformed into a clear picture of a suspect if the boss simply says the magic word "enhance" enough times over the technician's shoulder.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: How would this even work?

            Like how a blurred, low-resolution image from a security cam can eventually be transformed into a clear picture of a suspect if the boss simply says the magic word "enhance" enough times over the technician's shoulder.

            Well it works of crime drama TV, doesn't it?

  10. Natalie Gritpants

    "face-to-face encounter, either in person or through other means"

    I really don't fancy a face-to-face encounter without my person being there at the same time.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obscene material - not defined.

    The swearing in photos of most of the rather porky and quite ugly senators... if i can get a filter to hide the "show business for ugly people" that is politics, then i am all for it...

    wait... they're trying to block tities? Yes, folks your bodies are evil and that infallible god we seem to be bewitched by, made them that way.... whatta guy!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Obscene material - not defined.

      According to North Dakota Century Code

      As used in this chapter, the terms "obscene material" and "obscene performance" mean material or a performance which:

      a. Taken as a whole, the average person, applying contemporary North Dakota standards, would find predominantly appeals to a prurient interest;

      b. Depicts or describes in a patently offensive manner sexual conduct, whether normal or perverted; and

      c. Taken as a whole, the reasonable person would find lacking in serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

      Whether material or a performance is obscene must be judged with reference to ordinary adults, unless it appears from the character of the material or the circumstances of its dissemination that the material or performance is designed for minors or other specially susceptible audience, in which case the material or performance must be judged with reference to that type of audience.

      I suppose point c covers just about anything, and as Tom Lehrer sang

      "I could tell you things about Peter Pan, and the Wizard of Oz, there's a dirty old man!"

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Obscene material - not defined.

      Well, that's the BBC banned there, considering they just posted a photo of a monkey humping a deer in Japan on their main news site. Did they get any age confirmation from the participants?

      Actually, considering the new draconian anti-porn laws here in the UK, I'm not so sure it's doesn't fall foul of them too, Interspecies bestiality on the BBC?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How long before the UK government proposes the same?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      I thought that has already been tried? Wasn't there an article here about it?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now THAT is worth hacking

    One of the most fun things to do to that system would not breaking it, but adding all local government related sites. I'd give it two days, tops.

    Note to idiotic law enforcement: this is a humour/sarcasm, not an incitement to crime. The crime is seeking to impose censorship by starting with X rated materials - most people recognise the thin edge of a wedge..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

      also add the IRS, and tell them that State law means you can't file your taxes electronically? :)

    2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

      The law aims to ban pornographic material, yes?

      All you do is get a sufficiently large number of people to claim that the local government websites are actually pornographic (in an extremely deviant manner) and really ought to be blocked so that young minds are not corrupted by the filth therein.

      Then block these sites as per the law.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

        All you do is get a sufficiently large number of people to claim that the local government websites are actually pornographic (in an extremely deviant manner) and really ought to be blocked so that young minds are not corrupted by the filth therein.

        Cool, crowd blocking. I like it :).

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

        If folk get caught and reported sexually pleasuring bicycles then there *should* be some who sexually pleasure themselves looking at pictures of politicians. Therefore all imagery, names (ooh, err "Jane" or "Ethan") and anything else even vaguely related to humans or anything remotely erotic (e.g. bicycles) must be immediately prohibited from all local government websites, media and premises.

        Naturally anybody who doesn't think this should be done is demonstrably a god hating, America hating, kiddie fiddling terrorist. Do not think of the children.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

          "If folk get caught and reported sexually pleasuring bicycles then there *should* be some who sexually pleasure themselves looking at pictures of politicians."

          That's fairly certain to be true. After many years of browsing the interwebs, I'm sure most of us have come across (LOL) many sights involving sexual pecadillos that made us go "WTF? Realy?", eg people turned on by shoes, bare feet, girls washing their hair etc, just three examples of things seen every day on TV adverts.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

            Shoes, bare feet, washing hair-- sounds positively vanilla compared to some.

            The weirdest one I saw was people who get aroused by imagining themselves taped to the bottom of a giant woman's shoe and being crushed to death. They take pictures of women (often celebs, but not always) that happen to show the bottom of her shoe(s), superimpose them on city skylines or other backdrops that make the women look like giants, and photoshop themselves on the bottom of the shoe.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

          "[...] or anything remotely erotic (e.g. bicycles) must be immediately prohibited from all local government websites, media and premises."

