According to a recent report, lawmakers in South Carolina have recently proposed a bill that would legally prevent access to pornography on all future internet-enabled devices sold or manufactured in the state. The bill officially states that manufacturers and retailers of all internet-accessible devices must install software that would block access to online pornography, according to the latest draft of the amendment, filed on December 15.
However, the bill also allows for the private removal of this software for individuals 18 and over, providing they pay a $20 fee. Additionally, manufacturers and retailers could pay a $20 opt-out fee for each computer or device sold in order to avoid having to install the software.
The amendment does not mention the possible technological challenges of the software nor the international commerce difficulties that could arise for companies that sell their devices nationwide.
According to many of the amendment's proponents, the amendment would help raise money for the South Carolina task force in order to prevent human trafficking. "This is a way to preserve freedom, not raise taxes and combat a serious problem all in one," said Republican State Representative William "Bill" Chumley, in an interview with Reuters. Chumley stated that he sees the amendment as more of a starting point for debate rather than an officially proposed law, adding that the proposal may still be adjusted.
The amendment fits into the GOP's latest national platform that calls for state legislators to crack down on internet pornography. They added that the amount of easily-accessible pornography on the internet has paved the way for predators to run rampant online.
"Pornography, with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions," said GOP platform representatives. "We urge energetic prosecution of child pornography, which is closely linked to human trafficking," they added.
As of now, a timetable for debate and/or vote on the legislation proposal has not yet been set.