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, there are twenty-seven states in the process of passing mandatory adult content filters on laptops, tablets and phones sold in-state. 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.
Alabama HB 428
Proponent Rep. Jack Williams [R]
Introduced March 16, 2017
Connecticut HB 6111
Proponent Rep. David Baram [D]
Introduced January 20, 2017
Florida HB 337
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
Florida SB 870
Proponent Sen. Dennis Baxley [R]
Introduced March 7, 2017
Georgia HB 509
Proponent Rep. Paulette Braddock [R], Rep. Mary Oliver [D]
Introduced March 1, 2017
Louisiana HB 172
Proponent Rep. Dodie Horton [R] Sen. Beth Mizell [R]
Introduced March 28, 2017
New Jersey SB 2928
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
Oklahoma HB 1472
Proponent Rep. Travis Dunlap [R]
Introduced February 6, 2017
South Carolina HB 3003
Proponent Rep. James Burns [R] Rep. William Chumley [R]
Introduced January 10, 2017
Texas HB 2266
Proponent Rep. James White [R] Rep. Alma Allen [D]
Introduced February 22, 2017
West Virgina SB 447
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
Wyoming HB 245
Proponent Rep. Lars Lone [R], Rep. Roy Edwards [R]
Introduced February 3, 2017
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