AH Tech Talk: Florida Accidentally Bans All Online Devices

July 9, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

In keeping up with their reputation of being ridiculous. Florida has banned all online devices. That means the device you’re using to read this article. We all remember Florida’s moment with the presidential election and the hanging chads right? Well it looks like we have another case like that on our hands.

Recently, lawmakers down in Florida voted on and passed a bill that banned internet cafes. To be more specific it was aimed at internet cafes that allowed customers to gamble online through slot machine-style games. Numerous internet cafes were shut down thanks to this bill. An owner of one of the cafe’s looked into the bill, because they wanted to fight it, found out that the wording was kind of off. In fact it could easily mean that all smartphones and computers are now banned in Florida. Wait, what?

The ban was meant to be on illegal gambling devices, which was phrased as a system or network of devices that can be used for gambling. Since technology has progressed so much. This basically means anything that connects to the internet. We don’t expect officials in Florida to start enforcing every letter of this new law, so you’re probably still say to connect to the internet by any device. But it’s kind of funny that Florida just banned about everything you use in your daily life.

Zapata, the internet cafe owner looking to fight this bill, and his legal team noticed the peculiar wording, and is now suing Florida. They are not suing to get them to enforce the law, but to use the bad wording to show that lawmakers didn’t really think the law through in the first place and attempting to prove that it’s unconstitutional.

Now when I first saw this story earlier today. I tweeted some thoughts about it, and I got plenty of replies with the typical “wtf”, “that’s crazy”, “how?”, etc., which I pretty much expected. Even I had that response when I first saw this story break this morning. It’s pretty funny to see a state ban all online devices, since most of us are online 24/7. Imagine a world without the internet? Yeah I can’t really do that either.

How many of you live in Florida? What do you think about this poorly written bill from your lawmakers? Let us know in the comments down below.