Utah Governor Signs Law That Bans Pornography On Mobile Devices

Apr 7th, 2021

It cannot be denied that with the advancements in technology, everyone finds having a mobile device like smartphones or tablets convenient. That is why these days, it is not surprising to see children having their own phones too where they can easily access the internet may be for school work and for social interaction.

However, parents are aware of the dangers that the internet can bring. And sometimes, they do not have all the time in the world to regularly monitor their younger childrens’ online activity. And because of this, they are worried that even with parental controls on mobile devices, kids can still find a way to have access to pornographic information.

Utah is known for being very conservative when it comes to explicit and adult content. There are warning labels on all online and printed publications with adult content.

And last March, the governor of Utah signed a bill that will make mobile devices automatically filter pornography. The governor will still have to decide whether to make all phones and tablets in the state automatically filter pornography. The bill passed the legislation last March and it will require all mobile devices to “automatically enable a filter capable of blocking material that is harmful to minors.”

Republican Governor Spencer Cox explained that this bill sends an “important message” about protecting children’s innocence. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Susan Pulsipher, said she’s “grateful” that Governor Cox had signed the legislation. She added that this bill would make it easier for parents to protect their children from adult content.

However, not everyone agrees that this is how this problem should be handled.

One of the popular adult movie stars, Cherie DeVille, also raised concerns about the first amendment and freedom of speech.

And according to others, banning adult content from all phones and laptops is almost impossible. Even the bill supporters like the anti-pornography groups argue that the filters are too complicated for this purpose. Also, this legislation will not be effective unless five more states join in the next decade. Implementing it as a law will require years and there are also no guarantees that it will ever happen.

Also, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah stated that the bill’s constitutionality had not been wholly considered. ACLU attorney Jason Groth said: “This is another example of the Legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass.”

In 2016, Utah declared porn a “public health crisis” and this results in many other states following this move. But unlike in 2016, things are a bit more concerning right now. Other states aren’t looking into this bill and consider giving up adult content as another issue.

As Electronic Frontier Foundation media relations director Rebecca Jeschke stated: “We don’t know of any other states who are working on any plans right now.”

Utah now only hopes that other states will support this bill but they are still relying on their opinions regarding bans. However, this can be a problem since they clash with the constitution.

Everyone will be all-in when it comes to protecting children. However, filtering search engines by banning pornographic access might be easier said than done. Utah only wants to protect the welfare and safety of young children against the dangers of pornographic sites, but ironically, a Twitter user said that Utah has the highest number of online pornography users.