Rhode Island Democratic state Senators Frank Ciccone (@senatorciccone) and Hanna Gallo (@hannagallo27) have proposed grandstanding, unworkable legislation, "Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers—Internet Digital Blocking" which would mandate the state's ISPs to identify all the pornography on the internet, and then block it for all Rhode Islanders, unless those Rhode Islanders specifically requested their porn to be unblocked and paid $20 for the privilege.
The law also requires ISPs to identify and block every piece of content on the entire internet that is "patently offensive" and to block access anything prostitution or human-trafficking related.
The law is unconstitutional, unrealistic and unworkable. It will likely never get out of committee and if it does, it will likely fail to be enacted. If enacted, it will certainly fail at the first court challenge. However, it will let two dumb senators look like heroes to their low-information constituents by claiming that their stunt was in some way cleaning up the internet.
The required digital blocking capability could only be deactivated by the ISP after a consumer does the following:
Requests in writing that the capability be disabled;
Presents identification to verify that the consumer is eighteen (18) years of age or older;
Acknowledges receiving a written warning regarding the potential danger of deactivating the digital blocking capability; and
Pays a one-time twenty-dollar ($20.00) digital access fee.
$20 porn-unblocking fee could hit Internet users if state bill becomes law [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
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