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Senate Bill Would Make Clandestine Video Taping Illegal 880

happyclam writes "CNN says that Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) is announcing a new combination bill that would do two things: (a) outlaw filming someone via hidden camera without their permission except in public places, and (b) provide for an adult-only domain such as .prn where all non-child-safe sites (pr0n, hate speech, etc.) would be relegated--the sites would have to give up their .com/.org/.net domains they own today. The first part makes sense, but the second clearly treads on free speech to some extent and will have a hard time going through, I imagine." I wonder if having an actor at the press conference is a new requirement for a bill to be introduced in congress.
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Senate Bill Would Make Clandestine Video Taping Illegal

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  • What about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:10PM (#3360237) Homepage
    other countries? Could still end up with exotic asian scat porn on .com or .org domains. The internet is not .USA.

    Perhaps automatically offerening free transfer .prn so becomes would help. But still, this would be messy.
    • What is this chick thinking ? What's next, appointing a $95 million committee to study the effects of vs AnalSluts.prn ?

      They are Still Anal Sluts !
    • Re:What about (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MonkeyBot ( 545313 )
      Yeah, but Verisign IS in the USA--everything that they don't control would have a country's extension (.uk, .de, etc.) after it.
      • Re:What about (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phyxeld ( 558628 ) <phyx&lostinthenoise,net> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:08PM (#3360844) Journal
        But verisign doesn't have exclusive control over .com or any tlds anymore.

        If this passes, whats to stop me from registering my xxx .com/net/org domains through Gandi [], and going merrily on my .com-porno way? (gandi doesn't seem like an organzation that's going bend over for some ridiculous US law)

        And what about links to sexual content?
        If linking to explicit content makes a site explicit, just about any discussion site would immediately have to be in the .prn TLD. But if linking to explicit content was allowed, TGPs would still be OK in the .com namespace, and it would defeat the purpose. And who's going to decide what is explicit content? The government already enforces the age restrictions on rated "R" movies, based on the MPAA's internationally-hated violence-good/sex-bad ideology, and the MPAA has already []dipped their toes in the website-rating waters... I'm sure these .prn assignments won't be run like that, though, right?

        Theres so many problems with this concept it's rediculous. I'm all for a .prn TLD, but blocking sites from .com is censorship no matter how you look at it. (many services WOULD just block the entire .prm TLD, making those sites exist only to audiences with the "dangerous []" full internet connection.
        • Re:What about (Score:4, Informative)

          by Dirtside ( 91468 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @06:08PM (#3361752) Journal
          The government already enforces the age restrictions on rated "R" movies
          It does no such thing. The MPAA ratings are voluntarily enforced by the theater chains (and not very stringently, either -- it's been better lately but it's still quite easy to get around the restrictions). The MPAA is a private organization to which most large movie studios belong voluntarily, and they agree to abide by its rules.
    • Re:What about (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wind_Walker ( 83965 )
      Well, it's obvious. All the good, wholesome, American porn would be hosted on .prn, while other sites that are disgusting pinko (no pun intended) commies are delegated to the more respectful .com sites. It makes perfect sense.

      I mean, come on. When you're surfing for porn, you look for the 1000-popup American sites and stay away from that Asian Scat stuff right?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:53PM (#3360714)
      You can bet that a blanket ban on covert filming is going to be actually aimed at threatening the reporters and activists who use hidden cameras to expose the lies and hidden secrets of abusive and corrupt organizations. Remember, these sort of abusive and corrupt organizations will agressively use any sort of official secrecy to keep information from the public. (Remember how Tobacco companies even managed to use Attorney-Client privelege to hide scientific research? Or how the chemical industry has tried to use "national security" concerns to remove public records of toxic sites?)

      The "public space" exemption is too narrow as a lot of the current space used generally by the public is actually held in private hands. Furthermore, the public has a right to know a lot about what happens in supposedly "private" places that actually produce products for public consumption.

      We should not be naive here. Angie Harmon and concern about voyeurism is not what laws like this are really about. If we want to ban just voyeuristic films of private citizens in various states of undress, then a law should be written that narrowly targets that.
      • by joranbelar ( 567325 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:35PM (#3361094) Homepage
        You did read the article right? It does specifically target that. "to announce a bill that would make it illegal to film someone for a 'lewd or lascivious purpose' without that person's consent." I doubt many activists are going around making sex tapes about the tobacco industry.
        • I'm embarassed to be from LA, thanks Mary!

          I'm looking forward to the future of cheap, tiny and pervasive video recording devices. This bill is raising "privacy" expectations where there are none. It's already illegal to publish someone's image without their consent. Making it illegal to create such images in your own home is the thin wedge of outlawing such devices in public places, except for "official" or "impartial" and "privacy protecting" government devices. Fight this now.

