Lawmakers seek ways to block Net porn

Published: Thursday, April 19 2007 12:27 a.m. MDT

Preston said those incentives would avoid the constitutional questions surrounding government restrictions to Internet access and penalties.

Yarro and Preston said free wireless sites and subscribers should be held responsible should any porn be delivered to minors. To avoid a fine for leaving a wireless network open, a computer owner could require a password or install a filtering program that blocks pornograpy, they said.

"I provide free access to Salt Lake City" locations "and to the city library," Ashdown said. "They can do that, and I'll just shut down my free access zones, and Utah's reputation will be damaged as a place that is restricting technology rather than expanding it.

"I also find it odd that the Legislature wants to discriminate between locally owned ISPs and national — AOL will not be held to the same standard," Ashdown said.

Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Holladay, told committee members that she is also concerned about the balance between being consumer friendly and business friendly. "Utah is seen as a business-friendly state, but we also have families we worry about," she said.

Key to making any proposal work, she said, is a statewide education program so citizens can learn about the real problem with the uncontrolled porn in our society, mainly coming through the Internet.

But Ashdown said he continually finds it interesting that legislators don't talk about the local hotels in Utah providing "pornography" to anyone in their hotel rooms through purchases of adult sex films over the internal TV channels.

"They sell porn to anyone" in the room, yet legislators "divert concern to ISPs who are doing our best" to keep porn out of the reach of minors, Ashdown said.

Contributing: Associated Press

E-mail: bbjr@desnews.com

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