back to article Kentucky lawmaker pushes smut filter law (update: maybe not)

A state legislator in Kentucky, USA, wants to mandate porn filters on all PCs and mobile phones sold in the state. Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Mt. Washington) issued a proposal that would require devices sold with internet access to be shipped with software to block out "obscenity, child pornography, revenge pornography, and …

  1. cmaurand


    The first amendment not withstanding, but why is it that this person wants to foist his beliefs on me? If he doesn't like porn, he doesn't have to look at it.

    1. goldcd


      as a person of faith, surely you need to exhibit your strong will-power, and this requires the presence of temptation.

      Catholic church, for example, would collapse if all confessionals ended up being "I wanted to sin, but was unable to, due to our excellent legislation removing all temptation from my life".

      That wouldn't even invoke a single Hail-Mary.

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Seriously?

      If I can't stop my self I must ban it. Its like I'm a on diet and hav no will power so every one has to be a on diet other wise I'll be tempted.

    3. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Seriously?

      You have to remember that by and large the world is run by frustrated old men* who hate the idea that someone, somewhere, is having more fun than they are. As a consequence they are determined to ban anything they might not be getting the chance to enjoy personally.

      (*) In my experience the feeling isn't gender specific.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        In this case it's "a frustrated old man" who is a bit of a hypocrite apparently. (see the update at the bottom of the article).

        1. LaeMing Silver badge

          Re: Seriously?

          But that was (allegedly) sexual assault. There is plenty of that in the Bible, so it is okay.

          It is only depictions of sex as a mutually pleasurable experience that is a problem, really.

          1. My other car is an IAV Stryker

            Re: Seriously?


            "There is plenty of that in the Bible, so it is okay."

            There is plenty of all kinds of sin & evil in pretty much the whole of literature across all genres. Does that make it okay?

            You must not understand the purpose of the Bible or why it contains all that naughty stuff humans have done right from the start.

            "It is only depictions of sex as a mutually pleasurable experience that is a problem, really."

            Porn is NOT truly mutual; it is clearly exploitive of women and should be stopped. Filters are one way to stop it, since calling on society to clean up its own act doesn't seem to be working very well.

            Disclosure: I have past sins. I'm working on it, God help me.

      2. sabba

        Re: Seriously?

        Alternatively, perhaps they are people who also enjoy it but believe that its propagation needs to be controlled in order to protect weaker elements of society (children, republicans etc.)

    4. nijam

      Re: Seriously?

      > If he doesn't like porn, he doesn't have to look at it.

      What he wants banned is *you* looking at it, not him.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        "What he wants banned is *you* looking at it, not him."

        Of course there will need to be a Special exemption from the Ban for politicians. For "Research Purposes" you understand....

    5. sabba

      Re: Seriously?

      I think the point is that the presence of porn has become all pervasive and younger and younger children are getting exposure to it. If you can't rely on responsible parenting (and that includes parents being sufficiently cognisant of technology to apply filters to their children's devices) then perhaps we do need to consider some degree of internet control. I appreciate that this goes against all the principles of Freedom of Information (and it is perhaps only one small step from there to greater censorship). The question is, which is of greater import to the health and wellbeing of society as a whole?

      1. Cyril

        Re: Seriously?

        Filters only provide the illusion of safety. Never trade Freedom for the illusion of safety.

    6. handleoclast

      Re: Seriously?

      If he doesn't like porn, he doesn't have to look at it.

      He almost certainly does like to look at porn. A lot. He's in the same boat as a large number of Christian right-wing talebangelicals. There are several (not necessarily mutually-exclusive) reasons why they do this sort of thing.

      1) They like looking at porn, doing drugs, homosexuality, whatever, but feel it is wrong. Therefore they need legislation to prevent them doing it. It's the same reason some ex-smokers become extreme anti-smokers. They want temptation put out of their way.

