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Federal censorship...

US senator introduces national internet censorship bill requiring age/ID verification for porn sites


Link Here16th November 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
US Senator Mike Lee, R-UT, has reintroduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that would make it federal law for all adult websites to verify their users' ages.

The bizarrely titled Shielding Children's Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net (SCREEN) Act would require all pornography and adult entertainment websites with users in the United States to deploy reasonable age verification methods from third-party providers.

Supporters of the bill include software company Envoc, which provides ID verification software and anti-porn groups, such as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, National Decency Coalition, Enough Is Enough, and Culture Reframed.

House Representative Mary Miller, R-Ill., introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

The SCREEN Act requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforce elements of the bill that would require a porn site, like Pornhub, xHamster, and Xvideos, to verify ages. FTC is also required to conduct regular audits of the parent companies affected by the act to ensure compliance and to promulgate rules based on the statutes of the bill if it were to become law.

The SCREEN Act competes with the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA). This requires an expansive overhaul of trust and safety protocols for web platforms. If adopted into law, KOSA would require Congress to coordinate with the executive branch, namely the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to review the benefits and shortcomings of nationwide age verification requirements for websites.

 

 

Taxing censorship...

Alabama set to go further than other states to censor adult websites


Link Here13th November 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Alabama lawmakers have proposed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would block pornographic sites from anyone under 18 years old.

Representative Ben Robbins plans to sponsor a bill that will require someone to verify their age using a photo ID in order to access sites that offer pornographic material.

His bill will aslo require companies to register with the state as adult content distributors. It will also create additional state taxes for items sold on pornographic websites, and tax memberships Alabamians purchase through a site. The money will be allocated for mental health services in the state.

Lastly, the bill will require distributors to have written consent from people who are posted on the site.

 

 

Representing repression...

Ohio House Representative introduces a bill to criminalise the use of VPNs to circumvent age/ID verification


Link Here29th October 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Ohio House Representative Steve Demetriou has introduced an extraordinarily repressive House Bill (HB) 295. Dubbed the Innocence Actwould implement an age verification requirement similar to what has already been implemented in other states. However this bill goes way beyond other is that it introduces criminal penalties for websites that don't comply and misdemeanor penalties for any internet user who tries to circumvent age verification, eg by using VPNs.

In its current form, companies and webmasters who don't implement reasonable age verification methods could be subject to criminal charges -- a third-degree felony. No other proposed and implemented age verification regulation in the country has such punitive criminal penalties.

Corey Silverstein, a First Amendment attorney, commented:

VPNs are available on most mobile devices through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. They are also free or relatively inexpensive. And, to think that a 17-year-old high school student can't learn about and effectively deploy a VPN is short-sighted. I can't think of a worse idea than charging minors with criminal offenses for viewing adult content and potentially ruining their futures. Attempting to shame and embarrass minors for viewing adult-themed content goes so far beyond common sense that it begs the question of whether the supporters of this bill gave it any thought at all.

It is not yet clear if the bill has a chance of becoming law.

 

 

Censorship re-verified...

Age/Identity Verification is back on for Texas porn viewers


Link Here23rd September 2023
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an administrative stay on the preliminary injunction blocking Texas House Bill 1181 from entering into force. This means that the law requiring age verification for internet porn is now in effect, at least until a full hearing challenging the internet censorship law as unconstitutional.

House Bill (HB) 1181 is a controversial law requiring an age verification regimen for all adult websites that have users from Texas IP addresses. The law was challenged in a federal district court last month due to a measure in the bill that would require adult websites to additionally post health warning labels at the top and bottom of web pages and on marketing collateral.

The Free Speech Coalition, the parent companies of the largest adult tube sites in the world, and pay-sites affiliated with these platforms sued the state of Texas , arguing that HB 1181 is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment.

They argued that a government cannot require a privately owned website to issue a public health warning when the claims in the warnings are not accepted by mainstream medicine, psychology and neuroscience.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra agreed with the plaintiffs and issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking Texas from enforcing the law. but it was this decision that was overturned in this appeal.

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