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Do you live in any of these states? Its legislators seek to restrict pornography from cell phones and tablets


The bills in eight states, some with a high Latino population, seek to force manufacturers of electronic devices such as Apple and Samsung to activate filters that prevent access to pages with sexual content.

By Ben Goggin -

NBC News

Eight states are considering

anti-pornography laws that would force cellphone and tablet makers such as Apple and Samsung to activate filters

that would censor nude images and sexually explicit content.

The only way to remove the filters would be through the use of keys.

Handing out those codes to children would be prohibited, except when done by a parent.

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Specifically, the legislation indicates that filters on phones must prevent children from downloading sexually explicit content through mobile data, applications owned or controlled by manufacturers and wired or wireless networks.

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Many manufacturers already have filters available for adult content, although it's not the norm to have them turned on by default


Many phone manufacturers, for example, allow parents to easily activate filters on Internet browsers to prevent children from navigating to websites known to contain pornographic content.

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In recent years, some mobile manufacturers have added sophisticated filters that use artificial intelligence to censor individual images in some applications.

One of the anti-porn legislation was signed into law in 2021 in Utah, but it cannot take effect unless five additional states pass similar legislation.

That section was included to prevent big technology companies from isolating the state after passing the law.

This year, lawmakers in

Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa, Idaho, Texas and Montana

are considering versions of the legislation.

Montana and Idaho are further along in the process.

Legislation seeks phone and tablet manufacturers to place filters on devices that do not allow minors to access adult content.Getty Images

In interviews with NBC News, the authors of the original texts of the legislation—representatives of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Protect Young Eyes, both organizations focused on child safety—indicated that the original intent of the model legislation was to push manufacturers of electronic devices to activate filters automatically in internet search engines and other applications.


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Those filters were already on phones, but not by default in 2019, when the original legislation was drafted.

In 2021, Apple introduced filters to its devices that can scan messages for nudity and blur them.

The filter can be activated by an adult in the case of children.

Most of the legislation under consideration would make manufacturers liable for criminal activity and subject to penalties

if they do not have filters automatically activated according to "industry standards."

The proposals do not explain what that means or whether it also includes message filters.

questions in the air

For example, the Montana legislation seems to suggest that age verification would be required for manufacturers to avoid potential lawsuits or prosecutions.

Samir Jain, vice president for policy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, said the inclusion of such language raises concerns about user privacy and data protection.

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In theory, manufacturers could be forced to collect consumer data through official identification or other means.

Jain added that given the details of what is acceptable to view depending on the age of the minors, filters need to be adjusted and applied by parents.

"What is appropriate for an adolescent or a child under 6 years of age is very different," he explained.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-22

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