          Get it straight people, if you don't want to be embarrased of your behavior DONT DO EMBARASSING THINGS! People have memories, video devices are simply memory enhancers. Right now, I can tell anyone I want about the expressions you make on your face and other sensations no video device will ever capture. Telling others makes me a cad, remembering might make me happy, forgetting is impossible.

  • Stupid. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:10PM (#3360238)
    That means I can't set up video tape surveillence inside my house?

    So now my house has less privledge than a public place.

    I guess its not my "castle" anymore. Its just a nuisance to this numbskull.
    • Re:Stupid. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Pxtl ( 151020 )
      Yes, you can - you just have to have a sign out front informing any visitors that they're being watched. If they don't like it, they shouldn't enter.

      This prevents you from legally being able to blackmail visitors with things that supposedly occured in privacy. Imagine a sex-toy shop - costomers want to feel safe knowing that they are not being taped as they enter and exit the store.

      Really, I'm still worried about public places - I mean, I don't like the idea that "insert bank name here" knows every time I walk by (not into) one of their machines, which they could do with face recognition.
      • Re:Stupid. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Mark Pitman ( 1610 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:54PM (#3360728) Homepage
        Yes, you can - you just have to have a sign out front informing any visitors that they're being watched. If they don't like it, they shouldn't enter.

        Not true, you don't need a sign if you are taping in your house, as long as it is not for "lewd and lascivious" purposes. Read the article.

        Do you really think you are not being taped when you enter an adult shop? Why would it be any different than walking into a drugstore or convenience store, etc. Most stores have security cameras of some sort.

  • Free speech (Score:4, Informative)

    by blankmange ( 571591 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:10PM (#3360239)
    So once all the porn and everything else that isn't wanted is relegated to the .prn domain, what then? Conveniently, DNS serves begin losing their registrations? And who decides what goes into the .prn category? Definitely a free speech issue..... and I won't even start on the video issue......
    • But understand that the video idea is much simpler to pass. By piggybacking the .prn issue onto the same bill, they might actually get the .prn issue through into law. Pretty common tactic, I think...
    • Slippery slope; it doesn't follow that the top-level name servers will just start "losing" undesirable domains. After all, look at the wealth of crap that just seems to keep existing in the ".com" namespace...
  • by zorba1 ( 149815 ) <> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:11PM (#3360255)
    This reminds me of the recent story of libraries filtering adult content (or not, as the case may be). How does one really determine if something belongs as a .prn versus a .org?

    If I show pictures of breasts, am I .prn automagically? What if I run a site on breast cancer? Am I automatically .org?
  • While this applies for only "lewd or lascivious purposes", it might lead the way for more restrictive stuff...

    looking at extremeties:

    What if you're worried about your babysitter not treating your child right.... Does that mean you can't videotape their behavior because their in your own home?

    What about all those "worlds worst employees" video tapes too...
    • The second to the last paragraph of the article states that the law applies to recordings made for lewd and lascivious purposes. I think that secretly videotaping babysitters for the purpose of monitoring their performance doesn't fall into that category.

      An exclusion for public places would seem to permit workplace monitoring.

    • If you're woried about them not treating your kids right, For god's sake don't hire them! You're leaving thm home alone with your children, and yet you don't trust them enough not to have a video camera?
    • More examples:

      You want to make sure a maid isn't stealing from you.

      Set up a hidden camera and leave some small amount of money out.

      See if they steal it. Then you can fire and prosecute them.

      Make it so they could conceivably steal without you noticing. A dozen $1 bills would work. Maybe they'll take one or two from the pile, thinking you'll never notice. You could also leave out a larger amount - more risk - but you then you might be able to get them nabbed for a felony.

      Hopefully that will still be legal after this bill passes, there should be a provision for something like that.

  • watch it pass now, because of varying penalties for minors. No matter what other inanity is attached that one provision makes it "for the children."
  • Holy fucking shit! I'm on the telephone to my reps as soon as I get this profane fucking tirade hammered out.

    teenpussy.prn! What's next: restricting .mil and .edu domains only to legitimate military and educational institutions? The nerve of these scatmongers.
    • Nothing wrong with making .prn porn only IMHO. Doesn't offend me in the least.

      Forcing stuff there on the other hand...

      In your example: .mil is only for legitimate military sites. So why is the US Marines [] main site a .com? Those dirty rotten military people - why are they taking valuable .com space. They should stay in their own .mil.

  • illegal to videotape people without their knowledge/consent. (unless it's in public, IE: at a festival, company picnic, etc)
    For instance, if someone comes in for an interview for a job, and a camera is hidden for the purpose of taping the interview, I thought the interviewee had to be notified.
    • by epepke ( 462220 )

      Legal to videotape, but only without sound.

