NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Age verifications to access pornographic websites could soon come to Tennessee. House Republicans confirm they’re considering a new law, that’s already getting criticism.
Tennessee Rep. Jeremy Faison told News 2 he is still gathering information and will provide more once the bill is drafted and filed.
A leading opponent of this proposed law is the Free Speech Coalition, an adult entertainment industry trade association. They have monitored these types of laws since 1991.
“Adult sites have talked about this for years, as they work for an effective way of keeping kids off,” said Mike Stabile, Free Speech Coalition Director of Public Affairs.
A common argument among supporters of these kinds of laws is that they help protect kids from accessing adult content. Louisiana was the first to require age verification to enter websites with a substantial portion of adult content. Utah and Texas have both followed in issuing their own laws.
A person has to use a verification system that checks their government ID or transactional data to confirm they are at least 18 years old. Stabile believes this is unconstitutional and invades someone’s privacy.
“98% of consumers won’t verify their age and will use a VPN to get around it,” Stabile said. “I think legislators need to do this to find solutions that are effective and don’t make consumers risk surveillance and privacy violations.”
The American College of Pediatrics cities pornography as very negative to a child’s development and view on relationships. Stabile stressed the importance of stopping kids from accessing adult content and working with lawmakers to achieve that goal.
To learn more about these kinds of laws and how they are affecting other states, click here.