Bill would prevent online porn in SC, could unblock it for a fee

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – People buying computers in South Carolina would be limited in their access to porn online under newly proposed legislation.

A bill pre-filed this month by state Rep. Bill Chumley would require sellers to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices that access the internet to prevent the viewing of obscene content.

The proposal also would prohibit access to any online hub that facilities prostitution and would require manufacturers or sellers to block any websites that facilitate trafficking.

Both sellers and buyers could get around the limitation, for a fee. The bill would fine manufacturers that sell a device without the blocking system, but they could opt out by paying $20 per device sold. Buyers could also verify their age and pay $20 to remove the filter.

Money collected would go toward the Attorney General’s Office’s human trafficking task force. Last year, pushed by officials including Attorney General Alan Wilson, lawmakers approved a bill to give the State Grand Jury authority to investigate human trafficking.

The bill was first reported by the Herald-Journal of Spartanburg. Chumley told the paper (http://bit.ly/2gP6dv6) his proposal would block users from accessing websites that facilitate human trafficking and is intended to protect children from exposure to sexually explicit materials.

“If we could have manufacturers install filters that would be shipped to South Carolina, then anything that children have access on for pornography would be blocked,” the Spartanburg Republican told the paper. “We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking.”

Chumley’s bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Legislators return to Columbia for a new session next month.

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