Utah Gets New Internet Pornography Law

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Utah Governor Jim Huntsman has signed a new Internet pornography law into effect which requires Utah ISPs and other service providers to block pornographic websites upon a user’s request. And just to make sure that no service provider has to do the old “I’ll know it when I see it” routine, the law also mandates the creation of a list of pornography websites deemed to be covered by the new anti-pornography law.

Service providers which fail to disable access to pornography sites on the list, following a user’s request, can be subject to felony charges.


The new Internet pornography law says, specifically, “Upon request by a consumer, a service provider may not transmit material from a content provider site listed on the adult content registry” where “service provider” includes any person or organization which “provides an Internet access service to a consumer”. Commentators are concerned about the vagueness of the law, and point out that the definition of “provider” is so broad that it could cover just about anything, including private homes with unencrypted wifi access points.

In addition, under the new law content providers can be required by the Utah state attorney general to provide a rating for any content deemed “harmful to minors” by the Utah AG. The law defines content provider as any site which “creates, collects, acquires or organizes electronic data” for commercial purposes. According to a communication from NetCoalition, an organization which represents such industry giants as Google and Yahoo, “A search engine that links to a Web site in Utah might be required…to ‘properly rate’ the Web site.”

Of course, it’s entirely possible (some even say likely) that the law will be struck down as unconstitutional. But in the meantime, be careful what you do in Utah. At least on the Internet.

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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9 thoughts on “Utah Gets New Internet Pornography Law

  1. The Governor and Utah State Legislators have out done themselves in turning this state into a socialist territory, it certainly is not a state of the United States of America. The German gestopo would be envious. These laws are so Unconstitutional, not to mention religiously motivated, it is obvious that there is No separation between Church and State Government, also Unconstitutional. I agree people should not expose children to porn. I also think people shouldn’t lie, cheat or steal. Most of all I think State legislators should represent his district and all the people in it, not just the one who line his pockets. You show me a honest politician from state or federal and I will follow him to the end on civilization and all the laws he makes for all the people, himself included.

  2. I can tell you that Utahs sick govenor is as bad, narcisstic and screwed up as North Carolina’s Govenor.

    I don’t think that anyone should look at child porn. It is a crime to look at child pornography is wrong to do so.

    The sad attempt to correlate reduced marriage because of porn is lie. I know more men who are married who look at porn.

    As a matter of fact. I did not look at porn through most of my life and I am not married.

    The five men I know that look at porn regularly are married.

    That study is false, and non scientific proven. But quakery science.

  3. Thank you for taking the effort to clarifying this Law to me,Anne.
    I support this for the mental and physical well-being of children.
    I would like to put in my bit also,I suggest emphasis be put on protection from sexual assaults,for adults as well.
    I have had a turbulent affair in the past with Mormon society in the past, and now I am ready to be open minded and support their cause.Much love to you,Utah,for being fair with laws.

  4. What happened to the .xxx or equivalent domain identifier (rather than the current .com) that all porn industry sites were supposed to be moving to a few years back. If implemented, it would be ridiculously easy to lock out content for children and easy enough for search engines to implement versions of themselves on the new .xxx domain.
    All the current crop of non-effective parental site blockers would, however, rapidly go under.

  5. Seriously? Who the hell are any of you to tell me what I can and cannot do in the privacy of my own home? Or tell me what I can buy on the internet?! I love Utah but this has gone too far! While we fight socialism in Federal Govt now we have to fight Fascism in our State Govt. It’s BS!!!!!!

  6. Finally!!! They’ve needed to regulate porn for too long. I hope a bill like this is passed in every state. Although it should be a little more strict in my opinion. They are going to need a way to govern these sites. Unfortunately we won’t be getting wankers out there like woody (first commenter) to help. He is obviously not a parent. So Im all up for doing my job as a parent and doing whatever I can to limit these sites. Even if it is to go so far as to slap some sense into retards like him. Who cares about employment! I’d do it for free!!!

  7. Actually this plan has nothing to do with internet pornography, rather it’s a law designed to lower the unemployment rate in Utah. It must be, can you imagine the work involved in maintaining an up to date “adult content registry” that is effective enough to be worthwhile? Because it seems they are not talking about a register of keywords / bayesian filter data etc, but a register of actual websites.

    But seriously:
    If they want to do this wouldn’t it be more efficient to require ISP’s to provide adult filtering upon request, but instead provide ISP’s a subsidy/tax rebate for the purchase of suitable commercial server based filtering software.

  8. Wow! Great! Awesome! So much for parenting I guess. Will they have laws to cover IRC chat, Instant Messaging, New Servers and the like sometime soon? We need to encourage parents to parent!

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