      2) They like $WHATEVER and get an extra naughty thrill from an adrenalin rush if it's illegal. Several gay guys have told me they believe that's why homosexuality was illegal in the UK for so long despite quite a few MPs being gay. They also say that's why cottaging is still popular: having sex in a public toilet is illegal on decency grounds, and therefore has that extra thrill to it.

      3) They like $WHATEVER and feel it ought to be exclusive to the élite and not wasted on ordinary plebs, who aren't sophisticated enough to truly enjoy it or who take it to extremes. Pretty much like prohibition in the US where many of those in power thought the masses couldn't handle alcohol properly but they, of course, could.

      4) They're fuckwits.

      Obligatory amusing musical video (3.5 minutes) about the pastor of a megachurch who railed mightily against drugs and homosexuality then was found to have done crystal meth with the rent boy he was fucking. When the story first broke one of his spin doctors put out that the guy was completely heterosexual, hence the video.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Seriously?

        "When the story first broke one of his spin doctors put out that the guy was completely heterosexual, hence the video."

        Well, I suppose it must be a different than only being a bit heterosexual :-)

  2. Garymrrsn

    Casting Stones

    "both political parties in the state are now calling on the lawmaker to resign"

    Why do I get the feeling that there may be a few hypocrites calling for the hypocrite's resignation?

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am not sure how they could accomplish this should the law get passed, even if every PC, tablet and phone came with an app to block access to porn, what is to stop the owner uninstalling the app without paying the $20 fee or just reinstalling the OS and not installing the filtering software?

    1. Velv Silver badge

      When has technical feasibility ever worried politicians and lawmakers when they come out with their ideas to save the people?

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Technical Feasibility,.....


        Indeed, I recall a British politician proposing that web browsers should have built in filters and that web sites should come with a rating so parents could block their kids from accessing adult rated sites,.... he basically invented RSAC,.... just about a decade after it was implemented. It's embarrassing politicians are so out of touch, and their press and PR people just let them speak their brains on these matters.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Technical Feasibility,.....

          Surely if a crazy plan like this were to be implemented , it would be much easier to do all the filtering at the ISP point? Most ISPs already offer this. Also that would prevent smartarse kids from bypassing the software.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Ever tried getting rid of the baked-in apps on a tablet or phone? Joe Average can't do it and anyway, that's the warranty out of the window.

      Likewise, few PCs come with OS installation media. If it can be installed at all, it's either from a hidden install partition or you have to create a CD/DVD/USB stick from the running OS with a vendor provided tool, any of which methods will only install the original factory defaults. Again, Joe Average won't know how to get around that or will have to resort to buying Windows (still the vast majority of users) at a higher price than paying the removal fee or using a pirated version potentially full of malware.

      "They" really don't need complex technical solutions if "they" decide this sort of thing should come to pass. "They" just need the majority to conform.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the saying holds true

    Love the update at the end of the article. What's that saying - We often tell others what we ourselves need to hear?

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: And the saying holds true

      I was actually thinking: “A pessimist is a man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.” ― George Bernard Shaw

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the saying holds true

      That moral guardians are seldom moral nor trustworthy guardians?

  5. beep54

    Well of course he is a Republican. And the accusations are not surprising either.

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Normally, I would agree, but sexual predation issues seem to be so widespread that I would hesitate to put the boot in too readily. Let's not be too gleeful about Republicans getting outed; there may be more revelations on the Democrat side as well.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        They've already hit Democrats. I'm thinking the real target is ignoring these resignations as he will probably have to resign also.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Well of course he is a Republican. And the accusations are not surprising either."

      Really? Considering that about half of the voting public are Republican (and about half are Democrat), that's quite a sweeping statement to make.

  6. DougS Silver badge

    Maybe he'll use that as an excuse

    "Smut on the internet made me do it!"

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Maybe he'll use that as an excuse

      Keep up the good work internet smutsters!

      Their biggest trophy was Ted Cruz. Pity that, as he has no sense of shame, he's still in office.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Maybe he'll use that as an excuse

        Their biggest trophy was Ted Cruz. Pity that, as he has no sense of shame, he's still in office.