          That rules out any pictures of UK MPs' apparent shoe fetishes then.

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

        "All you do is get a sufficiently large number of people to claim that the local government websites are actually pornographic (in an extremely deviant manner)"

        not much of a 'stretch' considering how gummint is *ALWAYS* trying to SCREW the citizenry, and in the case of politicians like Mr. Clinton, it's a bit more literal.

        I have a name for the intarweb filter: "bendover.sys" <-- requires Win-10-nic

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

          Uh.. Bob... you realize these are Repubs trying to push this, right?

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

            I got what Bob was trying to say.

            It's a dumbass, big-government buffoon pushing this. Hillary Clinton's another. Doesn't matter what party they're from-- they all suck.

          2. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

            Uh.. Bob... you realize these are Repubs trying to push this, right?

            Bob is THAT broken clock.

      4. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Re: the local government websites are actually pornographic

        Now that all political announcements are made via Twatter and Twatter is so called because there are more pictures of twats on it than even the most addicted of porn surfers can shake their sticks at, it should be easy to block all politicians.

  14. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How would such a filter even work?

    As a person working in image analysis and computer vision research, I have to wonder how we are to identify "obscene images" from artistic nudes (although an algorithm to detect urns could help, according sgt. Colon), or even medical images.

    Or do the legislators want to vet all the smut sites personally.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: How would such a filter even work?

      Or do the legislators want to vet all the smut sites personally.

      I expect some of the legislators have been building up lists for years. And regularly rechecking them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How would such a filter even work?

      And who defines obscene?

      I don't find pictures of the naked human body obscene...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How would such a filter even work?

        https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obscene

        See definitions "c" and "d" for descriptions of this proposed legislation

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: How would such a filter even work?

          The legislation also comes with a bunch of sinecure positions for former senators, tissues, lube and a secretary who doesn't suffer from tennis elbow are provided.

      2. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        "And who defines obscene?"

        I find most politicians, especially the people who put this forward to be obscene, will this block them? If so, sign me up!

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: How would such a filter even work?

      "Or do the legislators want to vet all the smut sites personally."

      most likely, even those with the greatest moral outrage. [closet pervs with public outrage]

      No doubt the standard would be based on "feelings" of a handful of moral crusaders.

      There is NOTHING WORSE from a gummint than having laws based ENTIRELY on someone's "feelings" via "subjective" standards, like a tin-horn dictator running everything, outlawing things like chewing gum merely because he doesn't like it, etc.. Such subjective standards are the best way to cause a 'chilling tension', people always looking over one shoulder to see if the 'secret police' are watching. And the need for 'secret police'. And 'brown-shirt' neighbors. Yeah.

  15. Christoph Silver badge
    Alien

    Do these filters have to be installed on internet connected cars? (As well as fridges)

    I wonder how many faults will be introduced by the extra software and possibly hardware needed.

    They will have a system to add new sites, but will there be any way at all to remove false positives?

    Though by US conservative standards teenager advisory sites, abortion help sites and breast cancer help sites will not be considered 'false' positives.

    How long before they announce they will block fake news sites like the BBC and Snopes, and only allow true news like Breitbart and Fox News?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I wonder how many faults will be introduced by the extra software and possibly hardware needed."

      Yes but these are intelligent men and women, they will have thought of all of that, and made sure they have set aside enough money to pay for any costs or damages? Pay it themselves, I mean, not misuse public funds, but pay personally for the effects of legislation they bring in ... otherwise they'd be a bunch of dangerous clowns, surely?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Stop

      "Though by US conservative standards"

      (etc.)

      no, this kind of thing wouldn't be 'conservative' at all. "Right-wing activist" yes. "Moral crusader" yes. 'Conservative' means, in one sense, NOT being 'radical' like that. FYI.

      please don't confuse right-wing activism with conservatism. k-thx.

      1. Suricou Raven

        In US politics, 'conservative' and 'Republican' have become inseparable. Whatever one does, instantly redefines the other.

    3. User McUser
      Coat

      Do these filters have to be installed on internet connected cars?

      Of course! Doubly-so if you are a gluteophile.

      After all, you wouldn't want anyone to die from auto-erotic ass-fixation...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Postal Service is therefore..

    ... also a pron distributor. All post must be opened and examined in detail...

