Minnesota To Block All Access To Gambling Sites

In an extremely aggressive and potentially unconstitutional move, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has handed ISPs in the state a seven-page blacklist of gambling websites with the message that the ISPs must “discontinue or refuse” any service if it is used “for the transmission of gambling information.”

CNET reports that the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association only heard about the blacklist on Thursday evening and is actively consulting attorneys with regard to potential First Amendment free speech issues. Companies receiving the notification included AT&T, Qwest, Sprint/Nextel and Comcast.

The problem Minnesota is going to have is that with IP addresses commonly being shared by hundreds or thousands of other sites, the technical challenges of singling out only the gambling sites may be insurmountable, while if they push for IP address-blocking, the action will be so broad as to be unsupportable in a courtroom setting.

Affiliates and publishers in Minnesota probably don’t need to worry about this just yet, especially since you guys have the Internet Tax bill HF2323/SF2074 back on the table to focus on. There’s a lot going on up in Minnesota right now. Has the Red River stopped flooding yet?