Iowa Republican Changes Porn Filter Bill Into Age Verification Bill After Learning More About Phones

Iowa Republican Changes Porn Filter Bill Into Age Verification Bill After Learning More About Phones

DES MOINES — The Republican legislator behind Iowa’s mandatory “porn filter” bill has revealed that, after realizing that multinational electronics corporations were unlikely to alter phones and other devices to comply with one state law, he is turning his bill into yet another version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists.

State Rep. John Wills told Iowa newspaper The Gazette on Tuesday that in the process of pursuing his proposal, House File 2114, he “learned more about how phones are manufactured and sold.”

Wills added that this new knowledge resulted in a plan “to change the proposal to focus on an age verification requirement for pornography sites, plus an education campaign that teaches parents and children how to create safeguards on phones,” The Gazette reported.

“What I learned is that, basically, the way this bill is written, we would have to make Apple and Google and all these great, big, worldwide corporations change their practices,” Wills said. “Well, they’re not going to do that for Iowa. So it became very evident that we’re going to have to make some changes to the bill.”

Wills apparently failed to realize the impracticality of his initial proposal, despite having worked in Iowa politics for almost a decade.

His background before becoming a career politician in 2015 was as a retired military man who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and two master’s degrees — in Political Science with an emphasis in National Defense and Environmental Policy and Management — from American Military University.

Having now educated himself about how phones are manufactured and sold, Wills said that his current plan is “to model his proposal after an instruction and education program from Florida, and an age verification system recently enacted in Utah,” The Gazette reported.

Regardless of Wills’ own acknowledgement of the infeasibility of his porn-filter proposal, the two Republicans on a three-member legislative panel advanced HF 2114 on Tuesday, and it is now eligible for consideration by the Iowa House’s full Judiciary Committee.

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