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Connecticut Wants to Restrict Social Networking 242

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the eyes-on-wallet-and-liberty dept.
csefft writes "According to the Hartford Courant, Connecticut became the latest state to want to restrict the use of MySpace and other social networking sites. The proposed bill would require that all such sites verify the identity and age of users, as well as get parent's permission for those under 18. Sites that failed to comply would be subject to a $5,000 per day fine. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said of the proposition, 'If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet,' but quickly followed with the acknowledgment that there is no foolproof method."
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Connecticut Wants to Restrict Social Networking

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  • by xx01dk (191137) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:36PM (#18296504)
    Sure, no better way to stop people from wanting something is prohibiting it.

    Wait a sec...
    • by alx5000 (896642) <(alx5000) (at) (alx5000.net)> on Saturday March 10, 2007 @01:08AM (#18297554) Homepage
      If we can put a man on the moon...
      • ... we can build cars that drive themselves.
      • ... teletransportation doesn't seem so difficult to develop.
      • ... we can make those autodriving cars fly.
      • ... we can deploy safe cold fusion in your living room.
      • ... cancer's cure will be announced in a matter of minutes (by a non-Iranian country)
      • ... etc

      That argument is the most stupid one I've heard in ages. Someone please establish a connection between NASA getting someone to the Moon and MySpace verifying users' authenticy*. I'm really curious.



      * What really creeps me out is that someone WILL find one and be modded both funny and insightful.

      • by bigdavesmith (928732) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @06:50AM (#18298618)
        On the moon, we could construct a special government base with massive telescopes aimed at the earth. Whenever someone tries to activate an account on myspace, this special moon-base is notified, and using the giant telescopes, we look at the person, and verify their age. This could a step where you hold your drivers license up towards the sky, or out the window.

        Lawmakers in Connecticut are absolutely gienus for developing this new age verification method based on space travel. I'm going to move there now.
      • by init100 (915886) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @08:45AM (#18299056)

        Someone saying "if we can put a man on the moon, we surely should be able to do X" is a certain sign that this someone does not have the faintest idea of what he is talking about.

        • by paeanblack (191171) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @12:05PM (#18300012)
          Someone saying "if we can put a man on the moon, we surely should be able to do X" is a certain sign that this someone does not have the faintest idea of what he is talking about.

          What is even funnier is the fact that right now, we can't readily put a man on the moon. However, back when we could put a man on the moon, we could also readily verify the age of everyone on the internet.
      • by SeaFox (739806) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @05:21PM (#18301960)

        Someone please establish a connection between NASA getting someone to the Moon and MySpace verifying users' authenticy.

        They both can be faked in highly convincing manners? MySpace could start verifying with credit card info, which one can obtain by going through Mom's purse. And NASA can go to a remote desert location, add a mat painting, let the motion blur of a low speed camera, "signal interference", and "audio static" make it all more authentic.

        However, about as technology progresses, it may become easier to scrub the original tapes of the footage and discover the fraud, so they conveniently "lose" the original footage so they can make new "masters" with the same tech so that are harder to detect.

        I don't believe the moon landing didn't happen, I'm just playing Devil's advocate.
  • If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet

    Too bad the moon landing never happened!
    • Dilbert Equivalent (Score:3, Informative)

      by Erioll (229536)

      If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet

      When I saw that quote, I immediately thought of a Dilbert strip. Luckily, somebody already put the transcript online [blogspot.com]:

      Pointy-haired boss: "If we can put a man on the moon, we can build a computer made entirely of recycled paper."

      Dilbert: "Your flawed analogy only shows that other people can do things."

      Boss: "Maybe you should call other people and ask how they do it."

      Dilbert: "Maybe they use good analogies."

      • If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet

        Apparently Mr Blumenthal is implying we can't put a man on the moon if we can't verify age on the internet.

    • by h2g2bob (948006)
      That damned moon keeps lying about her age - creationists have positively confirmed she's only 6,000 years old. For shame.
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:37PM (#18296526) Journal
    'If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet,'

    And just like putting a man on the moon can be faked, so can you fake your age on the Internet.

