Alabama lawmaker wants age verification for adult sites

If adopted, the law would require adult site users to verify their age using a photo ID. Similar legislation has already been passed in several US States.

Republican Ben Robbins said he would sponsor a bill that’s intended to “block” pornographic sites from anyone under 18, WSFA12 reported.

The bill would demand companies to register with the state authorities as adult content distributors. It would also establish additional taxes on items sold on porn sites. The State would supposedly use the money to finance mental health services in the state.

Several other US states have enacted similar laws over the past year, with Utah, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi pioneering the efforts to combat access to adult sites.

A day before a similar ban was supposed to be adopted in Texas, a federal judge blocked it, saying that the ban “is constitutionally problematic because it deters adults’ access to legal sexually explicit material, far beyond the interest of protecting minors.”

Opponents of the bill note that lawmakers punish websites that comply with laws and push people to use illegal websites. Illegal adult content creators often have far fewer, if any, safeguards protecting them from abuse.

It’s not only the US where lawmakers want to limit access to adult content websites. Last month, the authority responsible for media regulation in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, said it wants internet service providers (ISP) to block the most visited porn websites – such as Pornhub – or introduce age controls.

Three porn site operators have lost lawsuits in Germany against the Commission for Youth Media Protection, which banned websites due to “freely accessible pornographic content without ensuring that children and young people do not have access to it.” The websites were Pornhub, Youporn, and Mydirtyhobby.

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