Texas ‘Online Protection’ Bill Is Worrying For Privacy- Judge Issues Block For Now
Online porn addiction is a real problem- and we especially don't want minors to succumb to it. Porn addiction can cause ED, aggression, and can worsen mental illness. It ruins relationships and it ruins the addicted person's ability to enjoy actual, real sex. It's isolating and can cause difficulties at work and home.
Additionally, some perfectly legal porn presses right up against the boundaries of what most people find to be acceptable sexual behavior- with simulated violence, questionable consent scenarios, and what is known as "age play," in which adults act like much younger people. I'm not saying that grooming is the intent there, but I shudder to think about a vulnerable young person seeing that content.
However, I am no prude and I do believe in every adult's right to see the legal sexual material that they desire to see. I hope they are responsible with it. I would prefer children have no access to porn- so age verification seems to make sense on the surface. Too bad it's a terrible idea in practice- or at least as it is implemented in Texas HB 1118. Its overreach is so egregious that a Regan-appointed judge just blocked it. We can expect Texas to fight the injunction, so we should know what it entails- and how to get around it.
Instead of clicking a button or entering a date of birth to access Pornhub and other adult sites, users will need to provide photos of their official government-issued ID or use a third-party service to verify their age.
Do you want the government or some shadowy "third-party service" to have your driver's license as proof of exactly what type of adult content you consume? If you said HELL NO, that's pretty understandable. It's also a violation of our constitutional right to privacy.
The government's ability to track and record what you consume online is dystopian enough until you remember that Texas still has anti-sodomy laws on the books. Could you be prosecuted for viewing material like that? If not prosecuted, could that information be leaked to humiliate you? Sounds like something that would happen to a political opponent or someone who is vocal against a person in power. Do you see why this is so incredibly dangerous?
For now, Texans are safe, but it might not last long. If this legislation is passed, I strongly recommend that you invest in a VPN to maintain your privacy and security online. It's not too difficult or expensive- to me, it would be well worth the $10 to tell Texas government overreach just exactly where they can stuff it. If they'd like to do it on camera- that's their adult choice.