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Utah Gov. Cox Signs Porn Filter Law, Still Needs 5 More States To Join

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Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed legislation Tuesday that puts the state one step closer to requiring all electronic devices sold in the state to block pornography.

The state legislature passed the bill in early March and would block “material that is harmful to minors.” The Device Filter Amendments require cellphones and other devices to be sold with a pornography filter already activated. Manufacturers could face fines ranging from $10 to $500 for each violation should the measure take effect.

In order for the bill to take effect, five other states must pass similar laws, according to the Associated Press (AP). The provision was added to address concerns the law would be hard to implement, according to the report.

Supporters of the bill say the restriction is necessary to keep explicit material away from children, according to the AP. Opponents, however, say the measure could violate the First Amendment. (RELATED: Church Treasurer Accused Of Embezzling $150,000 From Parish Allegedly Spent It On Porn)

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 17: In this photo illustration, the Robinhood application is displayed on an iPhone on December 17, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Silicon Valley start-up company Robinhood with deceiving customers about how the company makes money. The company has agreed to pay a $65 million civil penalty. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN ANSELMO, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 17: In this photo illustration, the Robinhood application is displayed on an iPhone on December 17, 2020 in San Anselmo, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“This is another example of the Legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass,” American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Jason Groth said, according to the AP.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSOE) applauded Utah’s passage of the bill earlier in the month, calling the bill “critical.”

“Utah has passed a critical, common sense solution to help protect vulnerable children from accessing harmful pornographic content on phones and tablets,” said Dawn Hawkins, NCSOE senior vice president and executive director.

“There are countless heartbreaking stories of the harm caused by children’s unhindered access to Internet devices – including the individual and familial trauma of pornography exposure and addiction and adult predators targeting and grooming kids online,” Hawkins added.

In 2016, then-Gov. Gary Herbert declared porn a public health crisis. Utah subsequently passed a bill in 2020 ordering porn to come with a warning label.

The Daily Caller has reached out to Rep. Susan Pulsipher, the bill’s sponsor, and the ACLU of Utah for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.