SAVE THE CHILDREN . . . FROM AN ENDLESS BARRAGE OF IDIOCY
* Commercial websites and personal blogs “would be required to report illegal images or videos posted by their users or pay fines of up to $300,000.”So, if I get this straight, any blogger or host would be responsible for monitoring the content and links of his or her commenters. Does anyone even know what an "illegal image" is? A pic of a naked, underaged boy? A photo of a dead Iraqi boy not submitted through the proper channels by an "embedded" press photographer? One of the many photoshopped gems based on McCain's embarrassing man-hug with Bush?
* Internet service providers (ISPs) are already required to issue such reports, but under McCain’s legislation, bloggers with comment sections may face “even stiffer penalties” than ISPs.
* Social networking sites will be forced to take “effective measures” — such as deleting user profiles — to remove any website that is “associated” with a sex offender. Sites may include not only Facebook and MySpace, but also Amazon.com, which permits author profiles and personal lists, and blogs like DailyKos, which allows users to sign up for personal diaries.
I can't see this passing, especially under the new Congress. In addition to the standard save the children hysteria, I wonder if part of the impetus for this nonsense isn't the role the blogosphere played in last month's election. For that reason Republicans and the mainstream press have been all too eager to bash this growing 5th Estate. Though the Dem's historic stupidity is never to be underestimated, I don't see why those of the new Congress would let this gar-bage sneak through.
At any rate, should this pass, I implore those of you who count yourselves among the teeming hordes of my "regulars" (all four of you, or is it five these days?) to obey the following rules regarding comments:
1. No pictures of hot, luscious, naked women. E-mail them to me directly, and I'll let my team of legal experts determine whether they constitute "illegal images."If it hasn't already.
2. No posting of any really clever, especially humorous, or overly intelligent criticism of the President, Congress, members of the mainstream media, popular bloggers, or Paris Hilton. Again, submit these to me directly, so my crack staff can gauge their legality. And please remember to attribute these submissions to "Mike." That, ummm, makes it easier to get them through the, uhhh . . . the firewalls & the filters. Yeah, the filters.
3. To defray the massive costs I'll incur in monitoring compliance with this law, please send me a check, made out to "Mike," for $100. Remember, I'm a lawyer, so if you don't, I'll sue your ass.
4. Write a letter to John McCain telling him just how goddamn stupid this bill is, while reminding him that his hopes of gaining the Presidency hinge on the supposed support of moderates, centrists, independents, and others who normally don't vote Republican. And tell him that this shit could cost him dearly.