Congress and teh intarwebs

Once again, the government has revealed their complete lack of technical know-how, not to mention common sense.

The summary is that people with open wireless networks (like you and 12 of your neighbors) are required to report any inappropriate content which is transferred across that network.

Ok, I’m a geek, and I don’t have the ability to log all content that goes across my network, much less audit it to find out what of that content is inappropriate, for some as-yet-to-be-specified definition of inappropriate.

And I can see 5 open wireless networks from my front yard, 3 of which have the default admin password on them still. I *KNOW* that my neighbors lack the ability to do the legislated reporting.

Am I to assume that all future marketed APs will be required to syslog to Who’s going to read those log files? Not to mention the storage requirement.

It continues to amaze me that the government seems to think that something is possible simply by virtue of their having legislated it. This is idiocy. They haven’t given a moment’s thought to how this would actually be implemented, much less who’s going to pay for it. But they’re congratulating themselves on how much this is going to save little Johnny from seeing nasty content when he’s using the WiFi at the local public library.

Now, I happen to think that the kind of content that they’re trying to eliminate is in fact a bad thing, a sickness that turns the unlimited usefulness of the Internet into a morass that I’m reluctant to let my kids use without close supervision. But creating imaginary reporting mechanisms not only doesn’t prevent people from looking at that content, but even if it were possible to implement, in no way addresses the actual issue.

Not to mention the huge freedom of speech issues that are implied by such a mandate. Why should I be obliged to report my internet usage to the government? In what way is it their business what content I choose to consume, whether it be what I read, what I listen to, or even what I publish?

Some days, it’s truly frightening what uninformed and arrogant people we have governing us.