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Illinois Bill Would Ban Social Networking Sites 293

Posted by kdawson
from the including-Obama's dept.
AlexDV writes "Library blogger Michael Stephens is reporting that an Illinois state senator, Matt Murphy (R-27, Palatine), has filed a bill that 'Creates the Social Networking Web site Prohibition Act. Provides that each public library must prohibit access to social networking Web sites on all computers made available to the public in the library. Provides that each public school must prohibit access to social networking Web sites on all computers made available to students in the school.' Here is the bill's full text." This local effort harks back to an attempt last May to get federal legislation banning school and library use of social networking sites (Wikipedia summary here). The DOPA bill passed the House but died in the Senate.
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Illinois Bill Would Ban Social Networking Sites

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  • by President_Camacho (1063384) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:39AM (#18008896) Homepage
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, ... oh nevermind.
    • Think of the Geeks! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:11AM (#18009028)
      Many a /.er treats /. as a social nw site where you might try to build karma, bitch about MS etc etc.
      • by pla (258480) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:30AM (#18009606) Journal
        Many a /.er treats /. as a social nw site where you might try to build karma, bitch about MS etc etc.

        You've just nailed (accidentally or not) what I see as the second biggest problem here (after the blatant unconstitutionality of the proposed legislation)...

        What does count as a "social networking" site? Would SlashDot count? Would most blogs that allow comment posting? Would USENET, for that matter? The full text of the bill basically sounds like it violates Free (online) Assembly rather than Free Speech.

        The concept of "social networking", as used here, really has no meaning except by example. When you outlaw meaningless ideas, you open the door for overly aggressive AGs and DAs to start creatively interpreting the law to apply in areas not even the most paranoid of the beanie-wearing crowd could have predicted. Case in point, the DOJ (in)famously held a series of lectures on how to apply the patriot act and subsequent antiterrorism legislation to your friendly neighborhood weed dealer. Riiiiiiiight, protection from Osama.



        But, but, but... Think of the children!
    • Is to prevent pedos to gain "anonymous" access to social networking sites when chatting up their perspective victims.
      • by aussie_a (778472)
        So they'll be targeting internet cafes next then? Fuckers.
      • No, it's not. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AlexDV (759799) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:36AM (#18009136)
        No, it's not. Read the text of the bill. It doesn't specify anything about pedophiles or anonymous access. Heck, it doesn't even attempt to specify what exactly constitutes a "social networking." This aspect alone makes this bill virtually impossible to implement in any meaningful way.

        Secondly, even if there was a definitive definition of social networking, just how on earth would you be able to block all sites that fit that profile? A gigantic black list? I'm happen to be the network admin for a small Illinois library, so if this becomes law, I'm one of the people who's going to have to deal with the mess. I'd be very interested in knowing exactly how the heck Senator Murphy thinks this would work. My guess is that he really has no idea what he's talking about, but thought that this would play well with the "think of the children" crowd.
        • by lukas84 (912874) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:52AM (#18009186) Homepage
          That's easy. Just whitelist all the pages which are not social networking pages.

          And that would be porn, with a few slides of usable content.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ShieldW0lf (601553)
          It's most likely not intended to universally block all access to social networking sites. There are, after all, internet cafes and home internet access available.

          It's most likely intended to give the librarian the authority to tell someone who is using the library computers to surf myspace.com to get off the computer and let someone waiting to do their homework have it.

          We are talking about libraries, after all...
          • Re:No, it's not. (Score:5, Informative)

            by Alsee (515537) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:42AM (#18010232) Homepage
            It's most likely not intended to universally block all access to social networking sites. There are, after all, internet cafes and home internet access available.

            It is not "universal" - it only applies to schhols and libraries - but it is mandatory blocking.

            It's most likely intended to give the librarian the authority to tell someone who is using the library computers to surf myspace.com to get off the computer and let someone waiting to do their homework have it.

            Librarians already have the authority to do that.

            The Fine Article has a link to the text of the bill. This bill explicitly says libraries and schools " MUST PROHIBIT access to social networking websites on all computers made available to the public / students". It contains enforcement provisions by which the Attorney General or any random idiot citizen of the State may initiate a court action if they are personally "not satisfied" with the school or library.

            -
            • IANAL, but I fail to see how this could possibly be free speech issue. You're not prohibiting anyone's speech - it's the equivalent of book-banning, which IS legal, not suppression of publication, which wouldn't be. Even if there was a right to free (online) assembly, this wouldn't violate it - it's not limiting who interacts with who.