  17. Andy 97

    I'm reminded of that scene in Blazing Saddles when The Governor (Mel Brookes) is read a letter from Rock Ridge about the new black sheriff.

    "We have to do something to protect our phoney-baloney jobs".

  18. Nicholas Nada

    ...and the laaaaaand

    ...of the fee

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: ...and the laaaaaand

      Home of the knave.

  19. phuzz Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    "a written warning about the dangers of deactivating the filters"

    Er, what dangers would these be? I suppose one could argue that the lower end smut sites might host malvertising etc. but in my experience the more reputable pron sites don't have advertising, and generally hold themselves to higher standards than a lot of mainstream sites.

    Unless they mean "moral dangers", in which case I'm going to need the dangers explaining to me at length...

    1. Michael Strorm

      "Er, what dangers would these be?"

      The "dangers" would be whatever ill-informed or intentionally misleading propaganda they wanted to put in there, regardless of their accuracy.

      That'd be assuming they got this bill to pass, though.

  20. Big_Boomer

    Ebay

    And how are they going to regulate purchases from Ebay. I recently bought an Android TV box from China and I can't see how NDAK or SCAR could prevent those purchases. As others have said, I hope it passes as would be interesting to see the consequences. Not really any different from the "Dry Counties" they have here and there in the USA. Their borders with other counties are rammed with Liquor stores and bars. Land of the free? Yeah, right.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Ebay

      Somehow I'd managed to forget all this throw-back stupidity around "dry counties" or even just "dry towns"... Yeeeach, because nothing was learned from prohibition and how it catapulted organised crime to prominence. I suppose the least bad is liquor stores and bars right on the border, but seriously?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ebay

        Well, for some communities, dry localities are put up for practical considerations: namely, too many drunken domestic abuse calls or too many bar fights. Many of the dry spots are in the lower Appalachians where drinking has a history. It's a case of "We just can't have nice things": making the locality a bad place to go, driving out residents (and their tax revenues) and discouraging people moving in. In these places where you basically have incorrigible drunks, the nuclear option is pretty much all you have left. At least if people are caught drinking in a dry town, the town has an excuse to take it up with the state or otherwise bump up the sentence (which they may not be able to do otherwise--state government may have intervened in the past).

  21. imanidiot Silver badge

    One has to wonder

    what kind of reality these people live in. And how much of it actually overlaps with the real world.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: One has to wonder

      Unfortunately I suspect that the sole intersection involves their theft of oxygen.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: One has to wonder

      No wonder. No reality.

      It really is that simple.

  22. Shaha Alam
    Coffee/keyboard

    this is about protecting the mental, emotional and psychological welfare of our children. you can't put a price on that!

    well, turns out you can, it's 20 bucks.

  23. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Puritan history hard at work in the 21st Century

    What I love most is that 'Mericans have absolutely no issue owning lethal firearms, watching TV shows and movies where someone gets blasted away by a 12-gauge but show a bit of skin and the Puritan sensibilities that set up their great nation many moons ago, come racing to the surface and they loose their freaking minds. Show the kiddies some mean guns and a TV show where bad guys get blown away, "That's what makes a America great kids!". Show kiddies a tiny bit of flesh and it's "Scumbag, evil porn merchants are screwing up the youth of today with their filth!".

  24. John Sturdy
    Holmes

    Prudishness, or business?

    Who could have lobbied for such a law? Prudes and numpties, or publishers of hard-copy porn?

    That would be a strange alliance.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Prudishness, or business?

      No stranger than the alliance of hard-core baptists (temperance movement) and the US citizens that owned Canadian Distilleries that lead to Prohibition.

      1. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Prudishness, or business?

        I am keeping a count of the the number of times I find where the name of the heavy metal element, symbol Pb, atomic number 82 is used instead of led as the past participle of the verb "to lead". Currently approaching 30 in not much over a year.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Prudishness, or business?

          Fair point. Thank you for pointing it out to me. I can only claim to have been duped by repeated exposure to the incorrect. I will do better next time.

          At least it wasn't a lose/loose situation.

  25. adam payne Silver badge

    A proposed law will force porno-blocking filters onto computers and smartphones sold in the conservative state – with a charge to remove the censorship."

    Drive out of the state, purchase a pornographic vending machine and drive back.

    Go on the internet purchase pornographic vending machine from a company not in the state, sit and wait for it to be delivered.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      North Dakota is not a populous state. For many, driving out of state could be an all-day affair and involve filling up the tank a couple times. That alone would be more than the $20 removal fee.

