The ACLU of Idaho opposes HB 194 because it censors First Amendment protected speech and creates a government surveillance list of people attempting to access protected online content. Filters are problematic because they will inevitably censor constitutionally protected speech. Filters are not perfect: they let through content they seek to block and block content they don't mean to. We are concerned that blocking content, particularly if it is occurring in a viewpoint based way, may be improper and unwisely restricts access to important ideas and concepts that should be available to all who use publicly accessible wireless internet or publicly accessible computers with internet access. Courts have repeatedly struck down laws seeking to censor speech that can be accessed online. The government, the Court said, can no more restrict a person's access to words or images on the Internet than it could be allowed to snatch a book out of a reader's hands in the library, or cover over a statue of a nude in a museum. Ultimately, blocking software prevents users from accessing a wide range of valuable information, including such topics as art, literature, women's health, politics, religion and free speech, which is in direct violation of our First Amendment rights.

 

Sponsors

Rep. Lance Clow

Status

Passed House

Session

2019

Bill number

Position

Oppose

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