As Lewis Black once said:
The only thing worse than a Republican or a Democrat, is when these two pricks work together! Basically how it works in congress is that a Republican stands up and says ‘Hey, I got a really bad idea’, and a Democrat stands up and says ‘And I can make it shittier.’
Here’s one way in which the new Democratic congress has taken a really bad Republican idea and made it even worse. This week the House of Representatives passed – with only two dissenting votes – H.R. 3791, the “Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act of 2007.”
This new legislation would require anyone providing an “electronic communication service” – that’s your ISP, MySpace, the internet cafe down the street, and your neighbor who failed to secure his wireless network – to report to the authorities the identity of any person they believe to be involved in child porn or “transferring obscene matter.” Failure to make the report could result in fines as high as $300,000.00… and, oh, yeah, seizure of all your computer equipment and data for “investigative” purposes.
Now, it might not be easy to define child porn, but it’s a safe bet that most of us know it when we see it. (Um…. would know it. If we saw it. ) But what to figure out what might be obscene matter and not obscene matter is pretty tough even for the Supreme Court to figure out, let alone the untrained layperson. (Um… non-lawyer.) So, in the interests of educating the public, I’ve decided help those of you running “electronic communications services” (lock down that wi-fi, people!) sort out what kinds of “obscene” material you are likely to encounter on your network, and would therefore have to report to the authorities:
Five Terribly Obscene Things Americans With Open Networks Must Report to the Authorities Under H.R. 3791
- Video depictions of University of Hawaii football players watching a one-loss team play a two-loss team for the BCS National Championship
- Photographic depictions of Kevin Federline’s ex-wife’s genitalia
- Uwe Boll not getting knocked the hell down.
- Digital transmissions of Kevin Federline’s ex-wife’s new album
- Any depiction of a Member of Congress engaged in the explicit act of supporting legislating like H.R. 3791