Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

September 1, 2010 -

An Alaskan law that goes into effect on July 1, and deals with the electronic distribution of indecent material to minors, has come under fire by free speech advocates.

Section 11.61.128 of the Alaska Statutes, signed into law by Governor Sean Parnell (pictured hugging his predecessor) in May, calls for parties to be criminally liable for media transmissions (or hosting) of material that is considered “harmful to minors.” Additionally, violators can face up to two years in prison, could be forced to forfeit their business and would have to register as sex offenders.

Those in opposition label the law as “broad censorship,” and claim that “it bans from the Internet anything that may be ‘harmful to minors,’ including material adults have a First Amendment right to view.”

Hostility to the law has resulted in a lawsuit attempting to block it, brought forth by groups like the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska, the Freedom To Read Foundation and the Association of American Publishers.

David Cheezum, co-owner of Fireside Books, also a member of the lawsuit, stated, “We carry 24,000 books and there is no way to know the contents of each one.”

Citing the First and Fourteenth Amendments, in addition to the Constitution's Commerce Clause, the lawsuit seeks to have the law declared unconstitutional.

Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska, added, "Its inevitable effect, if permitted to stand, is that Internet content providers will limit the range of their speech.”

The Alaskan Law sounds very similar to one struck down in Ohio earlier this year.


Comments

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

As usual, people saying they don't want any government involvement in their lives. So I'm dying to know how demanding the government to censor anything slightly offensive to children is acceptable? If you're too lazy to control what your kids's watch and see, then don't be a parent. "I don't like this, therefore it should not exist." The hypocricy of Americans never seems to amaze me.

 

"Either all of it is ok or none of it is"

Kyle Brovloski

"With free speech either all of it is ok or none of it is." Kyle Broflovski

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

Finally someone will be banning Lolita, Quran, Dianetics: The original Thesis Venus Di Milo, Statue of David, Nude portraits, and etc.

Also all these works of art will be banned as well, Click here.

Also we know "children" are innocent, they will never pretend to be an adult, like lie about their age, join adult websites, steal their parents credit card, or do anything of that nature. After all, children are innocents, they will not have sex before they are married, do any drugs, commit any crimes, or disobey their parents.

This isnt socalist / communist / facist. We are protecting the children. The government is not intruding in our lives like what they did with health care, civil unions, and anything else Obama administration and the progressives agenda they are pushing and shoving down our throats. We want the government to be the parent and raise good little white christian children that believe in capitalism, and our Founding Fathers by removing Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion. It will be ok because we still have our guns.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

The bill doesn't sound like it was intended to lock up porn hosts but rather an adult who would e-mail someone under 16 porn. However it's vague enough that a person with an axe to grind could interpret it as 'lock up porn hosts if an under 16-year old can acsess the site'.

It's interesting that the book lobby is involved because it isn't limited to pictures but it is limited to distribution via computer.

----------------------------------------------------

Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

---------------------------------------------------- Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it's over they have the same positions they started in.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

David Cheezum, co-owner of Fireside Books, also a member of the lawsuit, stated, “We carry 24,000 books and there is no way to know the contents of each one.”

Now if he just carried one book like the Bible, he wouldn't have a problem, you-betcha.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

I hope this lawsuit will knock down this internet censoring bill.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

I offer this as more evidence of why government controlling the internet is a bad idea.  Give the FCC the right, and you won't NEED laws to do this.  The FCC will just do it without any oversight whatsoever.

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

Yeah, b/c thats exactly what happend with the Telco's... wait, what? You say no such interference has ever happened?

Regulation does not mean control or censorship, it means setting up a legal framework in which providers must operate. No one says you can't have a sex chat line, or if you cuss at a child over the telephone you'll go to jail. Regular laws dictate that.

Please people, don't buy into this BS that FCC mandated net neutrality or reclassification of broadband services somehow means that the FCC is going to be able to pass laws regarding what is and isnt' legal to access online. Its a bunch of BS designed to scare stupid people into not supporting net neutrality.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

Yet with 100 years of telecom regulation, I can still make phone calls containing any content I like.

Putting DLS and Cable back under title 2 (ok, DLS back, and cable newly) would not give them any new censorship powers.  In fact it would make it much harder for private (or even local government) censorship since consumers would have enough power for the market to actually effect decisions.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle.  I agree with the EFF: net neutrality needs to be law, but the FCC's reclassification path is not the way to do it.  Just because they're pledging not to regulate content now doesn't mean they won't in the future -- even assuming THIS FCC doesn't, a future FCC might.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

Whlie I see reclassification as the right way to do it since it is pretty minimalist.  Rather then creating new laws and new regulatory frameworks, it pulls telecoms moving high speed digitial content into the same existing framework that covers low speed digital content and analog.... so while it would cover more companies, it would not give the FCC any new powers or mandates.

I am more warry of a whole new set of laws and all the oppurtunities to slip in provisions, exemptions, and expansions.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

I am more warry of a whole new set of laws and all the oppurtunities to slip in provisions, exemptions, and expansions.

Yeah, I can see your point there.

The EFF's major complaint with reclassification, as I read it, is that if the FCC reclassifies broadband now, it can reclassify it again later -- it's effectively granting itself the power to grant itself more powers.  It's a bad precedent.

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

And in addition to that.

Let's review.

If the government censors something, you can protest, change who you vote for, and things will actually change.

(I'm currently watching an ep of "I Love Lucy" and seeing the old mandates of married couples sleeping in seperate beds. Nowaday you can flip on Law & Order:SVU and hear about rape, pedofiles, necrophelia...and sometimes all 3 in the same episode)

The FCC really only censors and fines nowadays when folks demand it.

Which is why the thing to fear isn't really the FCC (though I don't like it), it's the people who COMPLAIN to the FCC.

The folks who watch a football game and complain about seeing nipples during it.

 

 

Re: Lawsuit Seeks Halt of Alaska Online “Censorship” Law

Well, it's both.  The FCC bows to the complaints of a loud minority, and imposes truly ridiculous and disproportionate fines.

I haven't seen much of that this administration, but that doesn't mean it won't happen again in the future.

 
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