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Mr Spencer Cox Is A Dirty Jew Mr Mike McKell Is A Dirty Jew

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Go deface and purge,, and Because they waste of electricity

Mar 26, 2021, 9:39:28 AM3/26/21

For decades now Utah legislators have repeatedly engaged in theater in their
doomed bid to filter pornography from the internet. And repeatedly those
lawmakers run face first into the technical impossibility of such a feat
(it's trivial for anybody who wants porn to bypass filters), the problematic
collateral damage that inevitably occurs when you try to censor such content
(filters almost always wind up with legit content being banned), and a pesky
little thing known as the First Amendment. But annoying things like
technical specifics or the Constitution aren't going to thwart people who
just know better.

For months now Utah has been contemplating yet another porn filtering law,
this time HB 72. HB 72 pretends that it's going to purge the internet of its
naughty bits by mandating active adult content filters on all smartphones
and tablets sold in Utah. Phone makers would enable filters by default
(purportedly because enabling such restrictions by choice is just to darn
difficult), and require that mobile consumers in Utah enter a pass code
before disabling the filters. If these filters aren't enabled by default,
the bill would hold device manufacturers liable, up to $10 per individual

On Tuesday, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed the bill into law, claiming its
passage would send an “important message” about preventing children from
accessing explicit online content:

"Rep. Susan Pulsipher, the bill’s sponsor, said she was “grateful” the
governor signed the legislation, which she hopes will help parents keep
their children from unintended exposure to pornography. She asserts that the
measure passes constitutional muster because adults can deactivate the
filters, but experts said it still raises several legal concerns."

The AP story takes the "view from nowhere" or "both sides" US journalism
approach to the story, failing to note that it's effectively impossible to
actually filter porn from the internet. Usually because the filters (be they
adult controls on a device or DNS blocklists) can usually be disabled by a
toddler with a modicum of technical aptitude. Or that filters almost always
cause unintended collateral damage to legitimate websites.

The AP also kind of buries the fact that the bill is more about performative
posturing than productive solutions. The law literally won't take effect
unless five other states pass equal laws, something that's not going to
happen in part because most states realize what a pointless, Sisyphean
effort this is:

"Moreover, the rule includes a huge loophole: it doesn’t take effect until
five other states pass equivalent laws. If none pass before 2031, the law
will automatically sunset. And so far, Utah is the only place that’s even
got one on the table. “We don’t know of any other states who are working on
any plans right now,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation media relations
director Rebecca Jeschke."

There's also, again, that whole First Amendment thing. There is apparently
something in the water at the Utah legislature that makes state leaders
incapable of learning from experience when it comes to technical specifics
or protected speech:

Obviously, this will go about as well as all the previous efforts of this
type, including the multi-state effort by the guy who tried to marry his
computer to mandate porn filters in numerous states under the false guise of
combatting "human trafficking." And it will fail because these are not
serious people or serious bills; they're just folks engaged in performative
nonsense for a select audience of the perpetually aggrieved. Folks who
simply refuse to realize that the solution to this problem is better
parenting and personal responsibility, not shitty, unworkable bills or, in
this case, legislation that does nothing at all.

Earlier this month, we noted that, to close out its session, the Utah
legislature decided to pass two separate blatantly unconstitutional bills.
One requiring porn filters on internet-connected devices, and the other that
tried to overrule Section 230 (something states can't do) and require all
"social media corporations" to employ an "independent review board" to
review content moderation decisions. It also says that social media
companies must moderate in an "equitable" manner (whatever that means).

We went through all of the reasons why the bill was unconstitutional, as did
others in Utah. In response, the bill's sponsor, Senator Michael McKell,
gleefully told a local TV news station that he looked forward to wasting
Utah taxpayers' hard earned money by defending it in court (he didn't say
that it would be wasting the money -- that's just us noting that it would be
throwing away their money since the law is so clearly unconstitutional).

Thankfully, Utah Governor Spencer Cox (who happens to be Senator McKell's
brother-in-law) has decided to veto the bill -- his very first veto (as we
noted earlier, he chose to sign the other unconstitutional bill about porn

Oddly, Cox's office released two separate statements regarding the veto --
only one of which notes that the bill was likely unconstitutional, while the
other one seems to act like the bill just needs a few technical tweaks. It's
almost as if he's trying to have it both ways and address two different
audiences with two very different statements. The official veto statement
makes it clear that the bill has serious constitutional issues:

Whatever course of action we take to protect online speech should seek to
fully uphold the values enshrined in the First Amendment. While it is clear
that something must be done, I believe that S.B. 228 raises significant
constitutional concerns. And while I am proud that Utah is leading the
effort to protect individuals' speech on the internet, I believe we will be
well served to continue further coordination with our sister states to
ensure faire access to the nation's largest public square.