              That said, in my opinion the librarians do a pretty darned good job balancing such issues, and I hate to take any control out of their hands. Furthermore, there is no "save
      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        Is to prevent pedos to gain "anonymous" access

        There are plenty of safe ways to do that, lots of anonymising services for a few dollars a month, sited overseas if you're paranoid (if you're a pedo online, you should be).

  • Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seinman (463076) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:55AM (#18008952) Homepage Journal
    Good for him. Have you been to the library lately? Just try to get some work done on a computer there during the first few hours after school lets out. Every computer is some punk 15 year old on MySpace. Let's get library computers doing what they should be doing: helping people with legitimate research. Not helping emo kids whine about their girlfriends.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      it's the lesser of 2 evils. would you preffer a minor inconvience, or have less freedom of speech?
      • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @05:24AM (#18009322) Homepage
        "Freedom of speech" implies the right to hold/express an opinion not "free computers for spending the whole day instant messaging while people who need to look something up on Google are standing fuming behind you".

        If you desperately need to use MySpace then go across the street and pay $1 an hour in the cybercaf like everybody else.
        • by krotkruton (967718) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:22AM (#18009816)
          "Freedom of speech" implies the right to hold/express an opinion

          How about holding the opinion that my time on MySpace is worth just as much as your time on Google? I'm not a big MySpace user, but you are putting values to the way people spend their time. If your community feels that people shouldn't use library computers to get on MySpace, then campaign to make it a policy of your local library, but don't support some bill that will make it a requirement of every library. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean there isn't some community that only uses their libraries to access MySpace.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by umbra_dweller (797279)
          That's why there is absolutely nothing wrong with an individual library, or even a whole collective of librarians making such an edict - there should be restrictions on such limited public systems. The problem is that the legislature has no place making such laws.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by jcr (53032)
      You get what you pay for, dude. If you don't want to compete with the emo kiddies for use of the taxpayer-provided computers, then buy your own.

      -jcr

      • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:33AM (#18009122)
        Maybe the grandparent can afford a home computer, but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone can. The point of a library is to educate and assist the public, even/especially those who wouldn't be able to afford similar services. Internet access is not a luxury anymore, and even those who can't afford it may need it to search/apply for a job, get information, or send that quick message to their brother across the country.

        Given that I'd still say this bill is absolutely ridiculous. A better solution would be implementing blocks on a few clearly labeled computers, or allow librarians to use their judgment to give serious users preference over frivolous users if necessary. For some reason I doubt it will pass anyway.
        • Re:Good. (Score:5, Informative)

          by AlexDV (759799) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:49AM (#18009170)

          Given that I'd still say this bill is absolutely ridiculous. A better solution would be implementing blocks on a few clearly labeled computers, or allow librarians to use their judgment to give serious users preference over frivolous users if necessary. For some reason I doubt it will pass anyway.

          I work for a public library, and this is exactly what we do now. Every day when school gets out, we're inundated with junior high kids coming in to monopolize our computers for their daily MySpace, RuneScape, and AIM fix. The solution that we've come up with is to reserve one third of our computers for "non recreational use." Specifically, this means no social networking sites, recreational IM, MMORPGs, or games of any kind. Basically, it's at the discretion of the staff to determine when this policy is being violated, and to discus it with the patron.

          In short, we've already solved this problem without any help from our meddling "representatives" in Springfield. Same goes for porn. We don't filter our Internet access, but we do reserve the right to ask people to avoid sites that include explicit content, because the computers are all in a publicly viewable area. This is part of our own Internet Use Agreement, not some piece of legislation dreamed up by Senators with nothing better to do. In other words, we're perfectly capable of handling most of the perceived problems with public access computers without any interference from the government.
        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          by jcr (53032)
          . The point of a library is to educate and assist the public, even/especially those who wouldn't be able to afford similar services.

          Public use means just that, not public use that meets with the approval of the poster to whom I was replying. The emo kiddies he was bitching about are just as entitled as he is to use the machines in question.

          -jcr
      • Oh, absolutely!

        There is no reason to expect something useful or educational from a public library.

        People who can't afford computers do not deserve to use them.

        I couldn't agree with what you're saying more!!!!
        • by jcr (53032)
          People who can't afford computers do not deserve to use them.

