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Pornhub to block access in Indiana

IU professor on Indiana law about age-verification for porn (updated)

Video with this story aired June 11 on WISH-TV.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A popular pornography website will be blocking access to people in Indiana, its operator said Wednesday.

Pornhub is a Canadian-owned internet pornography video-sharing website, one of several owned by adult entertainment conglomerate Aylo. Aylo and other companies providing online adult entertainment on June 10 filed a lawsuit to block an Indiana law taking effect July 1.

The law signed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in March says the state’s attorney general and individuals can bring legal action against a website’s operator if material “harmful to minors” is accessible to users younger than 18.

In a statement shared with News 8, Aylo called on governments to require existing technology that verifies the users’ ages on devices, rather than encourage people to migrate “to darker corners of the internet that don’t ask users to verify age, that don’t follow the law, that don’t take user safety seriously, and that often don’t even moderate content.

“In practice, the laws have just made the internet more dangerous for adults and children,” Aylo’s statement says.

Aylo also offers adult entertainment on premium paysites Brazzers, Reality Kings, Twistys, Mofos, Men.com, Reality Dudes, and SeanCody.com, and on video-sharing platforms YouPorn, RedTube and Tube 8.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, a defendant in the lawsuit, said June 11 in a post on X that he looks forward to defending the law in court.

A similar Texas law remains in effect as the Supreme Court weighs an appeal from the Free Speech Coalition, one of the groups suing in the Indiana lawsuit. A Utah law was upheld by a federal judge in August, and a federal judge dismissed a challenge against Louisiana’s law in October.

Here is the statement Aylo shared Wednesday with News 8.

“Aylo has publicly supported age verification of users for years, but we believe that any law to this effect must preserve user safety and privacy, and must effectively protect children from accessing content intended for adults.

“Unfortunately, the way many jurisdictions worldwide have chosen to implement age verification is ineffective, haphazard, and dangerous. Any regulations that require hundreds of thousands of adult sites to collect significant amounts of highly sensitive personal information is putting user safety in jeopardy. Moreover, as experience has demonstrated, unless properly enforced, users will simply access non-compliant sites or find other methods of evading these laws.

“This is not speculation. We have seen how this scenario plays out in the United States. In Louisiana last year, Pornhub was one of the few sites to comply with the new law. Since then, our traffic in Louisiana dropped approximately 80 percent. These people did not stop looking for porn. They just migrated to darker corners of the internet that don’t ask users to verify age, that don’t follow the law, that don’t take user safety seriously, and that often don’t even moderate content. In practice, the laws have just made the internet more dangerous for adults and children.

“The best solution to make the internet safer, preserve user privacy, and prevent children from accessing adult content is performing age verification at the source: on the device. The technology to accomplish this exists today. What is required is the political and social will to make it happen. We are eager to be part of this solution and are happy to collaborate with government, civil society and tech partners to arrive at an effective device-based age verification solution.

“In addition, many devices already offer free and easy-to-use parental control features that can prevent children from accessing adult content without risking the disclosure of sensitive user data.

“The safety of our users is our number one concern. We will always comply with the law, but we hope that governments around the world will implement laws that actually protect the safety and security of users.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.