    PS: I am not implying the moon landing was faked.
    • It's easy! (Score:5, Funny)

      by PIPBoy3000 (619296) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:55PM (#18296634)
      We just have age verified via a webcam, typically by viewing the secondary sex characteristics that come with puberty. Other visitors to the site can rate the newbie as "MILF", "jailbait", or "hot coed". Obviously the jailbait applicants can't actually "register", but will instead have their images archived off as counterexamples to future applicants.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I suppose the idea is that verification will be "simple" because every adult can just verify using a credit card. Oh, wait -- you don't have a credit card or you don't like to use your credit card or give out the details to every website you come across? Well, too bad for you. This should be a boon to Visa and MasterCard! Well, alternately, you may also send us a photocopy of your birth certificate, driver's license, state identification card, social security card and a paystub.

      Of course, the preferred meth
      • Thank you. I feel like I'm the only person on the internet that sees this very simple solution. It is just that easy. Slap in a valid credit card number, and you get an account. MySpace should also charge like $1, so that it shows up in your credit card statement. This verifies that the parents know about the account. If they don't know about it when the kid signs up, they'll know about it by the end of the month. Then, the there should be like some kind of form online or some kind of hotline or some
        • by rholliday (754515)
          I'm pretty sure the GP was using sarcasm. It appears you are not, though. A lot of people do not like using credit cards to "verify" themselves online. With all of the numbers that end up being released from large, verified businesses, can you think of the horrors that would ensue if every low budget startup social networking site needed to do this, too? What happens when the some of these sites inevitably fail? Someone might look to recoup their losses. Not to mention that if everyone is conditioned that t
    • Hey, if you can make people believe Saddam planned 9/11, you can make them believe anything. I like this game - s'fun.
  • Costs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Icarus1919 (802533) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:40PM (#18296546)

    'If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet,' but quickly followed with the acknowledgment that there is no foolproof method.


    So the question is, is the government willing to pay the amount of money it would require to make that kind of age verification system, much like they were willing to pay the money required to put a man on the moon? Oh wait, no, the companies have to pay for it.
    • Re:Costs (Score:4, Insightful)

      by smartr (1035324) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:59PM (#18296660)
      I'm sure a large marketing media company run Rupert Murdock could never find any use for being "forced" by the government to collect "verification" information on all of its users. They certainly could be no benefit for that kind of company to create that kind of customer database.
      • Re:Costs (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Icarus1919 (802533) on Friday March 09, 2007 @11:12PM (#18296998)
        How are you going to age verify for any reasonable amount of money with multiple users on a home computer? In an average home environment, how is a computer supposed to tell if dad, mom, or kids are using at any given time? Even if a corporation WANTED to, it's a fool's errand.
  • Pay the 1.825 million a year fine or just drop Connecticut?
    • Don't forget... there's also no good way of web servers to be sure where their clients are located geographically. You couldn't do it on a state-by-state basis. Oh well, I guess this law won't work. That's a real shame...
      • by cbreaker (561297)
        No, but if they wanted to, they could require that all ISP's servicing Connecticut locations to block the YouTube servers. ISP's would probably welcome the the order.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:43PM (#18296568)
    I suspect any site that allows message posting could be considered a social networking site under a poorly-crafted law and this will surely be poorly-crafted.
  • oh geez..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tx_kanuck (667833) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:44PM (#18296574)
    We can put a man on the moon, so we can verify ages on the Internet? Yes, that makes a great logical leap there. We can build a car, that doesn't mean we can create skynet.

    Why don't we also require some sort of age verification before anyone can call 1-900 numbers? There is no verification for that, and yet it's accessible to minors. OMG!!! Won't someone think of the children??

    Oh wait, it's to stop older men from hurting younger women. I guess that means that someone is, just not the parents. Seriously, where does parental responsibility start these days?
    • I've been trying to think of values of X for which the statement

      We can put a man on the moon, so we can X on the Internet

      is true or even makes any sense, besides trivial values like "put pictures of men on the moon".
    • by AGMW (594303)
      We can build a car, that doesn't mean we can create skynet.

      Skynet! PAH! I give you [da da DAAAAAAA!] Skynet 5 [bbc.co.uk].

      I spit on your puny Skynet.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:44PM (#18296576) Journal
    Does MySpace have to geolocate IP addresses & kick people from Connecticut through a verification process?

    Maybe MySpace will change their signup process so that when you select "Connecticut" as your home state, you go through some verification process.

    What if you pretend to be from another state, create your account, then change it to Connecticut? Does MySpace have to go back and verify your age?

    Ontop of all that, how the F**K are they supposed to get your parents permission?
    How do they verify that the "parent" actually is your legal guardian?