          More like, people who are using anything provided at someone else's expense are in no position to bitch about others doing the same thing.

          -jcr

    • Good for him. Have you been to the library lately? Just try to get some work done on a computer there during the first few hours after school lets out. Every computer is some punk 15 year old on MySpace. Let's get library computers doing what they should be doing: helping people with legitimate research. Not helping emo kids whine about their girlfriends.

      Good point. However, shouldn't this be at the library's discretion rather than a state law? That is, libraries that feel that this is a problem can set up a proxy locally that bans access to myspace, and libraries where this isn't a problem (because they are too far away from a school) wouldn't need to.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlexDV (759799)

        Good point. However, shouldn't this be at the library's discretion rather than a state law? That is, libraries that feel that this is a problem can set up a proxy locally that bans access to myspace, and libraries where this isn't a problem (because they are too far away from a school) wouldn't need to.

        I work for a public library and, yes, we are perfectly capable of handling this without crazy legislation being shoved down our throats by clueless politicians. The simple solution is to reserve a portion of our computers for non-recreational use and locate them far enough away from the ones that noisy teens frequent so that people can get real work done in peace and quite.

        Wow, that was simple! We even managed to come up with that all on our own, without any help from Big Brother. We librarians are mig

        • It's a great solution.

          Until some latchkey kid doesn't get to play games with his friends after school decides to whine about the unoccupied bank of computers and convinces his parents to sue: after all, there's no law requiring you to keep that bank free, so you shouldn't put any restrictions.. right?

          It's the same thing with cigarette laws. It ends up being an all-or-nothing propositon because people make a stink if there aren't any laws and a restaurant wants to be non-smoking, so the legislature steps in
      • Surely it should be at the discretion of whoever's paying for the computers.

        If that's the feds then they should get to decide.

    • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Library Spoff (582122) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @05:18AM (#18009296) Journal
      >>legitimate research
      Posting on Slashdot?

      Why shouldn`t kids use Myspace? Maybe we should get rid of all Fiction books as well - I mean they`re
      not for legitimate research.

      Libraries are for everyone - don`t be such a snob.

    • by sg_oneill (159032)
      At least kids are reading and writing.
    • Have you been to the library lately? Just try to get some work done on a computer there during the first few hours after school lets out. Every computer is some punk 15 year old on MySpace.

      I agree with you that it is in society's best interest to get as few people wasting their lives on myspace as possible. Just the electricity spent to power the HTTP requests is a tragic waste that we should seek to minimize. But there are more effective techniques than an Illinois state statute of dubious constitutionalit

    • But (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KKlaus (1012919) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:55AM (#18009718)
      Library computers shouldn't be used for myspace, but nevertheless this is no place for the law. Have it be library policy, and give the library tools to enforce it, i.e. throwing people out, then banning them, and then trespassing carries hefty enough penalties that I'm sure it will be fine. The desire to fine people or (worse) criminalize them for things that annoy you when far less severe measures are available and effective is just plain wrong. We don't need anymore criminals in this country, and we don't need anymore people thinking that it's ok to fine them a couple hundred dollars for browsing a website when they're not supposed to. It's just a site.

      And to the extent that, in good slashdot tradition, I didn't read the article, this statement should be intrepeted as broader than this specific instance. I.e. I don't know what the actual suggested "consequence" of violation would be, so MMMV here.
      • You do know that libraries get most of their funding from taxes/local government, right? It certainly IS a matter for Government and Law to step in.

        The title of this submission is incredibly misleading too, btw. Nothing is being banned here.
    • by SamSim (630795)
      Sure, but do you really need a law for that? Instead of, e.g., filtering software?
    • better altenative (Score:4, Insightful)

      by idlake (850372) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:51AM (#18009964)
      Get more PCs for the libraries. Seems like money well-spent even if students spend their time on MySpace.

      Not helping emo kids whine about their girlfriends.

      Emo kids, whining, and girl friends is mostly what literature (i.e., the stuff that belongs in libraries) is mostly all about. Think of MySpace as interactive, participatory fiction.
    • Not helping emo kids whine about their girlfriends.

      Now I know you're making this up. Emo kids don't have girlfriends!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova (717540)

      Good for him. Have you been to the library lately? Just try to get some work done on a computer there during the first few hours after school lets out. Every computer is some punk 15 year old on MySpace. Let's get library computers doing what they should be doing: helping people with legitimate research. Not helping emo kids whine about their girlfriends.

