Senate Wants To Empower Parent Censorship

Found via Slashdot, Matt Lasar reports:

The United States Senate has unanimously passed a bill that requires the Federal Communications Commission to explore what “advanced blocking technologies” are available to parents to help filter out “indecent or objectionable programming.” The “Child Safe Viewing Act” (S. 602) was sponsored by Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas.

“With over 500 channels and video streaming, parents could use a little help monitoring what their kids watch when they are not in the room,” Pryor said in a press statement following the passage on Wednesday. “Today’s technology to protect children from indecency goes above and beyond the capabilities of the V-Chip. It’s time for the FCC to take a fresh look at how the market can empower parents with more tools to choose appropriate programming for their children.”

The text of the bill notes that the average child watches four hours of television a day. It also observes that “99.9 percent of all consumer complaints logged by the Federal Communications Commission in the first quarter of 2006 regarding radio and television broadcasting were because of obscenity, indecency, and profanity.” Many of those complaints are controversial, it should be noted, because they come from Web based autoforms that allow people who have not actually seen a program to file a complaint.

Well. I’ve complained not to the FCC but on my own personal bloggy soap-box about advertising and content thrown into the middle of shows aimed at families–NFL football games or the dancing shows, for example. Do I want more rules like this to find ways to censor?

The problem is that I’m usually sitting right there during this programming but the ads come on so quickly that the image is already in my kid’s head (the news blurbs are the worst and would ostensibly not qualify for censorship). The only answer is just turning the whole thing off.

Right about now, I’m just not in the mood to have the government creating another law to make my life better. They need to stop legislating on this crap and stick with building the military and rebuilding America’s infrastructure. All the rest of this legislative nonsense is not their business.

Cross-posted at

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