    Trying to find technical solutions to a social problem is an uphill battle.

    Blumenthal said parental permission might involve downloading a form, filling it out and mailing it to the site. Or perhaps requiring a parent to call and speak to a representative of the site.
    Note how he uses words like "might" and "perhaps". The politicians have no clue how it could possibly be implemented.
    • by DamnStupidElf (649844) <Fingolfin@linuxmail.org> on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:04PM (#18296702)
      Note how he uses words like "might" and "perhaps". The politicians have no clue how it could possibly be implemented.

      Note that verifying ages is not going to stop 14 year old girls from talking to 18 year old guys, either. What are they supposed to do, prevent children from viewing the myspace profiles of adults and vice versa? Maybe the government should just build a Children's Earth and send all the children there, and ship them back when they turn 18. Maybe they should also build a Stupid Idiot planet and go there themselves.
      • by bky1701 (979071)
        "Maybe they should also build a Stupid Idiot planet and go there themselves."

        It would be more cost effective to just make a Not-Stupid-Idiot planet since it would be a whole lot smaller.
      • by dodobh (65811)
        Why make a new planet? Lets just build a ship and send them off. We will call it the B ark.
    • by MightyYar (622222)
      I fail to see why MySpace would even be under the jurisdiction of the Connecticut legislature - their servers are located in LA. Interstate commerce and all that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Ontop of all that, how the F**K are they supposed to get your parents permission?

      Kid: Hey, wanna earn $5?
      Bum: Sure. You want beer or cigarettes?
      Kid: Uh, neither. Can you just verify its OK with you that I use MySpace?
      Bum: MySpace!? I may be a bum but I got morals! Next you'll tell me you read slashdot.

  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:45PM (#18296582) Homepage
    Without teens on myspace where will I get my anti-emo rage from?

    We should encourage them to whine and mop about how life is sooooo tough in middle-class suburbia.

    Tom
    • by Ckwop (707653) *

      Without teens on myspace where will I get my anti-emo rage from? We should encourage them to whine and mop about how life is sooooo tough in middle-class suburbia.

      Which brings us nicely to my favourite google search [google.co.uk]

      Simon

  • 'If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet,' but quickly followed with the acknowledgment that there is no foolproof method."

    Foolproof method of what? putting a man on the moon?
  • by k1e0x (1040314) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:48PM (#18296600) Homepage
    Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. -- Ronald Regan, February 4, 1986

    so true..

    Rep [r]: Whats this MySpace thing Bob?
    Rep [d]: I dont know but its unregulated so it must be illegal. ... Free nation ehh.. where?
  • If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet.
    Congratulations, mr. Blumenthal. You are now a honorary member of the American Non Sequitur Society. Your membership card is on its way. Which, of course, brings the question: what's your favorite pizza topping?
    • by rizzo420 (136707)
      dick blumenthal has done some great stuff for CT... like forcing retailers to honor gift cards for their actual value and not reduce the value overtime or expire them or charge service fees for their use. however, he has recently gone completely nuts... first there was allowing the prosecution of the teacher who "showed students porn" because of spyware... and now this. i once thought he would make a great governor. now i'm glad i left CT.
      • by ivan256 (17499)
        Recently gone completely nuts? You let the guy stand at the plate for long enough, and of course he's going to get a few hits, but the fact that you can enumerate the number of good things he's done over his 17 year career should tell you something about the guy.

        If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can prosecute corrupt government employees. No? How about racketeering housing developers? No? Well surely he could do something about embezzling highway contractors? Again, no. Enforcing contract terms to
  • Lazy parents. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NumSlashZero (1073926) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:51PM (#18296620)
    There's enough of this "think of the children" crap when the majority of it could easily be solved by parents actually monitoring their children instead of relying on technology and things such as this. It's simple. All of these MySpace lawsuits and whatnot are complete bull, because every one of them could have been avoided if the parents actually paid attention to what their children were doing.
    • Re:Lazy parents. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:09PM (#18296724)
      Mod parent +1 (did I say that right? sorta new to this lingo =D). But to get back on topic, that is precisely where the responsibility lies. The Amish solved the problem nicely (although a bit extreme but that's just my opinion ;)). A slashdotter's signature I saw a few days ago was a quote by Heinlein about censorship. The same applies here; to paraphrase an old (East) Indian folktale - it's rather silly to install carpets in the entire kingdom; just wear a pair of shoes :P.

