Content Warning: Adult Websites

Recently on the internet, I was scrolling through the news and this caught my attention. Here in Montana, we need our ID to vote, buy alcohol, tobacco, firearms, open a bank account, apply for food stamps, buy a house, and so on... but Louisiana passed a new Act last year (that took effect January 1st, 2023) that seems a bit out there.

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18+ To Ride This Ride

Starting on January 1, 2023, residents of Louisiana will need to present a government-issued ID to access adult-only websites like Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube.

This change is the result of Act 440, a controversial law that requires these websites to implement "reasonable age verification" for visitors. According to the bill, this requirement applies to any website that features at least 33.3% pornographic material that is considered "harmful to minors." It is not specified in the law how this percentage will be calculated.

The law states that commercial entities that distribute such material to minors on the internet and fail to use age verification methods could be held liable. As with any online process that involves entering sensitive information, there are concerns about the security and protection of personal data in the event of a hack or security breach.

Pornhub has now placed an age verification warning on its website for users in Louisiana, which states it does not “collect data” or allow anyone to “trace online activity” through its age-checking process.

Playboy... but with a bouncer

This is one of those things that fall into my list of "government overreach". 1000% I feel we need to protect children from harm online. However, this new law does NOT stop children from accessing those websites. Instead, it simply allows people to SUE websites that do not enforce age verification.

In the case of Louisiana, that means linking the adult-activity website to YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE. Now, according to the hub, they "guarantee" they do not collect any data via the process... but that process is carried out by a third-party service. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

Similar bills have tried passing, one such bill in the UK... the "Online Safety Bill", requires commercial adult entertainment sites such as OnlyFans to check if their users are over 18. That bill has been criticized over data breach concerns if ID details are leaked... and was sent back to parliament in December of 2022 after many months of delays.

A Free Country... + Big Brother

What are your thoughts on this? Mine are simple. If one website does this, there are other options. Just as how years ago, if you wanted a playboy from the shop downtown... and they wanted an ID... you'd go elsewhere. There are ALWAYS ways to get around these sorts of things. It just feels like there is something bigger here, and one bigger thing is certainly the government. Which... we could use less of.

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