    • Hmmm, I thought it was too, at least as far as bathrooms are concerned. There was a special on 60 minutes or something, about upskirting. Some woman was talking about how some guy behind her was filming up her skirt with a camera, and how she called the authorities. Of course it it legal to do that in a public place, as long as he wasn't moving her clothing aside or anything. Just because the visible angle is straight up, doesn't make it suddenly illegal. But that's beside the point. What they didn't seem to address is the practice of filming people in public restrooms, that would seem to me to be on another level. Yes it is a public place, but ostensibly a place provided for privacy in public. I'd be pretty shocked to hear that it's legal to video someone, without sound or no in a public restroom, dressing room ect. As far as taping an interview goes, I can't see how that's a problem though.
    • by damiangerous ( 218679 ) <> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:22PM (#3360391)
      It depends on the state. Here's [] a summary of voyeurism laws by state, as well as federal laws.
  • distinctions? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dryueh ( 531302 )
    Under the bill, any person who uses a camera or similar recording device to record another individual either for a lewd or lascivious purpose without that person's consent is in violation of the law

    Does anyone else think it's weird that this policy only covers 'video voyerism' when used for lewd or lascivious purposes? If I want to set up a camera to spy on my neighbor's house just to keep tabs on what they're up to, is this allowed or am I just confused?

    That seems weird...

  • .. but the forcing all Porn/Hate Related sites to switch to it obviously is. Who determines what is Porn and what is Hate? Who's going to police this? No one to date has been able to successfully police any of the Internet to effectiveness. If I say I hate the public school system, would the public school system consider that hate speech and request my site be moved to .prn so they can easily filter it? I highly doubt .prn will make it through..
    • Yeah, I've thought we needed a .xxx TLD for a long time. But there are problems. Some have been mentioned, like who decides if it is porn or art? Who polices it? What if one country doesn't follow the rules? Also, then you will have a lot more redirect domains. So you go to and all that is there is a redirect to But no rules were broken, because there was no porn on the .com site. The porn industry isn't going to make it easy for people to avoid them. They try to drive more traffic to their sites. I don't care that there are porn sites out there, but it really irks me when I'm searching for something non-porn and half the links in the search engine appear to be what I'm looking for, but is just a porn trap. Or when you mistype some of the more popular URLs. instead of for example. I just don't think it can be enforced.
  • by richlb ( 168636 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:12PM (#3360274)
    You've got your hate speech in my porn!
    You've got your porn in my hate speech!

    Introducing new ArianBabesInBondage.prn.

    Seriously, who would benefit from this? Serious adult-only sights wouldn't want to be identified with the KKK, and "hate speech" sites wouldn't want to be "adult only".
    • Ooh, good idea. I'm registering so I can sue *twice* when this law gets passed.
  • .prn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:13PM (#3360283) Homepage
    I think that is a bad tld. .adult would be better. This isnt DOS. If a good way to categorize this comes about, I'm for it. The problem is, even victoria's secret magazine is porn to a 14 year old boy from suburbia. But about videotaping... I should be allowed to tape my babysitter in my own house.
    • Yes but who decides what's porn and what's not? Can I have the job please? :o)
      • Re:.prn (Score:5, Funny)

        by Don Negro ( 1069 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @05:04PM (#3361288)
        You know who used to have that job? The U.S. Supreme Court.

        Seriously, one of my professors at the University of Texas, Scot Powe, clerked for William O. Douglas. At that time lawsuits about what was and was not obscene were being filed individually, and the justices (or their clerks) had to watch each one to write a brief on it for the decision.

        Powe said the best part was walking out of one particularly bland showing with Thurgood Marshall, who turned to him and said, 'I think we need to send that one over to the FTC for false advertising.'
    • Re:.prn (Score:2, Insightful)

      I should be allowed to tape my babysitter in my own house.

      Totally agree ... however ... to be safer from lawsuits, you may want to inform her that you are taping (whether you tape or not) ... the effect of that may be worth more than showing a video tape (now illegal?) in court.

      (Also, don't encourage her to take a shower)

    • But about videotaping... I should be allowed to tape my babysitter in my own house.

      Tell me about it! Mine is so hot! As long as the wife doesn't find out...

      Oh wait. You were talking about something different.

      (on a serious note I completely agree. If it's your house you should be able to do whatever you want).

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:13PM (#3360288) Homepage
    Free speech does not give you the right to trick someone or mis-represent yourself..

    Granted is obvious IS NOT and is there to only decieve and misrepresent in-order to trick people into their site.

    I agree with the .prn part... but we need to Expand it.. FORCE businesses into .biz and .com schools into .edu and only groups and orginazations get .org while internet services providers are forced with .net

    Yes... slashdot will have to become a .com because it is a BUSINESS.

    it's about damn time someone suggested forcing TLD's to be used correctly.
    • I'd just like to point out that already redirects to here!
    • Why force people to move to another domain, when the people who want to create child-safe websites could willingly put their sites into a .child-safe domain and you could allow you childeren access to this domain only.
    • by Pope Slackman ( 13727 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:35PM (#3360542) Homepage Journal
      They'll get my .net when they pry it from my cold, dead DNS record.