      Conclusion: American politicians and american parents need to learn the philosphy of wearing shoes =D.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Excelcia (906188)
      This isn't necesarily as easy as it sounds. Let me tell you some of my experiences.

      I monitor my children's internet usage, but what about friends? My oldest daughter is 11 and she has a friend the same. Her friend's parents seem to be quite relaxed about their daughter's internet usage. This friend of my daughter met a 17 year old guy on WoW and introduced him to my daughter. IT seems that this friend of my daughter's had introduced herself and my daughter to this guy as being older than they are.
      • Re:Lazy parents. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nataku564 (668188) on Friday March 09, 2007 @11:09PM (#18296990)
        Every single one of your scenarios involves adults controlling their children directly. Stop attacking the symptoms and go for the cause. Raise your child to be responsible, and trust them. If you can't do this - then that isn't my problem, nor is it myspace's. Leave our internet alone.

        Whats next? Your kid has a friend with an XBOX? ZOMG! We can't let that happen - lets have laws mandating that all XBOX Live voice chat must go through age verification.

        Of course, even if you put constraints on all media/communication ever (may that day never come to pass), your kid will still just be able to wander down the street to the local mall and pick up the hot older guys. The internet isn't nearly this bad, since it requires your kid to be really stupid and post personal information in order to be harmed.

        When I was a kid, my parents told me not to do stupid things, and then (for the most part) left me alone. They didn't scream in my ear to stay away from drugs. Far from it. My dad said they felt great ... then he went through all the withdrawl symptoms. He told me which ones were probably best left alone, and which probably wouldn't do anything to you at all - despite what the DARE officer may say. He, of course, said he would prefer me not to do drugs, and they should never be in the house, but my life was mine to screw up as I please. To this day, I have not done any drugs. I have immense respect for the trust my parents placed in me, and that alone kept me more in line than any punishment I can remember.
      • by poptones (653660)
        Let's put this another way: My daughter has a friend of about the same age. Her mother is very lax about letting the kids smoke, drink, and go to the mall alone. I am worried about my daughter possibly smoking, or drinking, or going to the mall alone with her friend and getting hurt. Do I cut her off now from her friend?

        Duh.

        If you haven't raised your daughter to be trusted and/or you refuse to trust her, then you have no other choice. It may suck, but it's the bed you made by not raising her to be more resp
      • Do I tell my daughter she can't be this girl's friend?

        If being this girl's friend puts your daughter in situations she is unable to handle yet, then YES you should absolutely discourage your daughter from hanging out with her. Yes, there is the chance she'll want to rebel and disobey you but that's part of being a parent. Step up and be a parent and don't expect politicians to make the problem go away for you.

        More importantly, you need to teach your daughter how to walk away from situations. Today it's

      • While your desire to protect your kids is understandable, state legislation is not the venue.

        Frankly, there are a ton of holes in your argument.

        1) If this 17 year old were a neighbor rather than an online friend, how would this change it? Does it dictate prohibitions on 11 year olds socializing with neighbors. You know that most (90%+) of child sexual assault occurs from a close friend, neighbor or family member, right? Should we prohibit all children from interacting with males.... period. Some air
      • by BoberFett (127537)
        I have a daughter as well, and I want you to keep your bullshit laws off my children. Just because you're a lazy parent doesn't mean you get to tell me how to do my job.
      • It sounds like you need to sit your daughter down and have an honest discussion with her about her safety. Being honest with her will communicate to her that you are treating her like an adult, and at her age, that's very important to her.

        But here's the real question for you. Let's say MySpace does implement an age verifier. Can you think of one? I can. I propose that MySpace should validate users through a credit card, with a $1 sign up fee so that it shows up on the credit card statement. What ha
  • by poptones (653660) on Friday March 09, 2007 @09:52PM (#18296624) Journal
    WTF don't we just send all the politicians there?
  • by zCyl (14362) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:08PM (#18296714)
    Accurate age verification essentially requires accurate identity verification. And if this is mandatory, then anonymity is completely impossible.

    Anonymity has long been a valuable component of free speech, and eliminating this is disastrous.
    • by J'raxis (248192)

      There've been a lot of stories recently about the government using these social networking sites for data-mining and surveillance. The sudden "interest" that multiple state legislatures are suddenly, and virtually simultaneously, showing in these age-verification schemes is a lot more suspicious in light of that, now isn't it?

