David McGuire -- August is supposed to be down time for policy geeks, but it would appear that bad policy never takes a month off.
Earlier today, 463 client NetChoice, a DC-based group that advocates on behalf of e-commerce, released the latest version of its "Internet Advocates' Watchlist for Ugly Laws" (iAWFUL), which calls out America's 10 worst Internet bills and laws.
Although federal measures are included on the list, most of the entries come from the states where Internet regulation has grown increasingly aggressive in recent years.
In the two months since NetChoice issued the first version of iAWFUL, a lot has changed. Five new measures were added to the list (including new entries at the #1 and #2 positions). Of the measures that fell off the list, at least three were either delayed or amended in response to iAWFUL publicity.
Earning the dubious distinction of the #1 worst Internet measure in America is a Maine bill that would force Web sites to obtain "verifiable parental consent" before collecting any information from Maine teenagers. For sites that provide college information, health advice and popular products like class rings, this ill-conceived bill could have negative implications that are felt far outside of Maine.
Give the list a look, and if you have the misfortune to live in one of the states tagged (North Carolina accounts for three entries by itself) consider giving your local elected official a piece of your mind.