We Decided To ‘Completely Disable Access’: PornHub Blocks The Entire State Of Utah After New Law Took Effect

PornHub has blocked anyone residing in the state of Utah from accessing the website to protest the passing of a new law in the state for stricter age-verification guidelines. 

According to Fox 13, website users in Utah first began noticing the issue on Monday morning. Whenever a Utahan would attempt to visit the site, they’d be greeted with, “403 | This state is not whitelisted.” 

Later that day, the site put out a statement notifying users of why they were blocked from accessing the website. The statement read “As you may know, your elected officials in Utah are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website. While safety and compliance are at the forefront of our mission, giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users, and in fact, will put children and your privacy at risk.”

PornHub claimed to have proper safety measures in place to prevent children from accessing the website’s adult content and claimed that the measures Utah put in place were unreasonable and achievable. The site ultimately said that “Until a real solution is offered, we have made the difficult decision to completely disable access to our website in Utah.”

The adult site also went further, imploring browsers to contact their officials in office to demand solutions that accounted for their privacy and safety. 

The bill that PornHub is protesting against is SB 287, which was passed earlier this year. The bill requires any adult content website to use a form of age verification before a user can access them. The bill does permit third-party or other systems to do so.

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The problem can already be somewhat observed in Louisiana, as the state legislature also recently passed a bill doing much the same, named House Bill 142. PornHub created a login option at the start where users could log in on a third-party website to prove their age before returning to the adult site, per the New York Post.

The law in Utah is set to go active on May 3rd, which is why Utahans began to experience issues with the adult website just now.

Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, which is a trade group that works to represent the adult entertainment industry, spoke of his frustration with the bill. Stabile said, “There’s no clear way to comply with it – Utah’s digital ID does not currently allow online verification – so many adult sites are just planning to block all visitors from the state until they get their age verification system up, much like they did with Louisiana.”

Many protestors of the bill are concerned not so much with its effects on the adult film industry but with the broad scheme of limiting online freedoms. Online users have argued that beginning to require government identification to use adult sites could eventually be rolled out to other sites as well and thus restrict freedoms.

Lawmakers have maintained that the purpose of this law is to protect children and not to infringe on the rights of American adults.

Ultimately, PornHub is fighting an uphill battle in trying to maintain anonymity while also complying with legislation being passed. It is undoubtedly becoming more and more difficult to keep adult content away from the hands of children since the growth of the internet, but hopefully, a good solution can be reached in time.

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