      People are making comments like "Oh, this won't really matter in the long run, it's only Connecticut, blacklist their IP blocks," and so on. I wonder how long it will be until propos

    • We are talking about social networking sites in the US, not some political organization in China. Anonymity in this case is not about free speech, but about the "right" to not take responsibility for what we say. Personally, I find anonymity more of a problem as it is a major cause of pollution.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Danse (1026)

        We are talking about social networking sites in the US, not some political organization in China. Anonymity in this case is not about free speech, but about the "right" to not take responsibility for what we say. Personally, I find anonymity more of a problem as it is a major cause of pollution.

        What's the difference really between a social networking site, and any other site where people communicate, be it about politics, religion, health issues, etc? Who says which ones can be anonymous and which can't, a

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zCyl (14362)

        Anonymity in this case is not about free speech, but about the "right" to not take responsibility for what we say.

        How about the right to not be held to consequences for our political speech? If 50% of the employer's in the country would fire you for your political views unrelated to your job, do you have free speech? If the government finds you a suspicious character because of your political speech and decides to monitor you (reference the FBI during the civil rights movement), do you have truly free spe

  • It seems this would be Federal(FCC) turf like all other telecom.
  • by MS-06FZ (832329) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:18PM (#18296754) Homepage Journal
    Finally I understand why JFK was so keen on getting us to the Moon! It wasn't for science, it wasn't to win the space race or intimidate the Soviets, it was so that, in the future, once the Internet was usable by the masses, mankind would have the knowledge to be able to find out how old people are! Just think, if we hadn't gone to the Moon, we might not be able to do that, not over the Internet at any rate...
  • Man on the moon? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by walnutmon (988223) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:19PM (#18296770)
    "If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet" ...

    But we can't proove either worked
  • We know how well the physical age verification works at bars, tobacco/liquor shops, etc. </sarcasm>
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:30PM (#18296816) Homepage
    There's one big difference, Mr. Blumenthal, between putting a man on the Moon and verifying someone's age over the Internet: when you're trying to put a man on the Moon, the laws of physics aren't lying to you at every turn.
  • Enforcable? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by excelblue (739986) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:36PM (#18296844) Homepage
    Is this even enforcible if it gets passed?

    What if MySpace simply decides to not do business in Connecticut (as in, have no office nor servers there). Can they enforce the $5000 fine? What if MySpace simply doesn't pay up? Connecticut isn't simply going to filter MySpace, is it?

    I think it's just going to be like those Russian servers hosting warez. The stuff on there may not be allowed in many countries, but while it's in Russia, the only thing the US and European countries can seem to do is take action against the actual users.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by JackSpratts (660957)
      "Is this even enforcible if it gets passed? What if MySpace simply decides to not do business in Connecticut (as in, have no office nor servers there). " it isn't so simple or so localised. blumenthal is working with ags in 44 other states and while it's unreasonable to assume they will all have these bills, it's unreasonable to assume this will remain a connecticut-only issue that myspace can route around. expect to see many, many states jumping on this in the next several months - so many in fact it wil
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      What if MySpace simply decides to not do business in Connecticut (as in, have no office nor servers there). Can they enforce the $5000 fine?

      If MySpace doesn't do any significant business with Connecticut advertisers/companies, then there's nothing the State can do.

      Though, if they can make more than $5,000 a day (1.825 million a year) in advertising from Connecticut, they might just mark the fines down as a cost of doing business. The only reason they would try to comply is to deal with any bad PR.

      What if My

  • False Comparison (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dun Malg (230075) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:47PM (#18296882) Homepage
    You know what the biggest problem is with the old "If they can put man on the moon, why can't they [X]" cliche? People who use it don't limit it to reasonable and/or humorous accomplishments, like "make a blister pack that doesn't cut you to ribbons opening it". No, instead we get an incessant parade of morons who can't tell the difference between a collaborative effort towards a single narrow goal, and a huge, distributed task with multiple causes. We get idiots wondering why we can't "fix the slums", "stop drunk driving", or (in this case) "positively verify age over the internet". I say we work together to stamp this out. The next time someone utters the "man on the moon" comparison in a non-humorous context, we all agree to rush them and punch them in the stomach until they shut up.

