Reply to post: Just spotted more idiocy.

Alabama joins anti-web-smut crusade with mandatory opt-out filters

Suricou Raven

Just spotted more idiocy.

It actually gets a lot worse. If you read the law itsself, you can see that it's really badly written - due to some very broad definitions within the law, it's scope is actually far, far wider than you might think.

"Section 2. (a) On and after January 1, 2018, a person may not sell a device unless it contains an active filter that blocks or restricts Internet access to sites containing any of the following: Blah"

Look up the definitions.

"DEVICE. A cellular telephone, computer, data communications device, or other product manufactured, distributed, or sold in this state that provides Internet access."

"DATA COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE. An electronic device that receives electronic information from one source and transmits or routes it to another, including, but not limited to, any such bridge, router, switch, or gateway."

So it's not just computers and phones. It includes every bridge, router, switch and gateway, by the above definitions contained within the proposed law. Devices for which it is impossible to install a filter. Nor can the manufacturer simply pay the $20 it's-not-a-tax-really on the user's behalf: The user needs to request in writing that the filter, which does not exist, be deactivated first.

Oh, and it gets worse.

"COMPUTER. An electronic, magnetic, optical, electrochemical, or other high speed data processing device performing logical, arithmetic, or storage functions and includes any data storage facility or communications facility directly related to or operating in conjunction with such device. The term includes: Any online service, Internet service, or local bulletin board; any electronic storage device, including a floppy disk or other magnetic storage device;"

Congratulations, Alabama. You have a law which, if passed, will impose a one-year jail term for anyone who sells a blank USB stick. Ten years if to a minor.

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