  26. Jess

    Device sold with no networking

    $20 to add networking.

    Easy for desktops. Reasonably easy for laptops. Tablets do-able. Phones - not really.

  27. Ptol

    integrated services?

    Surely it is a way to protect local shops against the onslaught of out of state web businesses.

    Want to buy a phone? Sure, just pop down with your proof of age, pay the $20 and ignore the spam that we have to place in your package. No sorry, due to state laws, these cannot be delivered.

  28. Lotaresco

    Land of the brave and free?

    The US seems to modelling itself on the former East Germany. Mind you the UK's gone that way also.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Land of the brave and free?

      It is hero worship:

      The USA will soon be following Putin's lead.

      The UK will soon be following Erdoğan's lead.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Land of the brave and free?

      The US has been moving that way since the 1980s.

      In fact, the US has set the gold standard as THE police state of all time, with the most people currently in jail than any other country in the world.

      East Germany ain't got shit on that.

  29. PapaD

    Hmm

    Yet another reason to format any new pc and reinstall without any bloatware - how are they going to stop people removing this themselves?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      "[...] how are they going to stop people removing this themselves?"

      By implementing former Home Secretary David Blunkett's proposal for random police searches of anyone's PC. "The innocent have nothing to fear from the result of a police investigation"

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        "The innocent have nothing to fear from the result of a police investigation"

        Sure. The problem is that no one's innocent. No one.

        There are so many laws and regulations on the books that we're all criminals... it's estimated that the average American commits a 1.5 federal felonies per day, and I doubt it's any better in the UK.

        The people who think they're not criminals and therefore have nothing to hide haven't been paying attention. You won't know what you should have hidden until they use it to accuse you of a crime, and by that time it's far too late to try to cover your tracks.

        The government is not your friend. Some of its enemies may sometimes be your enemies (ie actual street criminals out there harming people), but it can just as easily decide you're the criminal and destroy your life for its own fun and profit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          "The government is not your friend."

          If you're going to think that, you might as well assume you're on your own in all regards. There lies anarchy, though...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm

            @AC

            Unfortunately, you appear to have been influenced by the establishment media propaganda who only see anarchy in negative terms, eg chaos, lawlessness, confusion etc, in order to maintain the status quo.

            However, the definition of anarchy includes: "Absence of government and absolute freedom of the individual, regarded as a political ideal."

            Some people believe that a community is best organized by the voluntary cooperation of individuals, rather than by a government, which is regarded as being coercive by nature. Unfortunately, in virtually all cases, those who seek power to control other peoples lives are the least fit to excercise that power. In an ideal world, they would be banned from doing so.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hmm

            To think the government is your friend is to be naive in the extreme.

            FTR we are on our own. Every last one of us. Despite the illusions we fabricate to the contrary.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Implement it in hardware and attach it to a suicide circuit. Tamper with the pr0n chip and the whole motherboard goes, voiding the warranty in the process.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple Solution

    If the law passes, Tech companies just stop selling in that state. Close stores, close off outlets, block channel sales to the state, block IP address blocks from the state. Let them figure it out. It's like putting a child in timeout to figure out why they are there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Simple Solution

      Trouble is, some don't get it. And some people happen to LIKE being in isolation, as North Dakota isn't exactly bustling with people. Give time out to a Cloudcuckoolander and they'll just drift away in their own little world...or ignore everything and break through the wall. Then what's your next move?

  31. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Automated detection

    Have "they" managed to fix the filters that blocked images of a pig farm, because of course pink == nude?

    Asking because there are pig farms in ND. Would the farmer have to add $20 for each security camera?

  32. Gis Bun

    "...acknowledge the receipt of a written warning about the dangers of deactivating the filters..." Dangers? Like? Seeing someone showing a buttock or something? It's not like texting while driving.

  33. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Happy

    Upvote

    For comments including BOTH Tom Lehrer and Blazing Saddles references.

    // if there'd been a Red Green, I would have given 5 stars.

  34. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    won't pass constitutional exam

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;" and it doesn't say, "except for porn" or "except for what I don't like"... it says NO LAW. regardless of what numpties or former supremes say. It's sad that the new attorney general feels the need to suppress porn (instead of going after real crims).