      C-X C-S
      I also have a .com, and a .org. Once I get an .edu, a .gov and a .mil,
      I'll have collected the whole set!
      Then they will all combine to form Voltron, and I'll rule the world!!
    • won't work (Score:3, Interesting)

      by extra88 ( 1003 )
      Slashdot is a good example. It started off as a hobby and .org was probably a fine choice of TLD. There were no ads. At some point ads came along, probably just because the bandwidth costs were getting out of hand. Then they got bought out by a company. Most recently they started selling subscriptions.

      So under your system when would they forced to give up the .org for a .com? When money changed hands? When they became part of a corporation? When they started selling a service to individuals rather than eyeballs to advertisers?

      Ooh, sorry, someone else already owns, a company which sells razors to sadist cartoonists, guess Taco & Co. can kiss their branding goodbye. Oh well, if people are really interested in them, they can find them through Google.
    • by prizog ( 42097 )
      What about a non-profit site that sells stuff? What if it sells adult stuff?

      What if a non-profit become for-profit? What about the other way around? (Yes, both happen). And .edu is reserved for 4-year colleges now ... would you want DQU there? ( tml -- grep for university). What about the site currently at (a scientology school -- one student I knew there had only the following classes in 9th grade: Ethics, Drugs, Math.

      Anyway, your whole plan is stupid, because drawing these lines is extremely difficult. Especially the .prn part. Where's Mapplethorpe?

      What about Martin Luther? Remember that .prn was also supposed to cover hate speech. ML wrote "On The Jews And Their Lies," (hate speech if I ever saw it) but back then, that was perfectly acceptable. He also wrote the 95 theses and founded Protestantism.

      Yeah, categorizing is too hard.

      (BTW, what makes you expect a government site at
  • Uh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dr. Ghastly ( 572776 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:14PM (#3360294)
    What about video taping babysitters to make sure they don't molest your children? Making it illegal for someone to video tape you in YOUR house who is NOT the owner, ok. Saying the owner can't do what he wants in his own house? I don't think so.
    • by Pxtl ( 151020 )
      You just need permission. Make it clear to the babysitter that they will be taped, and that if they don't like it they should seek employment elsewhere. Of course, you might have to make some concessions (yeah, you can raid the fridge, yeah, you can watch TV) in order to get babysitters that don't mind being watched, but otherwise it should be fine.
  • by al_d ( 472085 )
    Who would be responsible for policing .com websites, to ensure that they remain adult-content free?

    If someone posts a linke to goatse on a kiddie's chatboard, would that site be 'relegated' to .prn?

    I wonder if they understand the scope of this problem; there are so many grey areas.

    Would it be easier to set up a .kids, .family or something domain name, that was guaranteed 'clean' from the start?
  • by DShor ( 127100 )
    Not surprised about this bill at all. You aren't allowed to audio tape someone without prior conscent, why would you be allowed to video tape someone...

    This does impact the nanny-cam issue. Far too many bad nannies will get away with beating kids because of this bill if it passes.

    As far as the .prn thing, I don't know why people are so against this. If it's porn send it there, it will make it easier for people to find the porn they need, and make it harder for kids to find it.
  • "the sites would have to give up their .com/.org/.net domains they own today." - it's very unlikely that any webmaster would agree to do that!
  • X10 Cam (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joe Jordan ( 453607 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:15PM (#3360310) Journal
    I'm all for it if this bill makes the X10 advertisements illegal (since they display images of unsuspecting females in private places).
  • What about links? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dachshund ( 300733 )
    Of course, the purpose is to make it easier for the world to block adult sites. The question is, what can they do about people who link to adult sites by IP address, from within an otherwise harmless .com/.net/org site? Seems like that'd be the business of the day, if this thing ever got through.
  • This will eventually mean that in the event that /. is deemed unacceptable material or material that could potentially be harmful for minors, and in the event that all .prn sites are fire-walled at my office, I won't be able to read anything interesting during lunch.

  • to track visitors viewing habits? I'm sure it would, but I just don't know how much easier. With this new system, going to .prn sites would automatically mean you were looking at porn or hate-related sites, whereas with .com and the others, it could be anything. is going to most likely be a porn site, but some of the other names aren't so obvious, unlike sites with a .prn stuck at the end.
  • Hate speech? On a .prn domain? I'm not saying I agree with the idea of moving these around at all, but wouldn't .adu be more appropriate if you're going to file these under the same section? Or perhaps seperate them into .adu and .xxx?
  • by scotch ( 102596 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:17PM (#3360336) Homepage
    The effect of forcing all porn, hate speech and other undesirables to a new TLD will hava chilling effect on free speech. I think it might turn out a bit like what happened with NC-17 movie ratings. IIRC, the NC-17 movie rating was invented as a label for movies inappropriate for children separate from stigma of X-rated porn movies. However, movie theatres and movie goers still associate porn with NC-17, and movie theatres are reluctant to show these films no matter what the subject matter. Movies with legitimate subject matter (read non-porn ;) ) suffer when they get that rating, and the ratings board uses this power to snuff ideas willy-nilly (see rating of "Requeim for a Dream").

