Utah may introduce bill requiring porn-blocking filters on all new phones

midian182

Posts: 6,672   +59
Staff member
In brief: Utah, it seems, is not the best place for fans of adult entertainment: conservative lawmakers are proposing all smartphones and tablets sold in the state automatically block online pornography. It's the latest part of a campaign that began in 2016 when Utah declared porn a public health crisis.

As reported by the Associated Press, residents are now waiting to see if Utah Governor Spencer Cox vetoes the bill—passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature this month—or signs it into law by March 25. Cox has been tight-lipped about which way he'll jump; his spokeswoman said that he "will carefully consider this bill during the bill signing period."

Measure HB72 will require all smartphones and tablets sold in Utah after January 1, 2022, to come with a pre-installed content filter able to block "material that is harmful to minors." Adults would be able to turn off the filter if they wish.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox

Most devices already come with some form of parental controls but supporters of the bill claim many people are unaware of these options or struggle to enable them. Critics say the bill is an intrusion on free speech.

Even if Cox does sign the bill, it won't go into effect unless five other states also enact similar laws—the provision was added after manufacturers and retailers said it would be difficult to implement the filters in a single state.

The bill also faces other issues: whether device makers would adhere to the law, what constitutes pornography, and whether such filters would accidentally block other websites, such as those of a medical nature.

Permalink to story.

 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,497   +5,100
This is not going to work, or will render insignificant impact.

If you want to exterminate a product, you have to go after the manufacturer, not the product itself, I.e. close down porno production in the US, and make it illegal.

Otherwise, it will be the same as with guns - licensing doesn't quite work, and never will, for as long as guns manufacturing and sales are both legal.
 

stewi0001

Posts: 2,574   +2,167
This isn't a terrible idea but should be extended to more than porn and might need some more thought on how to do it. My main train of thought on this is parents who get their kids a smart device but don't know anything about configuring it. How many articles have we read here where the kid spent thousands of dollars on micro transactions? Yea we can call the parent(s) an ***** but to be fair, not everyone is tech savvy.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 269   +162
Since nothing will happen unless five other states enact similar legislation... I think smartphone makers can be confident that nothing will happen.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 800   +1,133
It's only going to get worse as nanny states declare anything opposed to the political zeitgeist a public health crisis, from eating meat to playing video games. I'm sure it'll merge with energy usage concern trolling and think-of-the-children-ism to form a political hellworld megazord at some point.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,142   +1,274
TechSpot Elite
So, five years AFTER these religious zealots declare a state emergency, they're only now getting around to doing something about it. It was an emergency that they've survived just fine for five years with.

Apparently, they don't know what the world "emergency" actually means. Also, with new sites popping up every single day, how on Earth will they be able to block all of them? The answer is simple, they won't be able to block all of them. They vote against money for COVID relief but they're perfectly fine wasting money on this impossible religious pipe dream.

"Stupid is as stupid does sir!"
- Forrest Gump, 1994
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,142   +1,274
TechSpot Elite
Oh they do. To government, it's a golden opportunity to socially engineer without having to worry about details like natural rights or the precedent of law. Religious zealots and pandemic panic are kissing cousins when it comes to exploiting them.
That is a fact. A fact that unfortunately gets louder and clearer every single day. I sometimes wonder how anyone who isn't a fanatical Mormon could possibly cope with living in Utah.
 

lipe123

Posts: 972   +560
From the article "Measure HB72 will require all smartphones and tablets sold in Utah after January 1, 2022, to come with a pre-installed content filter able to block "material that is harmful to minors." Adults would be able to turn off the filter if they wish."

So no child will be able to choose "I'm 18, turn off the filter" the mormon magic bill would detect the lie and stop them from poking the button?

This is probably one of the dumbest things I've seen. Putting the burden on device manufacturers because they can't control their own children?
 

brucek

Posts: 770   +1,063
TechSpot Elite
"automatically block online pornography"

I am not aware of any way of actually implementing this requirement at any cost.

If they want to waste everyone's time, they can require the installation of a filter that excludes known pornography sites. The filter list will be out of date the second it is published and the minors they are trying to block will be the most knowledgeable on how to evade it, much more so than the clueless parents and regulators who think this is a feasible or a good idea.

If they want to identify pornography in real time, good luck. The best the supreme court could do was say "they know it when they see it." That's not going to be sufficient guidance to inform an AI should it even be possible and should sufficient hardware resources exist to have it run against all incoming communications. Even then there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy and context - a virtually identical photo seems to be "pornography" when it is on bigtitsxxx.com and family entertainment when it is in a summer blockbuster.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 22   +8
Rightwing nutjobs always wasting time and tax dollars on their ridiculous nonesense. Why doesn't someone force the phone companies to block ads so we don't have to root our phones and install ad block to use them in peace? The money we pay for phones and service should be enough to NOT have ads popping up while using the basic functions of the damn phone.
 

Hexic

Posts: 937   +1,296
TechSpot Elite
Aaaahh. Religion in conservative america. What a wonderful thing in 2021.

Not all religion in America - let's be accurate and not generalize a very large group of people. This is a small sect of religious fanatics who's heavy influence doesn't extend outside of Salt Lake City / UT area.

It's silly, and probably won't pass anyways. If it does the manufacturers will take care of the problem themselves.
 

misor

Posts: 1,418   +320
I am at a loss at the picture shown in the article:
the 'forbidden' fruit is sweet but be careful of thorns.

---
I am glad I do not live in Utah or the USA.
porn is my refuge in times of pandemic lockdown, among other things.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,025   +411
But I bet they won't ban movies full of gore and bloodshed, right?
We're living in the world where a naked female nipple is more dangerous than animal from the Alien, but someone being shot in the head, spraying brain all over the wall, can be aired at prime time for children aged 12. They can see murders, but a female tit...... that's dangerous.

Beware... TITS AHEAD. Use protective gear.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 22   +8
Not all religion in America - let's be accurate and not generalize a very large group of people. This is a small sect of religious fanatics who's heavy influence doesn't extend outside of Salt Lake City / UT area.

It's silly, and probably won't pass anyways. If it does the manufacturers will take care of the problem themselves.

The rest are no better. Every politician on the right is a religious loon. They're always trying to legislate their bullshit deity into everything, especially schools because they need indoctrination to keep their cults alive.
 

Hexic

Posts: 937   +1,296
TechSpot Elite
The rest are no better. Every politician on the right is a religious loon. They're always trying to legislate their bullshit deity into everything, especially schools because they need indoctrination to keep their cults alive.

Again... Let's not generalize, because it's not accurate. If you know how the Hill works, everyone on both sides of the isle legislates whatever gets them re-elected, and nothing else.

The "Every politician on the [left/right]" statement is an inaccurate statement in and of itself; regardless of what follows. Let's not be rudimentary and play party line sound bites from CNN or Fox News, let's be accurate.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 22   +8
Again... Let's not generalize, because it's not accurate. If you know how the Hill works, everyone on both sides of the isle legislates whatever gets them re-elected, and nothing else.

The "Every politician on the [left/right]" statement is an inaccurate statement in and of itself; regardless of what follows. Let's not be rudimentary and play party line sound bites from CNN or Fox News, let's be accurate.

All across the country there are clowns writing laws demanding schools display "in god we trust," trying to get bible classes added, trying to put up ten commandments at capitol buildings, pushing public funding for private (religious) schools, restricting and banning abortion. They're all religious zealots, and they're all GOP.

Be clear. I hate both sides, mostly because the left is a bunch of gun phobic *****s, and I actually like guns.