    If they can put a man on the moon, then why can't we stop them from comparing stuff to putting a man on the moon?
  • This won't stop people from doing risky and dumb things and posting it on the internet only to get caught or get hurt in the process. Maybe CT should fine parents $5,000 every time their kid does something illegal and posts it on myspace/youtube. Politicians always look for the easiest scapegoat when a problem arises, which is usually some form of media that isn't the news. This is no different than blaming video games with violence for violent behavior.

  • It sounds to me as if the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution almost certainly overrules the Connecticut bill.

    • I thought it was clearly demonstrated in other cases that children are not citizens, and therefore do not deserve the protections of the constitution.

      Of course, at 12:01am on their 18th birthday, they are immediately handed a pack of cigarettes and a "girls gone wild" video and told "good luck with the harsh cold world kid"

      Yes, this is a GREAT way to handle it.... positively brilliant in fact.

      Stew
  • Pointy Haired Boss: "If we can put a man on the moon, we can <insert whatever ridiculous thing the PHB wanted done>'
    Dilbert: "All that proves is that other people can do other things."
    PHB: "Maybe we should find out how they did it."
    Dilbert: "Maybe they used good analogies."

    (note: Done from my infinitely fallible memory, might have paraphrased a teensy bit, but that's pretty close I think to what was said.)
  • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cepler (21753) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:52PM (#18296914) Homepage Journal
    ...in other news Montanna has outlawed those under 18 from speaking to anyone else under 18 citing cases of extreme violence caused by children teasing each other. President Bush has applauded this move saying it's about time a state take steps to stop needless violence in America.
  • >Under the bill, networking sites that failed to verify ages and failed to obtain parental permission before posting profiles of users under age 18 would face civil penalties of up to $5,000 a day for every day of noncompliance.

    Hahahaha! Stuff that fine where the sun never shines! It will never reach my sexy Swedish butt, I can assure you.

    Rule #1: If you want to work with media: Do it from another country than the one you're targeting!
  • Aside from the general control agenda they have with the internet, from the socioforming
    perspective I wonder why they are moving against these social networking sites. I always
    went with the theory that these sites actually immobilize people socially with surrogate
    chatroom buddies they will never meet in real life. Could it be that these sites actually
    cause people to meet up face to face in real life? (That would explain their upset).

    Don't blow up at me or call me names. I'm just curious.
  • by phiz187 (533366) on Friday March 09, 2007 @10:58PM (#18296942) Homepage Journal
    I contacted Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office and was advised that the initiative is being handled by the General Law Committee [ct.gov]. I contacted their office on 09 March 2007 and was informed that the proposed legislation would likely be attatched to House Bill #6981 [ct.gov]
    -PHiZ
  • I guess what they can do is hire people to do this... since this is Conneticut's idea, it seems they should be footing the bill to pay the wages of the people who will have the responsibility of doing age verification.

    Computers aren't smart enough for the task to be automated, so people will have to do it.

  • The nature of humans (Score:2, Informative)

    by Looce (1062620)
    The nature of humans is such that, with sufficient desire to access something, they will do anything in order to do so.

    This does not just affect technology, either. Just look at any child whose ball went into the street. He has the desire to access the ball again, so, even if it's in the middle of the road, he will try to reach it.

    Similarly, in high school, it is considered "cool" to drink beer, and smoke pot. Many students succumb to peer pressure, and in order to access these forbidden substances, they wi

  • Please sir, do tell us when *exactly* you've been to the moon and when *exactly* you intend to write the code necessary to identify a child on a community system with a subset of people who pride their anonymity?

    I love how politicians claim abilities beyond their own capacity.
  • by andreyw (798182)
    No, you *used* to be able to put a man on the moon, way back when the Soviets would otherwise have done it. It was nothing more than an extension of the arms race.
  • by meme lies (1050572) on Friday March 09, 2007 @11:24PM (#18297038)
    "Social Networking Site" is a buzzword, not a legal categorization. What would make MySpace a target for this law, and Slashdot exempt? The fact that you can have a page of your own (Slashdot has journals), add friends (Friends, Freaks and Foes) or send private messages (on Slashdot your email can be publicly visible?)

    Unless the law specifically named the sites to be restricted (which of course would not be possible) or they figure out a way to specify exactly what separates MySpace or Facebook from, say, a forum for a Warcraft guild (which would be possible, I suppose, but probably not by anyone fool enough to come up with such a law) then no site will be safe from the repurcussions.
    • by J'raxis (248192)

      Unless the law specifically named the sites to be restricted (which of course would not be possible) ...

