Technically, the FCC is stocked with idiots.

The FCC wants to regulate cable and satellite. Ordinarily I'd provide linkage but a quick search with your favorite engine will provide any info you need. To wit, a "Keen Eddie" episode is being held up as an example of what not to broadcast to the American public.

What's being lost are two technological innovations that the FCC has pushed, in order to prevent "the children" from being damaged by adult content. The first innovation is v-chip tagging, the ratings system designed to work with the v-chip so that parents can block programming that doesn't meet their familial guidelines, whatever that means.

Your TV, then, would block out all programs tagged as "SL/V" or "sexual language/ violence", for example. This is the first means of protecting your precious offspring from the word "penis".

The second, and more rigorous, is the technology built into your cable or satellite tuner. You can block any channel you want from even showing up in the program guide. You can protect it with a password. The tuners today even block an entire range of channels (usually adult programming) with another password/ lock combination, making them even harder to access.

So what's the big deal? The big deal is that evangelic Christian organizations, i.e. fundamentalist religious nuts, want to stop EVERYONE from being able to view programming offensive TO THEM. In other words, an ignorant minority wants to decide what you can watch on TV. In other words, censorship, an attack on the 1st amendment, and basically, an anti-American policy.

Once viewed correctly, this call to regulation is seen clearly for what it is, censorship. Personal responsibility of the parents is never discussed, because the means to enforce your rules at home are already available. The same technology that brings you questionable content also allows you to block it.

So maybe this isn't purely a technical entry today, but censorship is an important issue, and technology has a hand in either eliminating it or making it easily applied. Sides are being chosen now; where are you?



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