        Don't click link if in an office and PC has speakers, annoying talkie web page...eesh!!

        1. John Gamble

          Re: Maybe he'll use that as an excuse

          Ah, my apologies, I never have the speakers on so I didn't know.

  7. Blofeld's Cat

    Er ...

    "... who is also a preacher in Bullit County ..."

    Did anyone else read a "sh" in the middle of that place name?

  8. TDog

    And this makes it legal?

    So I could pay $20 and then download child pron claiming

    "It's Alright Guv, I paid the tax!"

    No further comment.

  9. Mark 85 Silver badge

    These kind of things are seldom about morality... note the $20 fee to remove it = income to the state. If was morality he wanted legislated, there would be "no removal allowed".

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Or prove you are an adult and remove it for free

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You have to keep records of those who paid the fee. Then later you introduce a punitive law that will only apply to your registered targets. I can think of some UK politicians who would do that - claiming a divine right to apply their dogma to everyone.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        @AC :

        "I can think of some UK politicians who would do that "

        Or not, if the person in question happens to be their friend / staff.

  10. kain preacher Silver badge

    Few things other then the first amendment issue. What are they going to do for business ? What about hospitals. you just can't slap on any software you like have he PC certified for use.

    1. LaeMing Silver badge

      They will just replace all the hospitals with taps dispensing homeopathic remedies. It is the US, afterall.

      1. Chemical Bob

        Not us, we spend more per capita on healthcare than any other country on the planet and consume 80% of the world's opiod painkillers. Face it, we're a nation of stoners.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop it !!!

    You'll go blind!!!

    Like me....

  12. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    They all doth protest too much...

    "Johnson has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year-old"

    Why doesn't this surprise me. It's seemingly the same for all fear based religions that try to repress human nature such as Catholicism and Islam that all we seemingly get is report after report after report as to how these scared and socially inept scumbags seem to have taken advantage of their "trusted" position, and how they just can't seem to keep their grubby sleazy hands off of the children or the vulnerable.

  13. lglethal Silver badge

    Great Idea!!!

    I've got a great idea! How about all politicans have to put their entire net worth into a government bond when they are elected. If they get to the end of their term without being involved in a scandal of some sort, they get their money back, if not it goes to the government. I can see our taxes dropping by the minute...

    Or i suppose we can go the Sir Terry route and just chuck all politicians in prison the moment they are elected, since we already know they're criminals - why wait for the criminality to be proven?

  14. Schultz

    ...allow Kentuckians to have the blocks lifted, but only after paying a $20 fee...

    Good idea. It's like that public television fee ("GEZ") you have to pay in Germany to watch TV. Or to not watch TV, because they found it's too much hassle to figure our who is watching stuff online. So, Kentucky, go ahead and make it a compulsory fee -- use it to fund 'quality entertainment'.

  15. nijam

    > Needless to say, the porn filter bill probably won't be going anywhere.

    Until next time.

  16. spacecadet66

    So predictable.

    "One of the most important patterns of conservative message-making is projection. Projection is a psychological notion; it roughly means attacking someone by falsely claiming that they are attacking you. Conservative strategists engage in projection constantly."

    --"What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?"

  17. Chris Jasper

    Those who shout the loudest...........

    ..........usually have the most to hide

  18. My other car is an IAV Stryker
    Thumb Up

    Article's subhead

    " Kentucky sly clickin' "

    I see what you did there, El Reg. Nice, but now I'm hungry.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge

      Re: Article's subhead

      Really? I was hungry, until that sub-head.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Love the update

    As too many often, the ones who want to more severe restrictions for anything related to sex are often the worst offenders. Heck, it's even a clue about someone's perversion.

  20. Paul J Turner


    hee hee ;-)

  21. wayward4now
    Big Brother

    Easy peasy

    The solution is simple and elegant, make it illegal for anyone under the age of consent to use the Internet.

  22. kain preacher Silver badge

    Update. The politician killed him self.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      And his widow has come out saying she'll run for now open seat and continue his "good work".

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