SC Politician: Pay $20 Or Lose Online Porn Access

A South Carolina politician wants new computers sold in the state to block online porn by default. Bill Chumley’s proposed bill would require buyers or manufacturers to pay a $20 fee to remove the block.

The money raised from the Human Trafficking Prevention Act would go towards a state task force to tackle the trafficking issue. Chumley also makes the curious claim that computers having the block by default and stopping children accessing online pornography “would be another way to fight human trafficking.”

The proposed bill would mean computers and any other devices with online access had to have a “digital blocking capability” that made it impossible to access anything classed as an obscenity under state law. That classification is a mix of specific objective content and subjective judgment of its offensiveness and artistic merit.

To override the requirement, either the manufacturer or retailer would pay $20 per device in advance, or the buyer could pay a $20 fee to remove the block. However, even if the fee was paid, the devices would still have to have a block on child pornography and sites that facilitate either prostitution or trafficking.

While the bill has now been referred to a South Caroline house judiciary committee, it’s far from certain it will wind up as law. Not only are there some serious questions about whether the measures could work in practice, but given the block would affect pornographic content that is inherently legal, it could raise first amendment issues.




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