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Home » California Could Soon Require Age Verification To Visit Porn Sites

California Could Soon Require Age Verification To Visit Porn Sites

by CLAYCORD.com
21 comments

By Ryan Sabalow – CalMatters

Republican Assemblymember Juan Alanis, a former Stanislaus County sheriff’s sergeant, and San Ramon Democrat Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a women’s rights advocate, may not have a lot in common.

But last week they stood on the floor of the California Assembly and persuaded their colleagues to advance legislation that would have California join a handful of conservative states in passing laws requiring pornography sites to verify the ages of visitors to ensure they’re adults.

“This bill is not about harming the adult entertainment industry or attacking those that work for it,” said Alanis, a former crimes-against-children detective. “This bill is simply about protecting children – and the harmful exposure to increasingly available and increasingly violent sexual material online.”

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Bauer-Kahan, a leading women’s rights advocate in the Legislature, told her Assembly colleagues that research shows 40% of college-aged women have reported being choked during sexual encounters, something she said their partners learned from watching porn.

“We may think this is a purity issue, but it goes well beyond that,” she said. “It is about the safety of our children. It is about making sure that they learn healthy behaviors.”

Their arguments resonated. None of the 80 members of the Assembly voted against Alanis’s Assembly Bill 3080, though 15 were listed as not voting. As CalMatters reported, lawmakers regularly decline to vote to avoid going on record against a controversial bill.

Under the bill, porn sites would need to take “reasonable steps” to verify a user is an adult, such as using age-verification software or having the user provide the site a credit card or government-issued ID. The bill would require that any data collection would ensure the user’s anonymity and would not be used to create a record of the user’s online activity.

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The bill now moves to the Senate. There, the Democrat-controlled chamber is likely to hear testimony from the same parents rights and church groups, free speech advocates and porn producers who testified last month before the Assembly’s judiciary and consumer protection and privacy committees.

Porn stars, conservative family groups orgs testify

Joseph Kohm, director of public policy at the Colorado-based Family Policy Alliance, told the Assembly Judiciary Committee last month that children regularly visit online porn sites featuring sexual violence and verbal degradation.

“And what this means is that they are learning about sexuality from a perspective that portrays sex as physical abuse,” Kohm told the committee.

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Free speech advocates countered that if California enacted the bill, it would stifle the First Amendment rights of adult Californians to access online porn. Members of the porn industry also testified it would reduce traffic to their sites if the restrictions are enacted as they have been in other states.

“It’s a customer deterrent,” queer porn performer Jiz Lee told the judiciary committee. “And if it was enacted in California, where a lot of our subscribers are based, it would hurt our business.”

Alison Boden, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, told the judiciary committee that less than 1% of pornsite users actually complete the age-verification process in states that have passed the requirement.

“What they do, according to our data, is hit the back button and find a site that doesn’t comply with the law,” she said.

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Porn ID laws in other states
Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Kentucky have adopted age-verification requirements for porn sites based on “model legislation” from the Center for Renewing America, a conservative activist group, according to the California bill’s legislative analysis. The organization’s website lists its motto as “For God. For Country. For Community.”

The bill’s legislative analysis noted that the online porn site Pornhub blocked users in those states after the age-verification requirements became law.

Last month, Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a similar bill.

Late last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Free Speech Coalition’s challenge to the Texas law, which had been upheld by a federal appellate court.

The laws are new, and some were immediately blocked from taking effect due to legal challenges, so there’s little public data about how effective they’ve been in preventing kids from accessing porn or the impact on web traffic to porn sites.

The European Union in December passed its own age-verification law. Bauer-Kahan told the Assembly that California should follow those European countries’ lead.

“Europe, which has much stronger privacy laws than our country, has done this,” she said. “They have found a way to put the verification of your age on your phone. A token is sent to the website without your personally identifiable information, and then you, if you’re an adult, can access legal pornography.”

Alanis told the Assembly last week that his bill isn’t that different from how retailers have traditionally prevented children from accessing other types of adults-only products. His bill, he said, would include porn sites in the same California law that prevents children from purchasing products including tobacco, fireworks, spray paint and firearms.

“I believe that California requires its own tailored approach,” he said. “That’s why my team and I have worked … to craft a workable bill using an existing statute that California has long used to protect our children from other types of harm.”

21 comments


Bill Cutting May 23, 2024 - 9:29 AM - 9:29 AM

The European model is the way to go. Children should not have access to that stuff. It’s been proven that it’s bad for anybody that watches it. It’s literally poison for your brain. It teaches you to objectify ppl

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bdml May 23, 2024 - 1:34 PM - 1:34 PM

Europeans are hardly a model for any legislation. Any scientific studies you want share regarding the “poison for your brain” claim? People have objectified people since the dawn of humankind not going to ever be able to control that much like people’s hatred. Like someone mentioned in another post ever heard of a VPN? You sound like you are too worried about controlling the actions of others rather than your own.

