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Utah Lawmaker Seeks Porn Restrictions for ISPs

Utah Lawmaker Seeks Porn Restrictions for ISPs
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May 20, 2016 3:38 PM PDT    Text size: 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler, who led the successful charge to declare pornography a public health crisis, is planning to introduce legislation designed to heavily restrict access to porn across the state.

Weiler plans to introduce at least three new proposals in the next legislative session, according to a report from CBS News.

One plan could require ISPs to add filters like what is now mandatory in the U.K.

Weiler’s plan would force Utahns to opt-in to view pornography in the predominantly Mormon state.

In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron announced in 2013 that ISPs would give customers the option of filtering out pornography.

The Queen this week confirmed plans to add a new law requiring age verification for those websites that include sexually explicit material.

Weiler’s other two bills would help to restrict kids' access to sexually explicit material by adding filters on smartphones and tablets, as well as in libraries.

Weiler’s idea would be that these devices would come pre-installed so that they filter out porn sites. In order to remove the filter, users would have to prove that they're at least 18 years old.

Industry attorney Lawrence Walters of Walters Law Group told XBIZ that Weiler’s plan for ISP filters is a faulty one.

"Just like the wave of online ‘decency’ laws that were passed last decade, this ill-fated proposal would likely be struck down as a violation of both the 1st Amendment and the dormant Commerce Clause,” Walters said. “The potential for minors to access adult materials has not been sufficient to justify numerous attempts to regulate online speech based on its content in the past.

“Moreover, the Commerce Clause does not permit individual states to burden Internet commerce in this manner."

Industry attorney Marc Randazza of Randazza Legal Group quipped to XBIZ, "He can introduce whatever he wants. The First Amendment will not abide it."   

Pictured: Utah state Sen. Todd Weiler

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