Government-issued ID now required to access adult sites in Louisiana
New state law says that users must verify their age before accessing any website where more than 33.3% of the content is X-rated.
Users must prove they are 18 or older if they want to access sexually explicit websites such as Pornhub in Louisiana. State ID will do. As will a driver’s license. But also a mortgage record or an employment document – it’s up to you.
The bill, known as Act 440, was signed into law by the state governor in June and took effect on Sunday (1 January). It says that commercial porn websites operating in Louisiana must verify user age or risk getting sued.
The law applies to websites where pornographic material makes up more than a third of the total content, which means most major porn websites are affected.
The bill was introduced in February last year by Republican state legislator Laurie Schlegel. She said age verification was needed to protect children from the dangers of online pornography.
“Online pornography is extreme and graphic and only one click away from our children. This is not your daddy’s Playboy,” Schlegel tweeted before the law took effect. She added the law was “the first step” to hold pornography companies accountable.
Last month, Republican Senator Mike Lee proposed similar legislation to be implemented on a national level. While pornography websites ask users to enter their age before they can access them, critics say this formal requirement can be easily bypassed.
Others, however, feel uncomfortable about the fact that official documents are required to access pornographic content. “It’s getting awfully surveillancey in here,” Twitter user Public Defenderer said, embedding a video record of how Pornhub age verification now works in Louisiana.
The message from Pornhub notes that the process is now required by Louisiana law. It goes on to say that Pornhub does not collect any data during the process, which it claims is carried out by “reputable” providers who specialize in age verification.
“Your proof of age does not allow not allow anyone to trace your online activity,” it says.
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