New state bill wants to put porn blocks on new computers

The bill's author says its aim is to prevent access to sites that facilitate prostitution and trafficking.

People buying new computers and devices in South Carolina would be blocked from accessing porn under a newly proposed law.

A bill, pre-filed earlier this month by state lawmaker Bill Chumley, called the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, would require computer makers and sellers to install filters that would prevent users from accessing porn and other sexual material.

The aim is to prevent access to sites that facilitate prostitution and trafficking, which the state has struggled to curtail in recent years, Chumley told a local newspaper this past weekend.

Officials have said that parts of the state have struggled with human trafficking due to the proximity to Atlanta and Charlotte, two cities that rank highly in annual listings. There have been over 300 cases of human trafficking since 2007 -- with 58 reported this year, the National Human Trafficking Hotline has reported.

"If we could have manufacturers install filters that would be shipped to South Carolina, then anything that children have access on for pornography would be blocked," Chumley reportedly said. "We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking."

Computer or device buyers would be able to pay to have the block removed, however.

Proceeds from the bill would go to South Carolina attorney general's human trafficking task force, the paper said.

It's not the first time that a porn block law has been proposed -- although none have been upheld, in part thanks to the US constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.

A federal judge struck down a Pennsylvania law in 2004 as unconstitutional after forcing internet providers to block access to websites hosting illegal pornography.

A message was left with Chumley asking how the bill aimed to avoid any constitutional issues, but we did not hear back at the time of writing.

The bill will be passed to the state's judiciary committee and is slated to be up for debate in the new year.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All