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Georgia State Representative Files Bill to Automatically Censor Internet Content

When you buy a computer, you want to be able to use it for whatever you want. Even if that involves viewing adult content via the internet, there's not a darn thing anyone can do to stop you, nor should there be. After all, liberty is the ability to do what you want so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's liberty.

However, in my home state of Georgia, one legislator apparently doesn't care about freedom unless she personally approves of the behavior:

State representative Paulette Rakestraw has filed House Bill 509 which would require retailers to put a “digital blocking capability” on some devices to make “obscene material” inaccessible. Retailers, in this code section, would mean anyone who SELLS or LEASES a device that allows content to be accessed on the Internet. The “blocking capability” is required to make porn, child porn, revenge porn, websites about prostitution, and websites about sex trafficking all inaccessible.

Retailers would be required to have a telephone line where consumers could call to report complaints and it prohibits retailers from giving consumers intel on how to deactivate the blocking program themselves.

Here is the real humdinger: If you are 18 years of age or older, request in writing that you would like to deactivate the program, acknowledge in writing that you understand the dangers (yes, that is really the word they use) of deactivating the program, and pay a $20 fee, you can have the program removed from your device.

You read that correctly. If, as a reasonable, responsible, American adult, you wish to look at obscene material in the privacy of your own home, you have to tell the grandmother at the Wal-Mart check out line that you would like her to delete the program so you can enjoy the device to the fullest extent.

Rakestraw, a Republican, apparently has forgotten that her party is supposed to be the party of liberty. She wants a government powerful enough to sit in our homes and tell us what we can and can't look at on the internet.

Had she stopped at material like child pornography, material that is already illegal to view, that would be one thing. But filters already exist for this -- and such filters are no panacea anyway. They often block some things that are legal while allowing the illicit material through anyway.

As for the rest of the bill, this is nothing more than Rakestraw's efforts to legislate morality.