    Flames on all of them...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: won't pass constitutional exam

      If Congress shall make no law, why can't you falsely shout FIRE in a crowded theater? Because that right is not absolute. If free speech intrudes on other rights, the courts can mediate. And previous rulings have established that some speech is NOT protected. Obscenities and inciting speech are among those ruled to NOT be protected. Pornography can be judged as obscene by the community (this is a state legislature, not Congress) and therefore not accorded protection.

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: won't pass constitutional exam

        That would be the proponents' view, yes. I don't share that view.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: won't pass constitutional exam

          Point is, it's neither universal nor guaranteed, and since this is state law, it would have to go before that state's court system first, THEN if they still disagree take it up before SCOTUS, and ONLY if they agree to look at it.

  35. JLV Silver badge

    hold on, guys, this is brilliant!

    $20 to unblock. But... you need to be registered as unblocked. So... up your ID goes on:

    www.nd.gov/porn_pervs/registry/public/<SSN*>-<username>

    What? Not happy? $50 more gets you on

    www.nd.gov/porn_pervs/registry/secret/

    Worried that your better half finds out? $100 gets you deleted from the registry**.

    Then again, you could save yourself the hassle and add your name (SSN not required here) yourself to

    www.nd.gov/permitted_for_research_purposes/senators/

    * What? The SSN is needed to disambiguate identical names.

    ** I heard the old team from Ashley Madison is consulting to set up all-in-one registration, security and user revenue maximization services. So, the North Dakota tax take could go way up, at very little cost.

  36. Youngone Silver badge

    Won't Happen

    North Dakota is not even close to being a big enough market for this sort of nonsense.

    Electronic manufacturers will just ignore them and not sell their goods locally. The small, locally owned retailers will go out of business, and North Dakotans will purchase their goods online, and also ignore the law.

    I checked, the population of the state is about 750,000, the same as a moderate sized city in the rest of the country.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Won't Happen

      News from North Dakota August 2 2017...

      Latest reports from electronics vendors are that all sales stopped instantly yesterday. State economy in fear of collapse. Courier companies and USPS report extreme surge in deliveries of electronic equipment from out of state. North Dakota technology companies close shop and move across the border to Canada.

  37. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    That isn't much money...

    The population of North Dakota is on 630,000... Assuming every single man, woman, and child paid $20 to view porn, that is only $12.6 million dollars. But then you also have to figure that the block would cover an entire household, and given the average household size is three people, that's only $4m.

    Of course then you also have to deduct the cost of implementing the law, paying the people to do the face-to-face requests, run whatever infrastructure is needed to track who is and isn't allowed to view such material, and subtract various other government expenses, it will probably be far less than $1m even with everyone paying, with a good chance that it'll end up costing the government to implement it.

    They may say that all proceeds would go to helping trafficking victims, but how much would that actually be at the end of the day?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another dystopian future

    Apparently some people would be happy if a future US resembled that depicted in The Handmaid's Tale.

    Like 1984, it's not supposed to be a handbook on how to do it :/

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Another dystopian future

      You have no idea how incredibly fast the US is moving to that scenario.

  39. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Define Pornography

    Ezekiel 23:20

    Looks pretty bad to me. Better block that book from my kids' PCs pending a $20 fee.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Define Pornography

      There's worse in the bible. The Song of Solomon is in part erotic poetry.

      "Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that graze among the lilies."

      "How beautiful are your feet in sandals,

      O noble daughter!

      Your rounded thighs are like jewels,

      the work of a master hand.

      Your navel is a rounded bowl

      that never lacks mixed wine.

      Your belly is a heap of wheat,

      encircled with lilies."

      "How beautiful and pleasant you are,

      O loved one, with all your delights![a]

      Your stature is like a palm tree,

      and your breasts are like its clusters.

      I say I will climb the palm tree

      and lay hold of its fruit."

      It's pretty racy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Define Pornography

        Worse?!?

        "It's pretty racy." So? You need to start thinking for yourself rather than being told what to think.

        It was written for what the children refer to as "grown ups". You know, the people old enough to make their own decisions about what is acceptable to them.

        Not suitable for puritans though.

  40. dahle llama

    The Great FIrewall of ND

    The only feasible way that this could work is with a China-style Great Firewall...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Great FIrewall of ND

      And they may actually be working on it...

  41. ecofeco Silver badge

    Hahahahahahaha

    Fucking clueless morons.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Hahahahahahaha

      And yet they get voted in time and time again. What does that tell you?

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