S.C. Bill Would Require All New Computers, Smart Phones To Block Porn

By Michael W. Chapman | December 22, 2016 | 3:39 PM EST

(AP)

(CNSNews.com) -- Noting that Internet pornography is a public health hazard that contributes to human trafficking and prostitution, members of the South Carolina General Assembly have introduced a bill that would require all new computers, smart phones, and similar devices that access the Internet to include a built-in filter to block pornography.

"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," said Rep. Bill Chumley, who introduced the Human Trafficking Prevention Act with Rep. Mike Burns on Dec. 15. "We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking," said Chumley, as reported in GoUpstate.com

South Carolina consumers who want to access pornography from their new computers or smart phones would pay a $20 fee to have the filter removed. The money collected from this fee would be used to support the work of the Human Trafficking Task Force and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. 

(AP)

The Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H. 3003) has been referred to the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee. The proposed legislation would amend Chapter 15, Title 16 of the 1976 Code.

The bill states that "a business, manufacturer, wholesaler, or individual  that manufactures, distributes, or sells a product that makes content accessible on the Internet is prohibited from doing business in this State unless the product contains an active and operating digital blocking capability that renders any obscenity, as defined in Section 16-15-305, inacessible."

The bill would also require the business of manufacturer of the Internet-accessible products to provide a reporting system or call center for consumers if pornography breaches the digital blocking system. The blocking system must also ensure "that all child pornography and revenge pornography is inaccessible on the product," and prohibit the  computer or iphone from being able to access "any hub that facilitates prostitution" or "any trafficking of persons."

If a consumer is 18 or older, he can have the digital blocking mechanism uninstalled by showing ID and paying a $20 digital access fee.  In effect, the legislation would not prevent people who want to view pornography from doing so.  

Manufacturers could also pay the $20 fee for each Internet-accessible product they want to sell in South Carolina. The money collected from these fees would go to the State Treasurer "to help fund the operations of the Human Trafficking Task Force and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force," states the bill. 

The legislation still has to pass the S.C. General Assmebly and be signed into law by the governor to go into effect. 

Pornography is "where almost everybody has access to a computer now," said Rep. Chumley. "It's porn on demand. We have to start somewhere. We're bringing attention to it. We're not being political." 

At a 2015 symposium at the U.S. Capitol sponsored by the National Center On Sexual Exploitation, Gail Dines, Ph.d., professor of sociology at Wheelock College, presented a paper entitled Today's Pornography and the Crisis of Violence Against Women and Children. Dines, who has studied the effects of pornography for 25 years, said, “Porn is deeply and increasingly implicated in virtually all forms of sexual violence. We cannot speak about rape, child sexual abuse, commercial sexual exploitation, teen dating violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment, college sexual assault, sexting, or teen suicide following cyberbullying without understanding porn as a driving force behind the normalization and legitimization of violence against women and children."

(AP) 

"Failure to see and address the role pornography can play in sexual violence, as well as myriad other health problems related to exposure such as PTSD, depression, compulsive use, and hypersexualized behavior, is to turn a blind eye on an environmental risk factor of epic proportions," said Dines. "Ignoring the role porn plays in socializing our children and youth is a dereliction of our collective duty to protect the safety and well-being of the next generation."

"The most important point I want to make today is that mainstream porn, the porn you see within 15 seconds of typing 'porn' into Google, is cruel, abusive, violent, and free," she said. "No credit card is needed to enter this world of sexual abuse."

"Advances in technology, especially mobile devices, enable pornography to be viewed anywhere, anytime, by any child or adult who has Internet access," said Dines. "Never before have we reared a generation of boys on hardcore porn, and we are in the midst of a social experiment that few have signed on for, but everyone will ultimately pay a price for."

 

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman