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Indiana’s law requiring age verification for adult websites is being challenged in court



Indianapolis, Indiana – A new Indiana law that will demand age verification if more than one-third of the content is deemed “harmful to minors” is being challenged by a group of plaintiffs with ties to the adult film industry. The lawsuit was filed to prevent the statute.

According to the Monday lawsuit, the 1996 Communications Decency Act and the Constitution are violated by the law. According to Indiana University Mauer School of Law renowned professor Fred Cate, the complaint has standing based on such allegations.

“The Supreme Court decided more than 25 years ago that you couldn’t require age verification online,” Cate said. “And the reason was simple, and that’s because age verification is really hard to do online.”

The First Amendment protects adult film content as free expression.

The cost of age verification is high, and both businesses and consumers would probably bear the brunt of it.

“How do you verify age for someone you can’t actually see? Usually, we do that by collecting a lot of information about them,” Cate said.

Concerns exist over these websites’ potential access to personal data.

“Now, we’ve got a big privacy issue,” Cate said. “And interestingly, the state law prohibits you from saving that information but, of course, you have to save it to prove that you did it.”

Todd Rokita, the attorney general of Indiana, is named in the lawsuit because he must uphold the law. On social media, he posted a statement.

“Children shouldn’t be able to easily access explicit material that can cause them harm. It’s common sense. We need to protect and shield them from the psychological and emotional consequences associated with viewing porn. We look forward to upholding our constitutional duty to defend this law in court.”

Cate and the lawsuit both point out kids could easily get around age verification barriers because they are very computer-literate now.

“We don’t require that everybody else protect kids,” Cate said. “What we require is through schools and community organizations and families, the sense of education and training, that we hope will help kids protect themselves.”

On July 1, the state law is scheduled to take effect. In order to resolve this litigation before the statute is implemented, this group is requesting a preliminary injunction.