    Anyway, a .prn TLD would automatically be associated with porn. ISP and other would be pressured to not even carry this domain. Other non-porn sites and speech placed there would lose exposure and audience.

    Who decides whether something is hate-speech? There are many problems with this idea, and few benefits, IMO

    • NC-17 movie rating was invented as a label for movies inappropriate for children separate from stigma of X-rated porn movies.

      It was created because the MPAA had lost control of the X rating to the porn industry, which had been labelling its own stuff with 'X' and 'XXX' for years without respect to the MPAA ratings board -- that is, the vast majority of stuff labelled 'X' had never passed through an MPAA review. So the MPAA created and trademarked -- or copyrighted, or whatever -- the NC-17 label. I don't think the MPAA was much concerned over whether the new rating became associated with porn -- which would clearly fall under an NC-17 rating -- just with regaining control over its ratings.

  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) ... (b) provide for an adult-only domain such as .prn where all non-child-safe sites (pr0n, hate speech, etc.) would be relegated--the sites would have to give up their .com/.org/.net domains they own today.

    Well, thank God they had the foresight to ensure that the internet was run by the US senate, with the US government having complete jurisdiction over all domain naming issues! Oh, you mean they didn't?

    So, what's next, all non government approved stuff has to give up their domains and move to the new .lies domain? Does China get to do that too, or would it be unethical if those evil Communists did the same as patriotic US senators?

  • But your Honor, we had a notice on display about the videotaping.

    "But the plans were on display....."

    "On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."

    "That's the display department."

    "With a torch."

    "Ah well, the lights had probably gone."

    "So had the stairs."

    "But look, you found the notice didn't you?"

    "Yes", said Arthur, "yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked
    filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying
    'Beware of the Leopard'"!

    - Douglas Adams

  • by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:18PM (#3360345) Homepage Journal
    A long long time ago, in a internet far away..

    TLD's were originally MEANT to separate entities on the internet. Then along came the big bad internic who decided what a great idea it would be to WHORE out TLD's to anyone willing to pay the price. Remember when.

    .org was for non-profit
    .com was for companies
    .edu was for schools
    .net was for network providers

    It's not a free speech issue as much as it's a zoning issue. I don't mean DNS zones, i'm referring to the type of zoning cities do that dictate what kind of businesses go where. You have your industrial zones, your retail zones, your suburban zones, and yes, there are even zones for strip clubs. This kind of zoning doesn't infringe on anyone's right.

    One more thing, the Internet is like our public roads, their use is a privilege, not a right. Anyone that abuses that right get's reported to their upstream provider and they disappear off the net faster than you can say "" I'm all for regulating these sites because Iâ(TM)m sick and tired of being tricked into a ZILLION popup ads from these fruity porn sites. Their methods have become more sinister over the years and they need to be put in check. Just because I accidentally or purposefully click a link, it's not a license to take over my computer with popup after popup.
    • That's fine, AT THAT LEVEL OF GRANULARITY. It doesn't reflect content. It reflects broad enough categories that free speech isn't an issue, it's more of a tax category issue than anything else. And I'd have no problem if that scheme was stuck to. It's the step beyond that's proposed here that's the problem.
  • Good for them! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dysan2k ( 126022 )
    I have to admit, I have absolutely NO problem what-so-ever about regulating porn to it's own domain. I mean, geez people. They can already track your sessions via proxy, so it's not like theres any additional security problems there. You could (heaven forbid) start blocking .porn sites at the firewall level to keep even more of those damnable pop-ups from flying all over the place when you're making a legitimate lookup! I'm sorry if I don't see a "Freedom of Speech" restriction here by ANY stretch of the imagination.

    And are you REALLY believing that your ISP will choose simply not to resolve those type addresses? Sure they will. Same reason why stuff like alt.binaries.erotica.teen exists still.

    I say let's do it. As for the video taping, that was bound to happen. Good thing, too! If it's not for security, it's mounted (wireless connected) to a remote-control car to run around the office and annoy people. :) It's fun, yet creative! Put a small transiever on it, and join the meeting from the privacy of your cubicle. No more interrupted Tribes 2 matchs!
  • Way to go, Congress. You take a good and decent idea for a law that needs to be created (hiding video cameras in Nancy Wilson's shower should have been illegal when it occurred and the fact that it still isn't is appalling), and you throw a rider onto it that is totally outside the scope of your power and a flagrant violation of the First Ammendment, virtually guaranteeing its demise. Spiffy.

    So not only will the law not pass a judicial review for Constitutionality meaning the good aspects of the law go bye-bye, but you'll be completely ignored by the internet anyway, which is an international construct.