      The public computers in a public library exist for the public to use. The 15-yeard old emo kid is a member of public just as much as you are; his use o

  • by jd (1658) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [kapimi]> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @03:56AM (#18008954) Homepage Journal
    Technically, you could argue that all USENET groups (and therefore Google, as Google carries newsgroups) are a form of social networking. All sites that provide blogs (such as Groklaw, Slashdot, The Guardian newspaper, the BBC News, CNN) would also be covered. Hell, the discussion pages on all Wikis are technically blogs, so there goes Wikipedia, friends and family. Many technical sites provide web archives of mailing lists and/or web-based forums, so there goes Sourceforge and any University or College that carries Open Source products. Many commercial software websites have online chat rooms for technical issues, so you'd have to eliminate those as well. Virtually all fansites for movies, TV shows, etc, also provide some kind of web-based posting service, so you'd end up kicking those out as well. Oh, and Craigslist would need to die, too.

    By my reckoning, this leaves you with FTP sites that have no upload facility, the few remaining Gopher servers, and maybe the local taxi cab company.

  • Speech (Score:3, Insightful)

    by okinawa_hdr (1062664) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:00AM (#18008974) Homepage
    It's about controlling free speech and information dissemination. When there are vast networks of information distribution controlled by the people, that raises eyebrows.
    • by Jessta (666101)
      You mean, small networks of information controlled by the company that runs the social networking site.
      Do you realise that anything you post to myspace,facebook etc. means that you have licenced them to distribute it in any way they wish.
      They own your information. If they think your blog entries might make a nice book they can print it, maybe they like a photo you made they can sell it to a newspaper.

      The people don't control this information.
  • *scratches head* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zCyl (14362) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:05AM (#18008998)
    Seriously speaking, what percentage of parents are terrified of social networking sites these days? I remember back in the 90s when everybody thought the internet was out to seduce and corrupt their children, but this is 2007. You can find worse things in google than found on most social networking sites. So how many people are really still afraid of these mysterious-yet-elusive "internet predators"?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032)
      Of course, if one wanted to really protect the children, then you'd have to take a look at where kids really do encounter sexual predators. # 1 is in their own homes. #2, churches. #3, schools.

      -jcr

    • Re:*scratches head* (Score:4, Informative)

      by bmo (77928) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @05:36AM (#18009368)
      "Seriously speaking, what percentage of parents are terrified of social networking sites these days?"

      Plenty, if they read newspapers. Here's some trolling by Combs, published in my local paper.

      http://www.cagle.com/politicalcartoons/PCcartoons/ combs.asp [cagle.com]

      How would _you_ mod that as a slashdot moderator? Me: -1 Troll, -1 Flamebait -1 Stupid (if only) -1 overrated (so it can't be taken away in metamoderation).

      --
      BMO
  • by Konster (252488) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:06AM (#18009004)
    I had to look twice to see that Palatine wasn't Palpatine.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr&mac,com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:09AM (#18009008) Journal
    Most of the legislators at the state level are those who aren't even smart enough to make it into the US Congress (and considering some of the blithering idiots who have infested that institution, that's saying something.)

    -jcr

    • Most of the legislators at the state level are those who aren't even smart enough to make it into the US Congress (and considering some of the blithering idiots who have infested that institution, that's saying something.)

      I think politics in general is an employer of last resort. Like the army and the police.

    • by Dhalka226 (559740)

      Most of the legislators at the state level are those who aren't even smart enough to make it into the US Congress

      Or they are people who actually want to impact lives, and realize that the majority of governing in general is not done at the federal level.

      Or want to be involved in government, but don't want to get into the high-profile grind of federal office where they will spend most of their time raising money to get themselves re-elected.

      Or maybe want to stay near home and impact the communities whe

  • what is the difference between "banning" a website and "censoring" website (ie. the www)?

    It seems the banning is used to bring about positive connotations while, censoring is used to bring about negative ones, but they are essentially the same.

    • by aussie_a (778472)
      It's like what's the difference between a freedom fighter and a militant rebel?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by VValdo (10446)
        It's like what's the difference between a freedom fighter and a militant rebel?

        Which was Luke Skywalker again?

        W
  • by Digital_Mercenary (136288) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:14AM (#18009038) Homepage Journal
    Lets stop fooling around and do it right!

