Alabama House bill would require Internet porn filters

When Alabama lawmakers return to the Capitol next week they will consider a bill that would criminalize the sale of a smartphone or other internet access device without a pornography filter. Adults wanting to turn off the filters would pay a $20 fee and request the deactivation in writing.

Rep. Jack Williams filed HB 428 earlier this month.

Civil liberties advocates say the bill could infringe on free speech, and even Rep. Williams seems willing to back away from some of the bill’s provisions.

Williams’ bill would make it a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, to sell an internet access device without a filter to block out obscene material, child pornography, images used for sexual cyber harassment, or sites used for human trafficking. Selling a device without a filter to a minor would be a class C felony – punishable by 10 years in prison.

Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina and North Dakota.

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