Home Technology You now need to verify your driver’s license to watch Pornhub in Louisiana • businessroundups.org

You now need to verify your driver’s license to watch Pornhub in Louisiana • businessroundups.org

by Ana Lopez
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At the beginning of the year, a new law took effect in Louisiana, requiring online publishers to conduct age checks if their site’s content is more than 33.3% pornography.

In accordance with this law, Pornhub now requires visitors to verify their age with the LA Wallet app, a digital wallet for Louisiana state driver’s licenses. According to other popular adult websites, they have not set age verification yet Motherboard. But under the new law, porn sites could be sued for damages resulting from a minor’s access to such content. businessroundups.org reached out to Pornhub for comment.

“As a result of technological advancements, the universal availability of the Internet, and limited age verification requirements, minors are exposed to pornography at an older age,” says the legislation say. “Pornography contributes to the hypersexualization of teens and prepubescent children and can lead to low self-esteem, body image disorders, an increase in problematic sexual activity at a younger age, and an increased desire in adolescents to engage in risky sexual behavior.”

This legislation was drafted by Representative Laurie Schlegel (R-LA), who also advocated for legislation it created illegal for transgender teens participate in school sports in accordance with their gender identity. Before taking office in 2021, Schlegel worked as a sex addiction counselor.

A sex worker, professor, and research fellow at UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry, Olivia Snow describes these age verification checks as part of a “sex panic.” While this law stipulates that age-verification sites cannot retain identifying information, Snow believes that porn consumers may still fear data breaches, which is a very valid concern.

Websites such as PornHub and OnlyFans require performers to prove their age and identity as a way to address non-consensual child sexual abuse (CSAM) content and material. But if consumers have to hand over legal documents to watch porn, they may turn to other sites, where the content may not be as well vetted.

“It’s really just further marginalization of sex workers, which I think will be the main effect,” Snow told businessroundups.org. “I imagine this means there will be a larger black market of premium content that is distributed non-consensually.”

Legislation such as Louisiana’s Act 440, as well as SESTA/FOSTA, is positioned as an advocate for child safety. But in practice, this legislation usually only makes it more difficult for sex workers to do their job safely. In addition, in some cases these laws have even made it more difficult for law enforcement to curb sex trafficking.

In 2018, the Justice Department seized Backpage.com, which sex workers used as a tool to monitor personal clients. When the site was shut down for money laundering and sex trafficking, Indiana police said it became harder for them to catch people involved in sex trafficking.

Snow says Act 440 “is also likely to have an effect similar to that of Backpage, meaning that sex workers will simply lose another revenue stream and have to resort to less protected avenues.”

In 2020, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed a Senate inquiry into the secondary effects of SESTA/FOSTA on sex workers.

“Sex workers have reported a reduced ability to screen potential clients for safety and negotiate boundaries such as condom use, resulting in reports of physical and sexual assault,” the bill reads. say. “Many sex workers have turned to street work, which has historically involved more violence than other forms of transactional sex.”

Snow describes the act of requiring people to upload their ID to watch porn as surveillance. In the most extreme cases, she says, this kind of surveillance can harm LGBTQ populations.

“As homophobia and transphobia — especially homophobia in the context of porn — are on the rise, I could totally see the state targeting people who consume gay or lesbian porn and further investigate or criminalize them,” she said. In the text of Act 440, the bill warns that pornography can lead to “abnormal sexual arousal,” but it doesn’t define what “abnormal” means.

“Trans women are disproportionately represented in sex work,” says Snow. “I don’t know if that’s a conscious decision by lawmakers, or if it’s just indirect, but I think trans women sex workers, as usual, will be most affected.”

The UK government has been working on an online safety bill for years, which has been left in limbo due to constant leadership changes. As it stands, the bill could pass similar age checks requiring users to verify their age before accessing sexually explicit content.

In the past, the UK government has tried to enforce age verification on porn sites, but dropped the plan in 2019 over concerns about the technical and regulatory challenges of making age verification mandatory, as well as privacy concerns. Now age checks are being reconsidered in the UK.

In any case, we wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of Louisiana residents suddenly show an interest in learning how to use a VPN.

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