    (Global proposition 999)

    People are responsible for the most dangerous and irresponsible acts that can be committed against other people. I propose we ban "people" all together. Stop repeating a history of mistakes and destroy the worlds problems in one fell swoop. End people. They rape, torture, kill without regard for themselves or others. All over the world people are forced to jail people in order to protect themselves, yet the problems continue. They have children, abuse the children, who intern have more children with no end of abuse in site. Their is no way to ensure a person will never mistreat another person unless all people are banned from existence.

    So in conclusion, the only way to provide a safe loving environment for the future of our world is... the immediate and complete removal of all people from the face of the earth. Please support proposition 999 for a people free planet. "Get rid of the people, get rid of the problems."

    (Yes I've been drinking.)
  • flamebait headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:15AM (#18009042)
    The headline chosen by kdawson was "llinois Bill Would Ban Social Networking Sites", which is a ludicrous distortion.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Mortanius (225192)
      Don't forget, this is Slashdot. And the politics section. Redundancy at its finest there. kdawson has a promising career ahead of him/her/it.
  • by silentbozo (542534) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:21AM (#18009062) Journal
    So I can't use a social networking site at a library... even to network for a JOB? [linkedin.com]

    What about people (for example some small bands) who maintain their websites through services such as MySpace, because they can't get, afford, or know how to do the coding to set up a website of their own?

    Or users of services like Facebook, where a school organization or club may be hosted mostly or entirely on the service, because the tools are extremely convenient to use and FREE? All of a sudden, those tools become off limits - neither club officers nor the members can communicate until an alternate (and probably more expensive) method is set up.

    Someone is being paid way too much money to come up with these ridiculous bills.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)
      Your argument sounds a lot like the bittorrent argument: There are some legitimate uses, many illegitimate uses, so lets keep it... ...except this is a library and there are 'appropriate' uses, as determined by the State/County/City & by the librarians themselves.

      Someone is being paid way too much money to come up with these ridiculous bills.
      State legislators usually get paid very little.
  • by RyanGWU82 (19872) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @04:24AM (#18009082) Homepage
    Wow, I'm not sure I've ever seen a bill this bad. Reading the full text, I see that the legislation's primary function is defined in one paragraph:

    Each public library must prohibit access to social networking websites on all computers made available to the public in the library. Each school must prohibit access to social networking websites on all computers made available to students in the school.


    The bill goes on to define the key terminology it uses: administrative unit, computer, public library, school, and school board.

    All well and good? Well, they never define what constitutes a "social networking website"! Which of these do you think would qualify: Slashdot? Reddit? Digg? Evite? Delicious? Blogger? We could debate this to death. (In fact, it probably is being debated at some Web 2.0 conference.) Without a clear definition of the most crucial term in the bill, how are schools supposed to know how to enforce it? How are the rest of us supposed to know what's allowed and what's not?

    If a legislator took the effort to become knowledgable about the Internet, understand how it operates, and then proposed some carefully-crafted regulation, I wouldn't get so emotionally angry about it. Instead we get Ted Stevens' rant about tubes, and crap like this, because people don't take the time to understand what they're talking about. We should expect more out of our elected officials. They wield significant power, and it's ridiculous that they choose to use it without thinking.

    Ryan
  • Blocking msn, yahoo and skype is a sysadmin nightmare.... every user wants this on corporate networks... since they're addicted to the stuff at home. Whatever proxy is used; whatever the rules and 'policies'... these things have a nasty way of tunnelling and punching through the firewalls... a week after a new 'policy'.. you see a few guys chatting happily; and worms and botnets start eating the bandwidth.

    I'd love for this bill to become law; so we have a simple and effective method to ban such sites. Inter
    • Yes, it would be. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AlexDV (759799)
      As the network administrator for an Illinois public library, I agree that this would indeed be a implementation nightmare (and that's not even taking into account the major ethical dilemma that such censorship presents for librarians). Exactly how does Senator Murphy propose that this be implemented if it becomes law? The bill doesn't even give a definition of what should be considered "social networking."

      There's probably no sane way to detect "social networking" features based on a pages content, so the
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by candude43 (998769)

        As the network administrator for an Illinois public library, I agree that this would indeed be a implementation nightmare (and that's not even taking into account the major ethical dilemma that such censorship presents for librarians). Exactly how does Senator Murphy propose that this be implemented if it becomes law?

