Texas age-verification law for pornography websites is going to the Supreme Court

Texas will be a major battleground for the porn site case currently headed to the Supreme Court. The Free Speech Coalition, a nonprofit group representing the adult industry, asked the high court in April to review a state law requiring websites with explicit material to collect evidence of users’ ages. SCOTUS today agreed The U.S. Court of Appeals will take up the case challenging the previous 5th Circuit decision as part of its next term, which begins in October.

Texas was one of many states to pass such age-verification legislation aimed at porn sites over the past year. While supporters of the bills say they are intended to protect minors from viewing inappropriate content, their critics have called the laws overreach that could create new privacy risks. In response to laws, Pornhub has stopped operating in those statesan act that draws public attention to the situation.

“Although it seeks to limit minors’ access to online sexual content, the Act imposes significant burdens on adults’ access to constitutionally protected expression.” The FSC petition says. “Of central relevance here is that it requires every user, including adults, to provide personally identifiable information to access sensitive, intimate content over the Internet — a tool that creates unique security and privacy concerns.”

The case is one of the latest First Amendment rights questions to reach the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the court returned the case on moderation of social media content returned to the lower courts and issued a verdict how closely social media companies can engage with federal officials about disinformation.

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