Filters / Blocks / Bans

Since the advent of the internet, adult producers and consumers have benefited from stronger First Amendment protections than ever before. As content has migrated online, traditional obscenity prosecutions, which relied on retail or mail, have declined. However, now we face new challenges: censors nationally and internationally are attempting to mandate blocks or filters for adult content at the ISP level, on the hardware itself, or by creating registries of adult users. But we’re not fooled. Though the techniques are modern, the desire of anti-porn activists to censor or ban what you watch, make or read is nothing new.

In the US alone, at one point there were twenty-seven states in the process of passing mandatory adult content filters on laptops, tablets and phones sold in-state. Currently there are five proposals still active, and as many as nine recently died in various committees. The misleadingly titled “Human Trafficking Prevention Act” would who wanted to access adult content would have to pay a tax to remove the filter.

The UK parliament is considering a plan that would require adult consumers to register in a database before being allowed to access adult content. Legislators in other countries, including the US, are drafting similar plans.

Others are calling for mandatory filters in libraries, on public wifi, even in private homes.

What all these initiatives have in common is they seek to restrict the ability of adult consumers to access adult entertainment, either by creating physical blocks or by creating shame-based liabilities to dissuade them from accessing it at all.

But don’t be fooled. The so-called “Human Trafficking Prevention Act” — the mandatory filter and tax — is template legislation created by one man with a desire to block access to adult entertainment for all Americans.

Monitoring and filtering software has been around for years, and the Free Speech Coalition encourages parents and others who wish to limit their own access to adult material to do so. In fact, we’ve even worked with organizations to improve filtering.

But we also believe that no one has the right to restrict a consenting adult’s ability to enjoy legal content on their own device. The First Amendment and numerous Supreme Court decisions have reaffirmed it numerous times. Whether it’s a ban, a mandatory filter, or a shame-based registry, the effect is the same, and the Free Speech Coalition will fight for the rights of adult Americans to make and consume adult content.

Initiatives

Alabama HB 428 - 2017 (Died)

Proponent Rep. Jack Williams [R]

Introduced March 16, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Connecticut HB 6111- 2017

Proponent Rep. David Baram [D]

Introduced January 20, 2017

25% progression

View the Bill here

 

Florida HB 337 - 2017 (Died)

Proponent Rep. Ross Spano [R],  Rep. Lori Berman [D], Rep. John Cortes [D], Rep. Katie Edwards [D], Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen [R], Rep. Clay Yarborough [R]

Introduced March 7, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Florida SB 870 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Sen. Dennis Baxley [R]

Introduced March 7, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Georgia HB 509 - 2017

 

Proponent Rep. Paulette Braddock [R], Rep. Mary Oliver [D]

Introduced March 1, 2017

25% progression

View the Bill here

 

Louisiana HB 172 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Rep. Dodie Horton [R] Sen. Beth Mizell [R]

Introduced March 28, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

New Jersey SB 2928 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Sen. Steven Oroho [R], Sen. Anthony R. Bucco [R], Sen. Nilsa Cruz-Perez [D], Sen. Christopher Bateman [R],
Sen. Thomas Kean [R], Sen. Jeff Van Drew [D]

Introduced January 30, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Oklahoma HB 1472 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Rep. Travis Dunlap [R]

Introduced February 6, 2017

Died in Chamber

View the Bill here

 

South Carolina HB 3003 - 2017/2018

Proponent Rep. James Burns [R] Rep. William Chumley [R] Rep. William Wheeler [D] Rep. Michael Pitts [R]
Rep. Dennis Moss [R] Rep. Richard Martin [R] Rep. Laurie Funderburk [D] Rep. Jerry Govan [D]

Introduced January 10, 2017

25% progression

View the Bill here

 

Texas HB 2266 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Rep. James White [R] Rep. Alma Allen [D]

Introduced February 22, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Virginia HB 1592 - 2017

Proponent Del. Dave LaRock [R] Del. James Edmunds [R] Del. Hyland Fowler [R] Del. Gordon Helsel [R]
Del. Brenda Pogge [R]

Introduced January 23, 2018

25% progression

View the Bill here

 

West Virginia SB 447 - 2017 (Died)

 

Proponent Sen. Patricia Rucker [R], Sen. Mike Azinger [R], Sen. Sue Cline [R], Sen. Ed Gaunch [R],
Sen. Robert Karnes [R], Sen. Mark Maynard [R], Sen. Randy Smith [R], Sen. William Swope [R]

Introduced February 27, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Wyoming HB 245 - 2017 (Died)

Proponent Rep. Lars Lone [R], Rep. Roy Edwards [R]

Introduced February 3, 2017

Died in Committee

View the Bill here

 

Missouri HR 4892 - 2018 (Offered)

Proponent Rep. Nathan Beard [R]

Introduced January 9, 2018

View the Bill here

 

Rhode Island S 2584 - 2018 (Withdrawn)

Proponent Sen. Frank Ciccone [D] Sen. Hanna Gallo [D]

Introduced March 1, 2018

Withdrawn at sponsor’s request (03/27/2018)

View the Bill here

 

Resources

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