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Alabama bill would prevent internet users from viewing pornography

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Posted at 2:05 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 15:05:52-04

Alabama is the latest state to introduce legislation that would force citizens to pay a fee in order to view pornography online.

According to AL.com, HB428 would require those who sell computers and other devices that connect to the internet to install a filter that would block users from accessing pornography and sexually explicit content. Consumers who wish to have the filter be uninstalled would be forced to pay a $20 tax, which would be used to fight human trafficking victims.

Those who sell devices without a filter would be charged with a felony if caught selling to minors or be charged with a misdemeanor if caught selling to adults.

Republican Rep. Jack Williams, the state representative that introduced the bill, says he hopes it will protect minors from viewing pornographic material and help fight human trafficking in the state. However, a representative for the ACLU of Alabama claims the bill is in violation of the First Amendment and would not hold up if challenged in court.

The introduction of the bill comes just months after a similar bill was presented to the South Carolina House of Representatives in December. That bill, introduced by Republican Bill Chumley, has been under review by the House Judiciary Committee since mid-January.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.