Romney Wants V-Chips For Computers?

Buzzfeed has unearthed a couple of videos from Mittens 2007 Presidential race showing him promising a ‘pornography filter’ for computers.

The comments did not go unnoticed at the time. Said Internet Guru Jeff Jarvis:

“How he would make that magic clean-your-mouth-out-with-soap button work is beyond me.”

Politicians have been responding to fears about the Internet since there was an Internet. And what politicians have discovered is just what Jarvis says, you can’t technically block porn alone without consequence — such as letting in other sorts of censorship by governments, or blocking of benign LGBT content — or without most finding a way around any barrier, like Chinese people do.

That’s the lesson of Australia’s more than a decade-long failed effort to block porn nationally. British politicians are still at it, despite every single person who knows what they’re talking about telling them it’s not possible.

Given that the country that leads the world in online porn consumption is Pakistan — where they already have extensive internet censorship — you’d think this was obvious.

What is advised by all experts regarding children and online porn is that parents need to be far more involved in the kids’ internet use. And Romney, and other politicians should know, that 47 U.S.C. § 230 : US Code – Section 230 already mandates that:

“A provider of interactive computer service shall, at the time of entering an agreement with a customer for the provision of interactive computer service and in a manner deemed appropriate by the provider, notify such customer that parental control protections (such as computer hardware, software, or filtering services) are commercially available that may assist the customer in limiting access to material that is harmful to minors. Such notice shall identify, or provide the customer with access to information identifying, current providers of such protections.”

Another standard politician reaction on the InterTubes which Romney fell into in 2007 was to sound like grandpa from The Simpsons, Romney confusing MySpace and YouTube. But, at least he didn’t call himself “illiterate” on the Internet, as McCain shamelessly did.

Whether he will choose to revive this national Internet porn crackdown idea remains to be seen, however, when Santorum brought it up in the Presidential campaign, he got almost no media and none of the other candidates joined in. Perhaps America actually has moved on …

Watch Romney in 2007:

Related stories:

U.S. Targeting Iran’s ‘Halal Internet’ (Video)

Twitter Censorship: #Fail

Obama Administration Speaks Out Against SOPA

Photo by antonella.beccaria


Doug Gledhill
Doug G.4 years ago

James K, could not have said it better.

wesley a.
wes Allen4 years ago

There is more porn watched in Salt Lake than any other city in the U.S.

Anando Das Gupta
Anando DasGupta4 years ago

bloody idiots!

Rin S.
Rin S.4 years ago

LOL you think you can stop everyone. One way or another, everyone can access everything on the internet.

Paul canning
Paul canning4 years ago



Except who will Romney put on the Supreme Court, and how might that effect 'libertarian' concerns :[[[

Doesn't appear to be in your list of election issues. Ever heard of one Robert Bork? Go look, I can wait :]

Jeffrey W.
Jeffrey W.4 years ago

No criticism of your last post. On that, we agree.

Paul canning
Paul canning4 years ago


"I am arguing that it is nowhere near the danger you claim, and not anything he's really focusing on anyway."

Finally we vaguely approach consensus, or at least discussion, after numerous insults and questions as to my credentials! Seriously Jeffrey, it's like you're trussed up by Libruls and spitting blood or something - when we actually basically agree! Calm down dear.

What Romney was doing - as I explained - is what countless Western politicians were doing, which was responding to a moral panic by pulling a technical solution about the Intertubes out of their ass. Australian Labor and UK Conservatives have done exactly the same, to name but two. Remember Al Gore's wife and the scary black rappers?

You can draw whatever conclusions you want from what Romney said in 2007 versus what he might say now - which is the point of *the information* - but, thank the god of Ron Paul or whatever you're worshiping/nor worshiping right now, it appears that America is over this bullcr*p on censoring the Intertubes.

Any more criticism of what I actually wrote?

Michael M.
Michael M.4 years ago

I dont care how much repukes lie. Decent and real American Patriots stopped listening to your lies a long time ago.

Jeffrey W.
Jeffrey W.4 years ago

Nonsense. You don't need to activate the chip if you choose not to. You could even remove it if you are that paranoid.

I'm not arguing it's a good idea - it isn't. I am arguing that it is nowhere near the danger you claim, and not anything he's really focusing on anyway. It is a several year old diversion from what the Democrats can't discuss, but is the only issue the voters care about right now: the abysmal failure of Obama's economic policies.

In my business, if I thought there were any real possibility of censorship, I would oppose him. I vocally and strenuously opposed Santorum. But Romney poses no threat.

Paul canning
Paul canning4 years ago


I did not write that Romney wanted government controlled chips in PC. You just assumed that.

But what any sort of physical intrusion in our machines (or literal total control of the Internet's mechanisms for that matter - as Iran wants and China aims for) means is that it opens up the real possibility of total government control. Today it is porn, tomorrow it is file sharing, the day after? - for example. It's just one law, moral panic or even executive action away.

Romney's proposal was actually *worse* than even Santorum's!

But then you have to understand something about internet censorship, and not already have your head up Romney's arse, to be able to understand that :}