    You're on a roll now, why not vote yourselves another raise?
  • Haven't the courts already ruled that forcing somoene to label their speach is an infringement on free speach? (otherwise, it'd be much simpler to require and "adult" meta-tag.)

    I think a TLD specifically for porn is a good idea, just like we have r- and x- rated movies. (Of course, those are run by industry groups, not mandated by congress.)
  • by tapin ( 157076 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:20PM (#3360374)
    As seen in another post [], Google has decided that xenu [] is promoting hate... oops, we meant advocating against Scientology [].

    Does this new bill mean (if it were in the US) it would have to be xenu.prn?

    As the Usenet thread points out, does this mean the Democratic Underground would have to move to democraticunderground.prn?

    What's ICANN got to say about all this, since (I thought) they turned down .sex, .xxx, and .porn?

    (Nevermind, scratch that last part.. I couldn't care less about what ICANN has to say about this.)

    This seems to me to be one-upping the legislation that tries to redefine SMTP []. Yikes.

  • I like the idea of moving "adult" sites to a new domain, but who decides what is "adult" and is not the Internet international? It is another case of stupid bill which assumes that the US government is in charge of the Internet. (It may only be stupid political grandstanding, but it is stupid.)
  • I would assume that Angie Harmon's appearance was due to her role in this [].
  • Here is a big problem with the way that the US policy is made. Things are combined together on one bill when they have no correlation. This forces people to vote for something they might not have sepratly. If I believe that taping someone without thier knowledge is wrong and vote against the bill, come election time, the ads will run. "Senator Baxley voted against a bill to segregate porn on the internet! He's so bad!" Let's have these two be seperate bills and vote on each as it's merit lends.
  • Hmm, there might be a fifth amendent problem here. The .com addresses are generally thought to be most valuable. This might be difficult, aside from the free-speech issues, as a 'taking' i.e. private property be taken for public use, without just compensation

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer

    Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project ( []


    The second half of this bill would have NO impact on what the rest of the world could do on the Internet, and therefore be completely without edge. Everybody else would be free to use, and Of course, Americans would be able to access these sites, but not set them up. So what's the point? Nothing gained in terms of protection, something lost in terms of freedom.
  • Opt in.. Why try to move all "adult oriented sites" to a new TLD? Why not create a .kids TLD and offer free (or cheap) domains to any site that passes certain criteria.. This way the current net remains, but worried parents could limit childrens browsing to *.kids..
  • provide for an adult-only domain such as .prn

    This reminds me of the MPAA's infamous NC-17 rating. They wanted to create a rating for very-adult-but-not-explicity-pornographic films, but it never went anywhere, because theatre chains refused to screen NC-17 films. As a result, American consumers have no choice to view these films in a theatre, even if they want to.

    The same thing would happen here. If all possibly-objectional content were segregated into its own top-level domain, nine out of ten ISPs would drop access to .prn to limit their liability and/or bandwidth costs.

    Few people would actually have access to the .prn domains. So either they would be subject to de facto censorship, or they would migrate back to .com and other domains to preserve their visibility.

    All in all, a lousy idea.
  • Angie Harmon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _ph1ux_ ( 216706 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:25PM (#3360429)
    She [] was there because she played someone named Susan Wilson referenced in the article in a TV-lifetime [] movie about this ladies problems with video voyeurism.... most likely the reason they had her there instead is because the real Susan Wilson is probably not as good looking... and they are using Angie Harmon's good looks to assist in swaying the emotions of people into accepting this bill further. If they were to have had some ugly lady bitching about being watched on camera - it would not carry as much weight as if some hottie was doing the bitching. This just goes to show, that even still, politics is acting for ugly people - its the same BS emotional manipulation as the hollywood crap. Just makes me sick.
  • by $carab ( 464226 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:26PM (#3360446) Journal
    An open letter to those under-regarded /. members:
    This is a time of great chaos. But there is a threat even greater than terrorism and the CPDPTPDTA (sp). Yes, and that is goatse.prn
    What about "goatse.prn"?
    Well, think about the effectiveness as a new /. user foolishly clicks on a "funny" link. They're not really sure about, but you can be damn sure they won't click on goatse.prn. No more lulling n00bs into having a pleasant shock. I can say it in no stronger terms than this: If this law passes, /. trolls will lose a great deal of their "classic" material. You need to fight for rights!

    Send a letter to your congresspeople and senators asking to vote against this bill! Remember, "People come for the, not the goatse.prn!"

    For your convenience (probably to busy hitting "refresh", looking for first post, huh?), here is a sample letter.

    Dear congressperson,
    I am a pathetic loser who appreciates diluting valuable content with disgusting images. This gives me pleasure, and by passing this bill, you will be hurting my very livelihood. So when the time comes for you to vote, remeber:
    Think of the trolls, not the children.