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Saynogo May 23, 2024 - 9:48 AM - 9:48 AM

Damn! I guess I’ll have to use my imagination in the future, that’s no fun

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Dawg May 23, 2024 - 10:06 AM - 10:06 AM

Will this law apply to Google and other search engines? They are not porn sites, but anybody that searches for porn will see porn pictures.

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Anon May 23, 2024 - 11:04 AM - 11:04 AM

They obviously have no idea what a VPN is and how easily it would circumvent what they’re trying to do.

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Jessica May 23, 2024 - 2:47 PM - 2:47 PM

Kids have been doing it on their Chromebooks since 2020. Anytime they ban one VPN, there’s about a dozen the kids have already been using as back up. It’s been a parent’s nightmare with these things.

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WC Resident May 24, 2024 - 8:29 AM - 8:29 AM

@Jessica – Rather than blocking individual sites it’s easier to block all sites and to only allow those sites that you and your children agree to. Blocking by default also eliminates nearly all advertising and tracking. The Internet router we used at the time also had a calendar feature. The kids knew the exact time the Internet would turn off. It turns are they are quite capable of planning for this, much like the school bell schedule.

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Captain Bebops May 23, 2024 - 11:45 AM - 11:45 AM

It probably won’t get passed because there is too much money behind these sites. But if it were instead of some guvmint ID there will be companies that will be able to issue “private” IDs that don’t actually reveal the individual but verify that they are of age and of course for use for more than just porn sites.

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domo May 23, 2024 - 1:04 PM - 1:04 PM

… talk about Big Brother … they’re going waaaaay too far these days

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bdml May 23, 2024 - 1:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Actually pretty shocking considering CA insane legislation that gets passed they always seem to want to control people’s children through deviancy

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Jessica May 23, 2024 - 2:49 PM - 2:49 PM

That’s not how any of this works. Raise your children right and they can navigate things regardless of whatever weird conspiracy theory you think is happening around you.

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bdml May 24, 2024 - 11:32 AM - 11:32 AM

You obviously haven’t been paying attention to what is going & it’s not a weird conspiracy theory, that’s what people like you go to immediately to dismiss something you don’t agree with. Take a deep breath & open your eyes they are clearly targeting children.

The Fearless Spectator May 23, 2024 - 6:19 PM - 6:19 PM

Interesting point.
There do seem to be rather specific styles of perversion our elected officials are protective of, and therefore obviously find quite acceptable.

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Bob May 23, 2024 - 5:37 PM - 5:37 PM

Zero chance this passes of Wiener has anything to say.

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claude long May 23, 2024 - 6:32 PM - 6:32 PM

Jessica makes a good observation there …Still the non starter here for many, will be allowing or not allowing it is an affront to their freedoms…..almost forgetting …with freedom we are automatically, [like it or not] responsible for how we choose to use it….freedom itself is no advantage if you don’t understand how to use ….in fact it can get you in trouble real fast…..especially children…..it seems to me what our society is missing, is not educating the populus both young and old about what a serious accountability lays before your choices….As far as i can tell it’s almost nonexistent in the educational system…..every system, causes, or set of beliefs is always lamenting about freedom….i hear next to nothing about investigating the choices set before us and the liabilities that can result.This information and almost every point of view we read… talks all around it, never addressing the root causes of the problems…..some almost inebriated with their freedoms….we can’t expect anything to change unless there is some serious focus on the value of considering this deficiency in resolving these issues……sorry if i offended anyone….lol

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Bayslashers May 23, 2024 - 7:46 PM - 7:46 PM

Just glad we got to hear from Jiz Lee

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Jeff (the other one) May 23, 2024 - 8:03 PM - 8:03 PM

Another attempt at controlling aspects of life outside the runnings of government, and particularly, in this case, in a completely ineffective, unenforceable regulation. Any half-wit could outthink the legislature (even I could).

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TwoTonTony May 24, 2024 - 12:33 AM - 12:33 AM

Too many seniors dieing from heart attacks I see…

Dr Jellyfinger May 24, 2024 - 7:05 AM - 7:05 AM

Are you over 18?
(click “yes”)
OK…you’re in.

You might even see good old Dr. J in some of those videos, I played the OBGYN with the Vibrascope & the Zoro mask ( I was young and needed the money ).

Dorothy May 24, 2024 - 12:07 PM - 12:07 PM

Of course one option is to do away with any and all child protection laws. CA says it’s okay for children to marry a way much older person, be put back into abusive home that could kill them. Why not make it easy to indoctrinate into into porn and maybe self violence? Free speech and free choice for all and all that regardless of age. Who needs any kind of protection type laws?

Glen223 May 24, 2024 - 9:34 PM - 9:34 PM

Interesting that they’re trying to introduce anti-porn laws, yet they’ve also become too morally permissive in other actions.

Obviously liberalism is mental illness.


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