The governor of Utah signed a bill aimed at making mobile devices automatically filter pornography on March 24.
The governor will decide whether to make all phones and tablets in the state filter pornography the following week. The bill passed the legislation earlier this month, and it requires mobile devices to “automatically enable a filter capable of blocking material that is harmful to minors.”
Republican Governor Spencer Cox stated that this bill sends an “important message” about protecting children’s innocence. However, not everyone agrees with this way of handling things.
The legislation has a long way to go
Banning adult content from all phones and laptops is almost impossible. Bill supporters like the anti-pornography groups across the States argue that the filters are too complicated to activate.
Another issue is that this legislation cannot become effective unless five more states join in ten years. Implementing it into the law requires years, and there are no guarantees it will ever come to life.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah stated the bill’s constitutionality had not been adequately considered. They added that it would probably be argued in court, and ACLU attorney Jason Groth said:
“This is another example of the Legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass.”
Cherie DeVille, an adult movie star, also raised concerns about the first amendment and freedom of speech: On the other side, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Susan Pulsipher, said she’s “grateful” that Cox had signed the legislation. She added that it would make it easier for parents to protect their children from adult content.
The land of PornHub and conservatives
Supporters of the bill argue that this is a vital step into protecting children’s innocence.
Utah is well known for being very conservative regarding the explicit contents. There are warning labels on all online and printed publications with adult content.
Similarly, in 2016, this state declared porn a “public health crisis.” Many other states followed.
However, unlike in 2016, things are a bit more concerning right now. Other states aren’t looking into this bill, and giving up adult content is another issue. As Electronic Frontier Foundation media relations director Rebecca Jeschke stated:
“We don’t know of any other states who are working on any plans right now.”
Utah now depends on other states and their opinions regarding bans. It’s quite frowned upon, to say the least, since they clash with the constitution.
Ironically, as a Twitter user said, Utah has the highest number of online pornography users. We’re all for protecting children, but something tells us this won’t be as easy as filtering googling.