Um, yeah, no. The government does not get to force anyone to host anyone's
speech. That's not how it works. At all. The very notion of it is against
the principles of the 1st Amendment.

The other statement, that Senator McKell himself posted to Twitter (after
whining about the fact that his brother-in-law vetoed his bill) pretends
that there are real serious issues involved in all of this, rather than
silly, unconstitutional performative nonsense.

That statement doesn't even mention the constitutional issues and instead
suggests that there were merely "technical issues" that got in the way
(apparently some in Utah think the 1st Amendment's prohibition on compelled
speech, as well as the Constitution's Commerce Clause are merely "technical

Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed S.B. 228 Electronic Free Speech Amendments, with
consent from the Senate President, Speaker of the House and bill sponsors.
After conversations with the legislative and executive branches, this action
was jointly determined as the best path forward due to technical issues.
Censorship by tech companies is a serious concern, and this action will not
hinder nor prevent Utah from finding the right policy solution.

“The sponsors of this bill have raised valid questions about the impact
social media platforms can have on public discourse and debate,” said Gov.
Cox. “Our country continues to grapple with very real and novel issues
around freedom of speech, the rights of private companies and the toxic
divisiveness caused by these new forms of connection, information and
communication. While I have serious concerns about the bill, I appreciate
the willingness of the bill’s sponsors to continue to seek a better
solution. Utah must be a leader in this space and I look forward to engaging
with legislators and social media companies to address these legitimate

S.B. 228 had made significant headway and elevated Utah’s position in
conversations with big tech corporations. Utah policymakers along with the
governor will work closely with stakeholders to ensure all Utahns have an
equal opportunity to exercise their First Amendment right.

Um, yeah, you see, the 1st Amendment blocks the government (including the
government of Utah) from making laws that impact individuals' rights to free
expression. The government cannot seek to force private companies to host
speech. So the very idea that they need to step in to make sure that "Utahns
have an equal opportunity to exercise their First Amendment right" is

Even more bizarre is that Cox allows his brother-in-law, who wrote the bill,
to put in a completely nonsensical statement into the press release claiming
(laughably) that it's actually the content moderation decisions of private
companies that must violate the 1st Amendment:

“I appreciate the commitment from stakeholders who have agreed to work with
the Legislature to craft a better solution that will increase transparency
within social media corporations,” said Sen. Mike McKell. “Censorship
practices are un-American and likely unconstitutional. In Utah, we defend
the right to freely express opinions and views, regardless of political or
religious affiliation. The outcome of S.B. 228 is not ideal; however, the
issue of free speech and online censorship remains a priority and policy
will continue to be refined throughout interim.”

That's not how any of this works. You don't get to force private companies
to moderate the way the government wants them to moderate. That is what's
unconstitutional. Utah: elect better people who will actually stand up for
your constitutional rights, not try to demolish them while pretending that
their attacks on the Constitution are no problem at all.

McKell further notes that as soon as the legislature is back in session
he'll introduce a new version of his unconstitutional bill. I will take a
wild guess and predict it will be equally unconstitutional. Especially since
almost everyone involved in this ridiculous process keeps saying the same
stupid things:

“Free speech is one of our most cherished American values and essential to
democracy,” said President J. Stuart Adams. “With the rise of social media,
the issue of censorship has become increasingly prevalent, and the need for
corporation transparency has proven necessary. While I support the concept
and ideas of S.B. 228, after conversations with Gov. Cox, Speaker Wilson
Sen. McKell and Rep. Brammer, we decided continuing the discussion regarding
online censorship will be the most productive path forward. Together as
Americans, we must ensure the right to speak freely remains intact, and I
look forward to addressing this issue in the near future.”

Everyone has the right to speak freely. What they do not have the right to
do is to force others to host their speech or to tell them how they can make
editorial and moderation decisions. That is an attack on their 1st Amendment
rights. It would be nice if elected officials in Utah could understand this
fundamental point behind the 1st Amendment. Tragically, that seems unlikely.

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