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[Slashdot] - Utah Campaign Against Porn Marches On With Phone Filter Ban


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Conservative lawmakers in Utah have a passed a proposal this month requiring all cellphones and tablets sold in the state to automatically block pornography. It's unknown whether Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, will sign or veto the proposal. He has until March 25 to decide. The Associated Press reports: Supporters argue the restriction is a critical step to help parents keep explicit content away from kids -- especially as more children have their own electronic devices and have been forced to spend more time online during the pandemic. Combating porn is a perennial issue for Utah lawmakers who have previously mandated warning labels on print and online pornography and declared porn a "public health crisis." Utah's generally conservative culture means racy mainstream magazines and lingerie catalogs can be considered risque. Leaders of the predominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith have also drawn attention to what they consider the harms of pornography. Even if Cox signs the measure, it wouldn't go into effect unless five other states also enacted similar laws, a provision added after manufacturers and retailers voiced concerns that it would be difficult to implement the filters for a single state. If Cox signs the bill, Utah appears poised to become the first state to mandate filters on devices, according to two prominent technology experts and the bill's sponsor, though federal internet restrictions aimed at preventing kids from accessing porn were passed in the late 1990s and later stuck down in the courts.

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