Rhode Island Weighs Bill That Would Charge Users $20 to Unblock Online Porn

Rhode Island Weighs Bill That Would Charge Users $20 to Unblock Online Porn
Rhett Pardon

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A new bill introduced on Thursday would force Rhode Island residents to pay a $20 fee to access online adult content.

The bill, SB 2584, was referred to the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a report in the Providence Journal.

If passed, internet service providers would be forced to block “sexual content and patently offensive material.” But users could deactivate that block for a fee of $20.

The bill asks the providers to “establish a reporting mechanism, such as a website or call center, to allow a consumer to report unblocked sexual content or potentially offensive material or report blocked material that is not sexual content or potentially offensive.”

The text of the SB 2584 does not specify what constitutes “offensive” material online.

Under provisions of the bill, if distributors of adult content do not comply with the filter, the attorney general or a consumer could file a civil suit of up to $500 for each piece of content reported but not blocked.

The winning party may also ask the losing party to cover the legal fees.

Funds from the deactivation fees would go straight to the state’s general treasurer, who would forward the money to the attorney general to fund the operations of the Council on Human Trafficking.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Frank Ciccone and Hanna Gallo.