    Thanks for your valuable time.
  • (a) outlaw filming someone via hidden camera without their permission except in public places, ... The first part makes sense

    This is handled at State level just fine already. Even the congresscritter mentioned on the radio that something like 40+ States do not have the law she proposed.

    Said another way, something less than 10 States find a need for a law like this, they were perfectly capable of passing these laws without any help from the busybody DC crowd. For example, in TN I can record (audio, video, both) any conversation that I am party to and do not have to inform the other parties, i.e., one party concent. In Maryland, all parties to the conversation need to be informed (unless there is a warrant) that a conversation is being recorded. This proposal is just a federal extension of the same theme.

    Apparently, in some States, one person can legally train a camera through the open window of another person's home. In others you can not. Sounds fair enough to me. I close the shades when I do not want others to see what is in my apartment and do not need a law to alleviate me of my responsibility.

    If someone enters my place and plants a camera, I believe that every State has a dozen or so laws that the perpetrator can be charged with (breaking and entry, illegal entry, etc), that is if the cops bother to stop writing speeding tickets long enough to catch the criminal. Don't forget all of the civil charges.

    Now, since States can and do pass laws like this one, what "makes sense" about the feds passing it for the whole country?
  • by delld ( 29350 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:28PM (#3360470)
    Why don't they just legislate .kids or .notpron, and simply permit no conent unsuitable for children on sites with that domain. Then, if one were to want to ensure that kids don't see anything unsuitable ban them from going to all other domains. Corporations catering to kids and the vulnerable would most certainly jump on board (as they do not have to rid themselves of their old domains) and I am sure would be easy to get online. Enforcement is dead easy. Why do the guys coming up with this stuff think in such convoluted ways?
    • What if a kid in seventh grade was trying to do some research for school, say on World War I. He would go to, because that's the only site from which he is allowed to search, and he would type "world war i" in the box. What would come up? Only sites on the .kids domain? What if there are no companies actively supporting a .kids version of their site that contains WWI material? Is this kid then not allowed to complete his research project?

      What you propose is a step in the wrong direction. And please don't assume that people think in "such convuluted ways" just because they've been elected.
      • by HiThere ( 15173 )
        He'd just need to get his parent's to turn off NetNanny (or whatever) while he researched. It's not a bad idea. Probably less bad than the *.prn domains.

        But it doesn't need an act of congress to set it up. All it needs is for the DNS servers to agree. Or even just some of them. AOL could probably do this all on it's own, certainly if it collaborated with Earthlink and a couple of others big names.

        Getting congress involved at all is proof that something else is up.
  • by rubinson ( 207525 ) <> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:29PM (#3360476) Homepage
    What we need to do is pass a law that permits only one law to be introduced per bill. What the heck does an adults-only domain have to do with videotaping others without their consent? (Besides the obvious, of course.) Might as well add on a tax increase while we're at it.
    • you are absolutly right.
      we need: one bill, one law NO riders.
      Banning riders would do more for this country then any other single thing.
      once I began eading about bills that(to me) where good bills that should have and probably would have passed that where killed because a rider was attacht to it, or bad riders that where passed because the original bill was popular, it made me sick. This is far to abused to have any good any more.
    • by sean23007 ( 143364 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:16PM (#3360917) Homepage Journal
      What we need to do is pass a law that permits only one law to be introduced per bill.

      Senator 1: I propose a law that states that only one law may be introduced in each bill. This would cut down on pork barrel legislation and ridiculous associations between laws.
      Senator 2: I propose an amendment to said law, that each Senator in this committee is entitled to a $30 million Christmas bonus this year. For business purposes, of course.
      Senator 1: Agreed!
  • by Seth Finkelstein ( 90154 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:30PM (#3360477) Homepage Journal
    Note the hard-core (pun unintended) sex sites are in fact the ones most compliant with keep-minors-away requirements. That's because they want paying customers.

    From the District Court CDA decision []

    Perversely, commercial pornographers would remain relatively unaffected by the Act, since we learned that most of them already use credit card or adult verification anyway.

    Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project ( []

  • by Edmund Blackadder ( 559735 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:37PM (#3360569)
    It will basicly make any adult discussions (and i mean adult not in the pronographic sence but in the mature sence) equivalent to porn.

    Something similar already happened with the movie industry in the US. The rating for 18+ (i forget it) is considered pronography so nobody is willing to make movies that will get rated that way even if they are serious movies. If some one does make a movie that is rated adult it will be treated as porn and not shown in most theatres even if it is not porn but a serious adult movie.

    Thus the US in the embarrassing position where most if its movies, and thus a big part of its culture is made for adolescents.

    Protecting children is fine, but it is really sad if the whole cultural discource is reduced to adolescent level in order to protect children. Then it is the adults that suffer - they do not have a chance to grow up mentally and spiritually.

    If you think that an adult can lead a full life while only participating in culture that is suitable for children conside that even the bible is not really suitable for children.

