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Indiana’s AG reacts to Pornhub’s proposal to prevent access to the state



Indianapolis, Indiana – Todd Rokita, the attorney general of Indiana, defended a state law on Thursday that would force visitors of porn websites to provide personal information to confirm their age. On July 1, the law is scheduled to take effect.

Republican governor Eric Holcomb initially signed the bill in March, which specifies the authentication that visitors must complete in order to view the content on the pornographic website. Furthermore, in the event that minors are able to access “harmful” content on the websites, the law empowers the Republican attorney general of the state, among other parties, to file a lawsuit.

“Would you be OK with a child, walking, physically walking, into an adult novelty store, where there’s magazines, videos, toys? No,” Rokita said Thursday. “You’d at least, if it was questionable, ask for an ID, so why is it any different online?”

Aylo, the parent company of Pornhub, filed a lawsuit on June 11 in an attempt to overturn the legislation. The lawsuit claims that the state statute violates the 1996 Communications Decency Act, interfering with free expression and constitutional rights.

Subsequently, Aylo declared that they will prohibit users from accessing Pornhub in Indiana, stating that they disagree with the quantity of personal data the state wishes to collect from users, not with the age-verification procedure.

“Any regulations that require hundreds of thousands of adult sites to collect significant amounts of highly sensitive personal information is putting user safety in jeopardy,” part of Aylo’s statement to News 8 said. “Moreover, as experience has demonstrated, unless properly enforced, users will simply access non-compliant sites or find other methods of evading these laws.”

In response to questions about privacy, Rokita stated that porn websites are required by law to remove user content that is private.

“The General Assembly considered this, and they put the onus on your favorite adult website that you want to go to to erase your data,” Rokita said.

He will have enforcement power over that destruction to make sure this occurs.

“I think that these porn sites don’t want to take the risk of having a data breach,” Rokita said.

Apart from his enforcement authority, the law grants individuals the ability to file a lawsuit against the website in the event that their personal data is breached.

According to Aylo, people’s concern of their personal information being leaked only leads them to other, more riskier websites.

“These people did not stop looking for porn,” Aylo’s statement said. “They just migrated to darker corners of the internet that don’t ask users to verify age, that don’t follow the law, that don’t take user safety seriously, and that often don’t even moderate content. In practice, the laws have just made the internet more dangerous for adults and children.”

Aylo has witnessed this scenario occur in Louisiana, where similar rules are in place. While the U.S. Supreme Court considers an appeal from the same free speech group that is suing in the Indiana litigation, a Texas legislation is also in effect.

On Monday, a court will hear arguments over whether to grant an injunction or permit the law to take effect on July 1.

Rokita stated he intends to defend the legislation, arguing that the pornographic websites refuse to pay for the appropriate verification procedure.

“What this comes down to is that they don’t want to spend the money to protect kids,” Rokita said. “Because of that, they are part of the problem, they are part of the problem for why our kids are so corrupted.”