Thursday, September 21

Users in Utah may soon be asked to prove their age before accessing adult content online.

Photo by Adrien Fillon / NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to a report published earlier by Vice, Pornhub has restricted access from any user in Utah as a form of protest against the state’s online age verification law, which is scheduled to go into force on Wednesday. If a user attempts to access Porhub from the state of Utah, they will be unable to view any content and will instead be shown a message that adult actress Cherie Deville is reading that explains why the site has been disabled.

Deville says, “While safety and compliance are at the forefront of our mission, giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users and will put children and your privacy at risk.” “Giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users and will put children and your privacy at risk.” “Until a proper solution is provided, we have made the painful choice to prohibit access to our website in Utah entirely. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The old rule in Utah that forced pornographic websites to display a warning label has been superseded by this new law, which goes one step further. Companies must verify users’ ages by utilizing a “digitized identification card” recognized by the state under the provisions of the Online Pornography Viewing Age Requirements bill (SB 287), which Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law in March. It is intended to prevent children from gaining access to adult content and holds businesses legally liable if they fail to do so despite the law’s requirements.

Instead of utilizing a government-issued ID, Pornhub advises employing a digital verification approach that “identifies users by their device” in the message it sends to its users. In addition, the company strongly recommends that residents speak with their local authorities about the possibility of using an alternative form of identification. If this does not occur, citizens of Utah will be unable to access Pornhub and will be forced to use a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent the local restrictions.

When accessing pornographic websites such as Pornhub, users in Louisiana must verify their age using the state’s digital ID service to comply with a rule enacted earlier this year to protect minors. The fact that Pornhub has complied with the limits imposed by Louisiana leads Utah Senator Todd Weiler to assume that the site would eventually cave. In a text message supplied to local TV station Fox 13, Weiler said, “They are complying with LA’s law, which is essentially the same.” Therefore, it is reasonable for me to anticipate they will eventually comply with Utah’s.

Even if the bill’s purpose in Utah is to safeguard children, there is a significant threat to adults’ safety and privacy, which could put their personal information in danger. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a non-profit organization that advocates for digital rights. The foundation maintains that laws for online age verification “undermine anonymity online,” even though a website may “misuse” the identification data that is provided to it.

These worries have not prevented a plethora of other legislation that needs age verification that is questionably rigorous from coming into being. Beginning in March 2024, a new law in Utah will mandate that minors under 18 acquire their parents’ permission before creating an account on any social networking platform. In addition, it imposes a bedtime restriction that bans youngsters from accessing social networking sites between 10:30 pm and 6:30 am. Arkansas has responded with a social media safety bill of its own, even though it is not entirely clear what it regards as a social network.


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