Louisiana Residents Now Require Government ID to Visit Porn Sites


For most sites in most places in the world, verifying your age is as simple as picking a date from two decades ago and hitting “verify.” This is no longer the case in Louisiana. Law 440, which went into effect Sunday, requires the state’s 4.6 million residents who attempt to access a porn site like PornHub to prove their age with government-issued ID.

Louisiana residents attempting to visit PornHub are greeted with a screen stating that “Louisiana law now requires us to implement a process to verify the age of users who come to our site from Louisiana.” .

Through a third-party verification site called AllPassTrust, users must connect their digital ID or driver’s license through LAWallet, Louisiana’s digital driver’s license platform. It seems that other porn streaming sites have not yet been affected.

Bill 440 was drafted by Republican State Rep. Laurie Schegel, passed by the state’s Republican-led House of Representatives, and signed into law by John Bel Edwards, the state’s Democratic governor. Sites with a “substantial portion” of content deemed “harmful to minors” are liable if they do not apply “reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of persons attempting to access the material”.

A “substantial part” is defined as anything above 33.3% – so platforms like Twitter, where pornography is allowed, are presumably unaffected. Content “harmful to minors” is described by the new law as content showing any of the following: “Pubic hair, anus, vulva, genitals or female breast nipple. Touching, fondling or stroking the nipples, breasts, buttocks, sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy, bestiality, oral copulation, flogging, excretory functions, exhibitions or any other sexual act.

Some hope that a similar law will be passed at the federal level. On December 14, Utah Senator Mike Lee introduced the Screen Act (Protecting Children’s Retinas From Blatant Exposure on the Net), which would require porn sites to properly verify the age of their users at across the United States.

“Online pornography is extreme and graphic and just a click away from our children,” Schegel from Louisiana wrote in a Dec. 30 Facebook post. “It’s not your daddy’s Playboy. And if the porn companies refuse to be responsible, then we have to hold them accountable. This law is a first step.”

Pornhub, XVideos and Redtube did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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