        Well, there's all these tubes, see? They're just like pipes, right? So there must be spigots. You just have to find the right ones and turn them counterclockwise.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @05:17AM (#18009288) Homepage Journal
    If their main concern is people hogging the computers using these sites, then there is a fix that doesn't require legislation. Give the librarians the power to boot people off of computers if others are waiting and they are doing something frivilous. That is what they did at the computer labs at my university. Seemed to work pretty well.
  • People will bitch and moan about personal freedom, but the public education and extensive library system are given to you for free by the government not because it has to, but because it's in the best interest of the government to do so. Education is critical to the government, because dumb people don't do anything useful. They should have every right to keep you from using their equipment for anything other than its original purpose: learning. If people want to fuck around on MySpace, they can do it on
    • by fabs64 (657132)
      Err.. just to check, you're aware of how the almighty benevolent government PAYS for things such a libraries?
      • by Ihlosi (895663)
        Err.. just to check, you're aware of how the almighty benevolent government PAYS for things such a libraries?



        So ? You're not being charged for the use of the library, even though you may (or may not) be paying for it with your taxes.

  • by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @05:41AM (#18009386)
    Isn't the WWW by definition a social network? I mean, nearly if not everything I do on the WWW involves in some way content that was created by someone else and then disseminated to the Internet for consumption.
  • by oKAMi-InfoSec (1043042) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:07AM (#18009504) Homepage
    There are so many things wrong with this bill...it is difficult to start, but two areas seem particularly wearisome:
    • No definition of "social networking site": this leaves sites such as linkedin and slashdot and any site with a comment feature in limbo.
    • No definition exists to identify what is "reasonable effort towards compliance with the law"
  • Contact information (Score:3, Informative)

    by zantolak (701554) <[ten.tsacmoc] [ta] [kalotnaz]> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @06:17AM (#18009550)
    If anyone would like to contact Senator Murphy about this, his email is info [at] gomattmurphy.com. I just did.
  • What I want to know is, who is this 'Illinois Bill' and why does he have so much power?
  • by Dunkirk (238653) <david AT davidkrider DOT com> on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:12AM (#18009792) Homepage
    It's inevitable: there will be people complaining about how this is an oppressive form of censorship. Let's face it: that argument is why this post was "greenlighted." But there's no censorship here; at least not in this case. The government is in no way telling those sites what to do with their content.

    It's NOT the job of the government to give out free internet access as though it were an "inalienable right." If you want to go to those sites, and the library doesn't give you that permission, then go buy a computer and do it on your own.
  • Ban totally? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:27AM (#18009854) Homepage Journal
    Umm what about adults? Dont we as an adult have a right to view what we want ( that is legal, not talking about kiddy porn or something like that here )?

    We can debate all day long about letting children have access to this stuff when a parent isnt around, but removing it from adults as well, who pay for the library with their taxes? Ummm something is a miss here.
    • sure, you just don't have a right to free telecommunications services. well, at least the Supreme Court hasn't legislated it, yet.

      historically, libraries have been "download" only. you could borrow books, listen to tapes, watch videos, etc. but libraries didn't provide you the means to mail letters, make telephone calls, or publish texts. although computers in libraries isn't all that new, the ability to do more than look up information is.
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        Excuse me, the library *isnt* free. Im paying for it wth my taxes. Therefore its MY equipment. And to be banned from a normally legal activity is not correct.
  • by Ingolfke (515826) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @07:45AM (#18009932) Journal
    Not only is this law insane, it's horribly written. They define something like "school board", a fairly common concept that the common person should be able to understand and yet fail to define what a "social networking site" actually is. All laws, whether the intention is perceived as being good or bad need to be written in a clear and unambiguous way. Under this lack of a definition a person could interpret social networking sites to mean everything from MySpace and Facebook to CareerBuilder, Slashdot, or Blogger.
  • I am sure Mr. Obama would have something to say about that...

    Obama's Social Network [digg.com]
  • by jbarr (2233) on Wednesday February 14, 2007 @08:37AM (#18010206) Homepage
    It sounds like the intent of these types of legislation is to simply ban MySpace.com from public access in schools and libraries. Unfortunately, they can't target a specific site, so they have to generalize the legislation which has the side effect of affecting countless other "legit" sites.

    I'm not going to judge the social or moral "worth" of a site like MySpace.com, but I will give the opinion that there is a place for access to such sites, and schools or libraries may not be that place. Providing free access to the Internet doesn't necessarily imply unrestricted access.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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