      It would certainly be possible, except keeping the list up to date with new start-up sites would be impossible (a good thing), and having a law that specially designates individuals (including corporations -- legally, they're "people" too) and punitive actions to be taken specifically against them is perilously close to a bill of attainder [wikipedia.org], a type of law explicitly proscribed by name in the Constitution

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by malkir (1031750)
      Mod parent +1 That's EXACTLY what I was thinking. We should be spending more time educating stupid parents about what their children are doing, not essentially banning people from the internet. AIM is considered social networking, MSN is considered social networking, video games could be considered social networking ('o hey where u from?'). All for the sake of the children.
      What these idiots don't realize is that sites like myspace are only there because of popularity -- if they ban people from social netw
  • From the article:

    Under the bill, networking sites that failed to verify ages and failed to obtain parental permission before posting profiles of users under age 18 would face civil penalties of up to $5,000 a day for every day of noncompliance.

    I gather their target is large sites with explicit emphasis on social networking, but a lot is going to depend on how any law is worded. It could apply to anything on the internet which invites user submitted content. Like Slashdot. Or Joe Blow's Blog. Or whatever.

    Canada has a large, sparsely populated, territory called Nunavut. The US should negotiate a deal with Canada to set up camps where America's children could be raised in a safe, non-networked environment, with tight contro

  • [] I agree that I am not in any place that forbids me to check this box.
  • "Richard Blumenthal said of the proposition, 'If we can put a man on the moon, we can verify age on the Internet,'"

    Dick,

    We cannot put a man on the moon. I hope that doesn't upset your wacky internet age thing.

    Signed,

    Reality
  • Never Worked (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday March 10, 2007 @12:16AM (#18297334) Homepage Journal
    If the state could stop me from buying alcohol under age 21, it would have, but it didn't. Didn't stop it from trying, though.

    Instead, my parents raised me right, and I learned to drink without driving or anything else stupid.

    Making sure kids are exposed to only healthy environments is the parents' job, not the state's. Because the state will only get it awfully wrong, while parents can get it right for the specific kid.

    The state might have to punish parents when their kids actually damage someone (or themselves) by taking more risks than they can handle. But starting from the point that no parents can allow their kids to do things they are ready for, even though they're not at the arbitary state age, just damages another generation of kids who should be learning from those actually responsible for them, not some official puritans and their nerveless, clumsy bureaucratic hands. Even if the scaredy-nannies want to vote for the latest buzzkill-in-chief.
  • If the company takes reasonable efforts to simply block users from the states implementing these laws, they most likely can't be held responsible for any of it.

    First, block IP ranges known to be entirely within the states.

    Secondly, employ something similar to the "bump out" trick [truste.org] that's used to avoid COPPA [wikipedia.org] liability: offer in your registration form the ability for people to select one of these proscribed states, but when they do, inform them the site is unavailable to them (only after they make a select

  • From The Dinner Party [seinfeldscripts.com]

    We never should have landed a man on the moon. It's a mistake. Now everything is compared to that one accomplishment. I can't believe they could land a man on the moon . . . and taste my coffee! I think we all would have been a lot happier if they hadn't landed a man on the moon. Then we'd go, They can't make a prescription bottle top that's easy to open? I'm not surprised they couldn't land a man on the moon. Things make perfect sense to me now. Neil Armstrong should have said, "That'

  • You might as well ask Myspace to verify pedophile status in people who sign up. Their success rate will be the same.
  • Sure, why not? its no different then restrictions on *children* in the physical world.

    I agree it would be nearly impossible to enforce, but does that mean its a bad idea? I dont think so.
  • Greater Implications (Score:3, Interesting)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Sunday March 11, 2007 @04:41AM (#18306340)
    Whether or not the logistical nightmare of internet age verification is something that Myspace could deal with is one question, but this whole situation raises others. Most importantly, what will be the definition of a social networking site, besides Myspace? Facebook, certainly. Personals sites, like Yahoo Personals, or eHarmony? What about anything IM-related, which would include Google/Gmail? Craigslist, or even Angieslist? Slashdot? Any site with any sort of a forum or bulletin board can act as a social networking venue, no? Does this mean that if I want to have a guestbook on my band's website I'll have to verify ages and get parental consent for minors who want to say "hi"? This doesn't look doable, and I doubt any such legislation would survive multiple courts once it was tested.

All the evidence concerning the universe has not yet been collected, so there's still hope.

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