    And if you think that this law will prevent a child that really wants porn, you are mistaken, there is always a way to go around circumvension measures - all you need is a friend on the outside that can access the adult site and send it to you encrypted, so no one sees what it is.
  • by CaptainPhong ( 83963 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:45PM (#3360650) Homepage
    This is just another example of poorly thought out bill with a barrel of pork tacked on for good measure. At points it's too narrow to actually suceed in what it attempts, and at others it's too ambiguous or far reaching.

    In principle, both ideas have merit. It is already illegal to secretly record audio without a warrant (i.e. bugging or wiretapping). It makes sense for the same rules that apply to audio apply to images and video as well. But, in this bill, it is only illegal if it is for a "lewd or lascivious purpose." What about videotapes that violate your privacy in non-lewd ways? Shouldn't those be illegal too? And it doesn't apply in public places! What about public restrooms? What about "upskirts"? Those are two things they specifically want to stop, and it's not clear at all if those are covered.

    Fortunately, this law would not prevent, for example, taping of your babysitter to be sure s/he's not beating your kids (it's not a lewd purpose).

    The .prn part is a piggyback bill. It's clearly tacked on to this because the videotape business is (on the surface) quite sensible. In principle, I don't have a problem with having a separate TLD for adult sites (it's far from censorship, and having TLDs mean something in general is a Good Thing), but it has all kinds of problems with praticality. For example, who determines if a site is pornography/hate speech? Lots of "ratings" systems have been tried and are not sucessful, why would TLDs be different? Why .prn? Hate sites are not pornography. Why not .adult? They also don't seem to recognize that the Internet is international. What good does it do to apply this to US sites when sites in the rest of the world can do whatever they want? That doesn't protect anyone. It's clear that noone who had input on the bill had any real technical knowledge of how the Internet works.

    This is clearly NOT a privacy bill at all, but simply a porn/speech regulation bill. OK ideas drafted into lousy legislation.
  • by gonar ( 78767 ) <sparkalicious.verizon@net> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @03:55PM (#3360740) Homepage
    no more "hidden camera investigations" by legitimate journalists.

    no "nanny cam" to catch the nanny abusing your child or stealing your stuff.

    the only people allowed to use hidden cameras will be law enforcement/entrapment agencies.

    who decides what is adult? (not her I hope).

    the democratic party should be ashamed to have a legislator who would sponsor this kind of crap in their ranks.

  • What if... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Evanrude ( 21624 ) <> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:03PM (#3360804) Homepage Journal
    it is a situation where a child is the voyeur?
  • .prn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:05PM (#3360827) Homepage Journal

    I would rather it was .adt becasue prn makes me think of printers, and it is being proposed for more then just Adults having sex.

    It would behove the legitmat Adult film industry to push for there own domain as well. It makes them look good, it does not prevent people over 18 from viewing them, it gives parents an easier way to prevent there under age child from seeing something there parents don't want them to.

    To put an adulkt mgazine behind the counter, but still let people know where they are, doesn't impact free speech. The publishers to publish and there readers can still buy there mag.

    For propriety sake, I would also like to say that I like adult sexual entertainment, Believe it should be allowed. It has problems, but so does the non-sex entertainment industry.

  • by toupsie ( 88295 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:11PM (#3360875) Homepage
    I think having a pr0n domain for perverts is great. No problem with that and should have been done years ago. Go for it! Think ass.prn will be owned by Bayer for trademark reasons?

    However, who is going to determine whose hate speech will be required to use the ".prn" domain? Hate is not absolute, it is very subjective to the observer and comes and goes with societal fashion. Personally, I think "Hate Speech" deserves the most protection possible and should not be regulated by Government. Its every American's right not to like people for irrational reasons and be able to shout it at the top of their lungs. I like it when I hear hate speech because it makes it easier to determine the folks I want to avoid.

  • ACLU v. Reno (Score:3, Informative)

    by Artagel ( 114272 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:34PM (#3361083) Homepage
    When the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was struck down, Justice O'Connor wrote a concurrance that suggested that if the law had been approached as a zoning ordinance, it could have been written to pass muster. In writing the opinion, she relied, in part, on a 1996 article by Larry Lessig.

    The idea of using a PRN domain was probably motivated by that concurrance. Whether it would survive Supreme Court review is another matter. Justice O'Connor was only joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist.
  • X10? (Score:3, Funny)

    by after5 ( 451598 ) on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @04:48PM (#3361192) Journal
    Wait...this is good! No longer would we have to put up with X10 ads telling us to video tape the girl next door!

  • by JohnA ( 131062 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {nosrednanhoj}> on Wednesday April 17, 2002 @05:56PM (#3361671) Homepage
    Kent Brockman: With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.
    Speaker: Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of --
    Congressman: Wait a minute, I want to tack on a rider to that bill: $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.
    Speaker: All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill? [everyone boos]
    Speaker: Bill defeated. [bangs gavel]
    Kent: I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"