Bill Would Require Manufacturers of Phones, Tablets to Enable Pornography Filters


Alabama lawmakers advanced anti-pornography legislation Tuesday that would require phones and tablets to automatically block sexually explicit content or pornography until the purchaser changes the device settings.

The House of Representatives voted 70-8 for the bill by Republican Rep. Chris Sells, of Greenville. The bill now moves to the state Senate.

The legislation would require manufacturers to automatically enable existing filters that prevent the viewing of pornography or sexually explicit content. Sells said the requirement would help prevent children from inadvertently seeing inappropriate content.

The purchaser of the phone would have to use a password to disable the filter if they wanted to view the content.

While the bill was approved with lopsided support, opponents have questioned if the measure would survive a court challenge. They also questioned the feasibility of requiring manufacturers to make adjustments for devices sold or activated in Alabama. Two dozen lawmakers abstained from the vote.

Several lawmakers praised the legislation, saying not all parents know how to enable the content filters.

Utah’s governor in 2021 signed into law similar legislation, but the measure won’t go into effect unless five other states enact similar laws.

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