South Carolina Legislator Buys Into HTPA's Porn-Filter Plan

South Carolina Legislator Buys Into HTPA's Porn-Filter Plan
Rhett Pardon

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina legislator has bought into what the HTPA has been offering.

A pre-filed bill introduced by state Rep. Bill Chumley’s (the Legislature in the state begins in the new year) would require all South Carolina manufacturers and sellers of computers and other internet-capable devices to install porn-blocking software on all their products.

If customers want to remove porn filters, they’d have to pay a one-time $20 fee per device. The money would go toward sex-trafficking efforts of South Carolina’s attorney general.

Southern Carolina now joins more than two dozen other states that will slate legislative attempts in 2017 to force ISPs and makers of PCs and mobile devices to install porn filters.

All of the legislative attempts are courtesy of the HTPA, a nationwide group that is lobbying for identical “human trafficking prevention act” laws, in all 50 states. (It has templated bills for each state on its website.)

Chumley told GoUpstate: “We have to start somewhere. We’re bringing attention to it. We’re not being political. It’s an issue I’m pretty passionate about.”

Just last month XBIZ reported on a New Mexico legislator who plans on filing a carbon-copy bill of the push to filter porn in individual states.

The HTPA, which bears the same name as the legislation, is clear in its mission to create new legislation: It demands mandatory porn filters and payment of a “filter deactivation tax” for the consumption of porn.

“The Human Trafficking Prevention Act makes manufacturers and wholesalers of products that distribute the internet sell their products with preset filters that automatically block human trafficking hubs, prostitution sites, revenge pornography, child pornography and ‘obscenity,’” the HTPA’s website said. “The bill will protect children, families and consumers from exposure to criminal liability and ‘obscene’ content.

“If a consumer is over 18 and wants the filter deactivated, they have to first verify their age at the retail store and provide consent after receiving a warning and paying a filter deactivation tax that will go to fund the state's victim funds and family groups that are combating sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, divorce and pornography.”

Industry attorney Lawrence Walters of Walters Law Group told XBIZ that “despite the lack of any logical connection between consensual adult materials and sex trafficking, some legislators are all too willing to sponsor these ill-considered proposals for political gain.”

“In some ways, it feels like we're fighting the COPA (Child Online Protection Act) battles all over again,” he said. “But this time, the words ‘human trafficking’ are emblazoned on the bills, so they're gaining some traction.

“If adopted by numerous states, the HTPA could have a fairly dramatic effect on the ability of the adult industry to distribute its expressive entertainment — particular over time as unfiltered devices are replaced.”

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