May 3, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
Late last month the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced it would require ISPs and telcos to block computers located in the state from accessing gambling sites, and said non-compliant companies would be referred to the FCC. Now, the state has sent each ISP and telco the enclosed blacklist of sites and URLs.
At issue is whether states and localities can legally restrict access to the Internet based on federal, city, county or state laws. Minnesota is invoking a law written before the Internet became widely accessible that pertains to common carriers -- such as the use of a telephone to call a bookie and place a bet.
In 2006, Rep Barney Frank spoke out against banning Internet gambling and Frank was slated to introduce an Internet gambling related bill today, according to media reports. Speculation is that the bill may eliminate or clarify the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.