Utah Bill Would Require Porn Filter for Cell Phones and Tablets-news

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A Utah lawmaker is looking to keep children from accessing pornographic material on cell phones and tablets with a new bill.

FOX 13 reports Rep. Susan Pulsipher (R-South Jordan) recently introduced HB 72 during the House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee. It would require cell phone and tablet manufacturers to sell devices in Utah with content filters to block objectionable material already turned on.

That content is aimed specifically at pornography. As Pulsipher explained when introducing the bill, she spoke of an acquaintance who had been exposed to porn at an early age. She claimed it had affected him throughout his adult life, following him through marriage and becoming a father.

Pulsipher stated it also affected his social life. In response, she wanted to help introduce a measure to keep more children from accidentally seeing porn. Adults, however, would simply need to enter a passcode to turn off content filters when in use.

“We’re not asking to do something that we don’t already have on our devices,” Pulsipher said. “We’re just asking to have those filters turned on, to just make it a little bit easier for parents and safer for our kids.”

Most cell phones already come with content filters that are available to tweak. While they are typically sold with these filters turned off, they’re usually simple to customize. There are also several apps that excel at blocking pornography and other adult content for children.

HB 72 received support from many who claimed content filters are difficult to turn on. However, others spoke out on the grounds that allowing cell phone manufacturers to decide the type of content that should be filtered isn’t feasible.

“The constitutional problems with this bill are numerous,” said NetChoice VP Carl Szabo.

Speaking to Fox 13, child psychologist Douglas Goldsmith highlighted another glaring issue with the bill.

“The problem is how vast the access is,” he said. “They can go on YouTube and find this information, they can go on Tik Tok, they can go on Reddit, on any of these sites they can find stuff that we don’t want our children looking at.”

After lawmakers declined to hold a vote on the bill due to numerous concerns, it now remains in limbo.

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