Instead of using Kentucky’s approach of trying to actually seize gambling related domain names, Minnesota is using the 1961 wire act to force ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to block access to gambling related websites and casinos at the network level.
This is fine, and all, but again, we’re still talking about censorship, which is totally against our 1st Amendment rights that guarantees Americans Freedom of Speech.
To be honest, I really don’t see Minnesota succeeding in their venture, as it is highly unlikely that ISP’s will comply with this mandate, and when/if it ends up in court, I seriously doubt that that the court would order the ISP’s to impose such restrictions. First of all, the wire act only makes it illegal to place bets over phone lines, which might actually be construed enough to apply to dial-up and DSL customers, since their Internet service does run over regular phone lines. But for cable and other forms of Internet access, there’s no way the wire act could be interepreted in any way to enforce this.
It is reported that AT&T is in the process of reviewing the request, and both Comcast and Qwest Communications, International also received the requests, but have no comments at this time. It’s quite possibly that iMEGA, which is currently fighting the UIGEA, will be reaching out to the ISP’s that were served notices to help block this action.
There are 200 sites currently on the chopping block, and many more are to be expected to be added.
The list of ISP’s that were served notices include:
- AT&T Internet Services, San Antonio
- Charter Communications, St. Louis
- Comcast Cable, Moorestown, N.J.
- Direct TV, Los Angeles
- Dish Network, Englewood., Colorado
- Embarq and Sprint/Nextel, both of Overland Park, Kansas
- Frontier Communications, Stamford, Conneticut
- Qwest, Denver
- Verizon Wireless, Bedminster, N.J.
- Wildblue Communications, Greenwood Village, Colorado
The rest of the story…