Society

South Carolina Legislature Considers Online Porn Ban

| by Oren Peleg

Access to online pornography may become illegal to residents of South Carolina. A bill proposed this month would require computers to come pre-loaded with digital porn restrictions.

The requirement is part of the Human Trafficking Prevention Act introduced in December by state Rep. Bill Chumley, a Republican representing Spartanburg, notes The Spartanburg Herald-Journal. 

“The human trafficking thing has exploded,” Chumley said. “It’s gotten to be a real problem.”

The bill establishes that users who wish to opt-out of the porn blocker must verify that they are 18-years-old or older, and then pay $20 to remove the filter. The money would go to the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office’s human trafficking task force.

Popular Video

This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.

“If we could have manufacturers install filters that would be shipped to South Carolina, then anything that children have access on for pornography would be blocked,” Chumley added. “We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking.”

The fight against pornography is not a new one. According to The New Yorker, in 1857, the Obscene Publications Act (or Lord Campbell’s Act) was passed by British Parliament to halt the sale of obscene books. Lord Campbell called pornography a “poison more deadly than prussic acid, strychnine, or arsenic.” 

The law ultimately caused the explosion in sales of banned English-language books in Paris, which also launched the careers of James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, and others. 

Multiple attempts by the United States Supreme Court to ban obscene materials has also been met with issues of definition.

Popular Video

This young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true:

In the 1964 case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, Associate Justice William Brennan Jr., who previously wrote the Supreme Court’s anti-obscenity opinion in the 1957 case Roth v. United States, revised the court’s opinion in an anti-censorship direction:

The "contemporary community standards" by which the issue of obscenity is to be determined are not those of the particular local community from which the case arises, but those of the Nation as a whole.

The recognized interest in preventing dissemination of material deemed harmful to children does not justify its total suppression. This conviction, based not on the exhibition of the film to children but on its exhibition to the public at large, must be reviewed under the strict standard applicable in determining the scope of the constitutional protection.

According to the Columbia Post-Courier, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act has been referred to the state legislature’s House Judiciary Committee, where it will come under consideration in the new legislation session beginning in January. 

Sources: Charleston Post and Courier, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, The New Yorker, United States Supreme Court via FindLaw / Photo credit: Charleston Post and Courier 

Should the government regulate access to pornography?
Yes - 0%
Yes - 0%