Utah Passes Law Requiring Porn to Be Blocked on All Cellphones, Tablets in the State

The free thinking argument, that blows away the notion of illegal prostitution, is that of pornography. Pornography, or porn, is nothing more than prostitution that has been state-sanctioned, taxed, filmed, and distributed. However, because it is taxed — politicians have generally left it alone — until now. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill Tuesday that calls for all smartphones and tablets sold in the Beehive State to have adult content filters.

If one is truly for freedom, outlawing consensual acts between adults should be resisted — even if these acts involve the swapping of bodily fluids. And, although the state claims the right to kidnap and cage people for engaging in these consensual acts, it does not mean they are somehow immoral.

The Free Thought Project has long objected to the prohibition of sex work as it creates crime, sends sex workers into dangerous situations, and outlaws one of the oldest professions in the world. While the prohibition of sex work is bad enough, the governor of Utah passing a law that will filter out legal pornography on all tablets and smartphones sold in the state is outright tyrannical.

If someone wishes to access porn on their device, they must first get permission from their cellphone provider and they will be put on a list of people allowed to view porn.

According to House Bill 72, the so-called filter would “prevent the user of the device from accessing material that is harmful to minors on the device; enable certain users to deactivate the filter for the device or for specific content; and notify the user when content is filtered.”

Cox said the move would send an “important message” about preventing children from accessing explicit content on the Web.

“We really want to empower parents,” Cox said. “If nothing else it sends an important message.”

But blocking pornography on 100 percent of devices in the state does absolutely nothing to “empower parents.” There are already programs and filters available to empower parents to block porn on devices and they are free. All this law does, as the ACLU of Utah put it “infringes upon the general public’s First Amendment rights to freely access the internet.”

Adult film star Cherie DeVille, who recently called on Cox to veto the bill, wrote in an open letter that the regulations “would create more than a slippery slope for free speech — it would form a deadly slope that would send Utah residents’ civil liberties off a hill.”

Indeed, this is a slippery slope.

If for one second, you think that the state would limit its ability to block internet access solely reserved for pornography, you haven’t been paying attention. The federal government, right this moment, is plotting away behind marble walls to conceive ways to stop you from viewing content they deem inappropriate — fake news anyone?

It is a win-win for tyranny. Under the guise of blocking ‘obscene content’, the state gets to force device manufacturers to install built-in functionality designed for government-sanctioned censorship — all the while keeping tabs on the hardware. While the notion of pornography isn’t the best way to sell the opposition against such legislation, the idea of government hardware or software installed on electronic devices with the sole function of censoring content deemed ‘obscene’ by the state should shock the conscience.