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Update: Utah Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Pornography Filters on Digital Devices

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm via Unsplash

Update: Utah Governor Signs Legislation Requiring Pornography Filters on Digital Devices

By Movieguide® Staff

Utah Governor Spencer Cox officially approved a bill that requires smartphones and tablets purchased in the state to come with pornography filters.  

Cox signed the legislation after lawmakers passed the bill, H.B. 72. 

Movieguide® reported previously: 

The state of Utah has passed legislation that would require smart devices purchased in the state to have filter mechanisms to prohibit users’ access to pornography and other information that could put minors’ safety at risk.  

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an activist group that works nationally to expose sexual exploitation in the United States, commended Utah’s House Bill 72 that takes an unprecedented step to protect children from sexual content online.

The bill outlines that the purpose of the mandatory filter is to “prevent the user of the device from accessing material that is harmful to minors on the device, enables “certain users to deactivate the filter for the device or for specific content,” and will “notify the user when content is filtered.”

The signing of the bill marks a significant step forward in protecting children from harmful, pornographic content. 

Movieguide® reported

This legislation is the first of its kind regarding the amount of control it offers parents to protect their children. Adults are given the PIN that allows them to deactivate the filter.  

“This ensures that the devices are effective for protecting minors while being unrestrictive on adults,” Hawkins shared. “While these filters are already available on most devices now, on an Apple device, for example, it takes 20+ complicated steps to turn them on, leaving most parents helpless to protect their kids online.”

Hawkins continued: “There are countless heartbreaking stories of the harm caused by children’s unhindered access to Internet devices — including the individual and familial trauma of pornography exposure and addiction and adult predators targeting and grooming kids online. We commend the Utah legislature for passing this bill that will aid parents in protecting their children from unwanted exposure to pornography.”

Although many State Representatives endorse the bill, some oppose the bill. 

According to the Associated Press, Jason Groth—an attorney for the politically left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union of Utah—said that the bill is “another example of the legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass.”

Utah is a leader in fighting to protect younger generations. In 2016, Utah was the first U.S. state to label pornography consumption as a “public health crisis.”

The broader scientific community widely documents the adverse effects of pornography on the human brain. However, not only does pornography have physical repercussions, but it also affects humans spiritually. 

For more information on how to protect your children from pornography, check out the resource below: 

Read: How Popular Movies, TV Shows Have Exposed Your Child to Pornography