July 23, 2008 |
New York State appears determined to change its name from the Empire State to the Nanny State. Not content to rest on its press-grabbing headlines for convincing ISPs to ban USENET and forcing online companies to collect sales tax by claiming affiliate advertisers constitute "doing business" in the state, law-makers are back at it with two more news-making legislative moves.
I never thought I'd be defending Comcast in any situation, but I am now. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is threatening legal action if Comcast doesn't bow to his demand to sign an agreement with the state that states they will not allow distribution of child pornography, and will contribute to a state fund to prevent said distribution. Comcast pointed out that they'd already signed a national agreement, but as the national agreement doesn't line New York's pockets, Cuomo apparently feels it's just not good enough. Why the state needs to fund anything while requiring the ISPs to police their own users is confusing, but it does grab headlines, doesn't it?
In other New York legislative news, Governor David Paterson signed a new law that requires all video games be clearly labeled and rated (the gaming industry already uses a voluntary rating system) and that all new games consoles have a parental lock-out system installed by 2010. Similar laws have already been struck down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution, and the New York Civil Liberties Union is already fighting the law.
Cuomo and the rest of the New York State government seem convinced that New Yorkers need protection from themselves. Or that New York legislators need to grab national headlines.