The free thinking argument, that blows away the notion of illegal prostitution, is that of pornography. Pornography, or porn, is nothing more than prostitution that has been state-sanctioned, taxed, filmed, and distributed. However, because it is taxed — politicians have generally left it alone — until now. A ridiculous new way for the state to generate revenue has appeared as an act of legislation in Arizona this week as law makers try to force citizens to pay the state before they view porn online. But it gets much worse.
The newly proposed legislation, House Bill 2444 is proposed by State Rep. Gail Griffin and will implement software that is designed to block any material on the internet deemed “obscene” by the state.
The bill would force the installation of this software on all devices in the state which access the internet. According to the legislation, no product that accesses the internet can be sold, leased, distributed or made in the state unless it contains software that blocks obscene materials by default.
Yes, we know how Orwellian this sounds.
According to FOX 4, under the bill, people who wish to deactivate the blocking software must make a request to the person or company that distributed the device, present ID to prove he or she is at least 18, and, among other things, pay a deactivation fee of at least $20 to the Arizona Commerce Authority. The fees will then go to a fund that will finance a number of initiatives via grants, including the building of a border wall between Mexico and Arizona, or fund border security.
The bill goes on in detail to explain what type of content it deems obscene. Its description would be laughable outside the ominous implications for such software. Some of the “obscene” content are things like the top of a woman’s breast—because to statists, the woman’s body is “obscene.”
(a) LESS THAN COMPLETELY AND OPAQUELY COVERED HUMAN GENITALS, PUBIC REGION, BUTTOCK OR FEMALE BREAST BELOW A POINT IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE TOP OF THE AREOLA.
(b) HUMAN MALE GENITALS IN A DISCERNIBLY TURGID STATE, WHETHER COVERED OR UNCOVERED.
Naturally, the bill’s supporters are touting this bill as a means to protect victims of human trafficking. However, as we’ve seen with the deletion of backpage and craigslist personals, this has only fostered a more dangerous environment for sex workers who are now forced back out on the streets.
Anyone who removes or attempts to subvert the software, according to the bill, will be committing a crime and will be prosecuted as such.
A PERSON MAY NOT SHARE THE METHOD, SOURCE CODE OR OTHER OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR DEACTIVATING A FILTER. A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SUBSECTION IS GUILTY OF A CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR.
While this bill may seem out of left field, it is not an original idea. As TFTP reported in 2016, lawmakers in South Carolina attempted a similar scheme.
In South Carolina, according to the since-failed legislation, computer sellers would be required to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices with access to the internet to block people from viewing pornography and other ‘obscene content.’