They Want Your Kids: Pornhub Blocks Access in Five More States over Age Verification Laws

controversy PornHub
Flickr/Marco Verch

Web porn kingpin Pornhub has announced that it will block access to its website in Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska this summer due to new age verification laws intended to restrict children’s access to adult content. The porn company is intent on blocking access in every state that passes a law intended to prevent children from freely accessing pornography.

The Verge reports that Pornhub, one of the world’s most popular adult websites, has announced plans to cut off access to its platform in five additional states as a response to the implementation of age verification laws. This decision appears to be part of Pornhub’s stance against legislation that it views as infringing on user privacy and potentially endangering sensitive data. Effective from June 10 in Kentucky, June 28 in Indiana, Idaho, and Kansas, and July 17 in Nebraska, the blackout will not only affect Pornhub but also more than a dozen other brands owned by its parent company, Aylo.

A spokesperson for Aylo, known only as Ian for “safety reasons,” confirmed the company’s stringent step, emphasizing that these laws demand adults to upload government-issued identification to verify they are 18 or older. Ian articulated that Aylo’s decision stems from substantial privacy concerns inherent in these measures.

The laws, the porn industry argues, amount to near surveillance, where sensitive user data could easily be misused or stolen, a criticism echoed firmly by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “This scheme would lead us further towards an internet where our private data is collected and sold by default,” EFF wrote last year, highlighting the potential dangers.

Aylo has stated that while it supports age verification in principle, the current legislative attempts are perceived as “ineffective, haphazard, and dangerous.” The company’s experience in Louisiana, where ID-based verification was implemented last year, demonstrated a drastic 80 percent drop in site traffic, indicating users’ reluctance to provide such sensitive personal information online. Aylo argues that these policies could inadvertently drive users toward less regulated and potentially more dangerous websites that do not adhere to the laws.

The spread of age verification laws has been particularly rapid across several states in the U.S. So far, Pornhub access has already been blocked in Texas, North Carolina, Montana, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, and Utah. The debate over these blocks centers around finding a balance between protecting minors from adult content and securing the privacy and data of adult users. Critics of the age verification laws argue that there are better ways to achieve the intended protection without resorting to measures that could create new risks, while those in favor of the blackout claim that these steps are necessary to safeguard children in an increasingly digital world.

Read more at the Verge here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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