Florida inadvertently banned computers and smartphones claims lawsuit

Florida, home of the hanging chad, has earned another dubious distinction. It allegedly has become the first state in the nation to (inadvertently) ban all internet connected devices, including smartphones, says a report in The Huffington Post.

The ban went into effect in April when Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that prohibited the operation of slot machines and internet cafes. It sounds benign enough, but the hastily written bill contained broad terms when it described a slot machine. According to the Huffington Post, the law describes a slot machine as a “system or network of devices” that may be used in a game of chance. Interpreted broadly, this could include smartphones as well as computers.

The bill also contains provisions that shut down the state’s 1,000 Internet cafes. The owner of one cafe in Miami-Dade is suing the state over this loosely worded law. The lawsuit asserts the ban is unconstitutional and claims it was passed “in a frenzy fueled by distorted judgment in the wake of a scandal that included the Lieutenant Governor’s resignation.” Earlier this year, Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll stepped down from her position after a charity, with which she was associated, was accused of running virtual slot machines in a $300 million Internet gambling operation.

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