Here we go again…

Another bill that would require web sites to have warning labels. Though this one would also require such sites to register in a national directory, as reported by CNET news.

The bill, sponsored by two democrats, states that a web site that contains adult content would have to be labeled as “Harmful to Minors” (read Levine’s book of the same title to see the irony in choosing this label). These sites would also have to tag themselves with a special code so that they could be filtered and monitored easily. There is no exemption for news outlets in the current legislation.

According to CNET, “Harmful to minors is defined in the legislation as any type of material that appeals to the prurient interest by depicting or describing an actual or simulated sex act–and lacks serious scientific, literary, artistic or political values for minors.” This definition is very similar to the one laid out in 1973 by the Supreme Court in Miller v. California which is still the most current legal definition we have for “obscenity.”

Note how extreme violence is apparently not even considered as deserving of this label.

This is not the first time, nor the last, that such legislation has been brought up for consideration. So far, the First Amendment has won every time.


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