Arizona lawmakers want to hide internet porn behind a paywall in an attempt to raise funds for building a portion of the proposed wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico. A bill introduced by Arizona State Rep. Gail Griffin would require internet users in her state to pay a fee before gaining access to “obscene content.”
House Bill 2444 proposes that the state government impose strict regulations on internet service providers, forcing them to put blockers on all porn sites which can only be removed after a fee is paid.
It is not clear exactly how much the government would charge for the “privilege” of watching porn, but the bill did specify that the fee would be a minimum of $20. The revenue collected from this potential scheme would go to fund a number of different projects, including the proposed border wall between Arizona and Mexico.
As with other puritanical efforts to criminalize sex work and regulate pornography, lawmakers claim that this is simply a measure to prevent human trafficking.
In addition to funding the border wall, the bill promises to create a fund that would “provide grants to government agencies and private entities that work to uphold community standards of decency for the purpose of strengthening families and developing, expanding or strengthening programs for victims of sex offenses.”
The proposed law isn’t as far-fetched as many people think. A similar law has already been passed in the United Kingdom, forcing all UK citizens to register with the government before accessing online porn.
The Arizona bill, however, is the only one that mentions anything about funding a border wall with the profits.
Motherboard reported that this is a coordinated effort organized by anti-porn lobbyist Chris Sevier. It is not clear if Sevier is behind Arizona’s new bill, but he is admittedly behind many of the efforts to regulate porn in other states.
“Sometimes states start with putting a spin on it, I’m working on so many versions it’s ridiculous,” Sevier said.
Sevier’s work is so extreme that it is controversial among some other puritans. Last year, the anti-porn group, National Center on Sexual Exploitation, issued a statement distancing themselves from the lobbyist and demanding that he stop using their organization to legitimize his work.
According to the AZMirror, at least 18 states have seen some form of Sevier’s bill appear, all of which have been shot down.
If a law does happen to pass that blocks adult sites, consumers can mask their locations and access the sites anonymously by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). In fact, VPN’s are a good choice for anyone wanting to browse the web anonymously and access websites that may be hidden behind a firewall.
It is estimated that 28,258 users are accessing porn via the internet every single second. Last week, The Mind Unleashed reported that web traffic to PornHub saw a sharp increase during the government shutdown. While porn is one of the most popular forms of media in the world, it remains forced to the fringes of our culture.
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