Texas Attorney General Sues Pornhub for Alleged Violation of Age Verification Law

LI Network

Published on: February 28, 2024 at 21:57 IST

The Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, has filed a lawsuit against Aylo Global Entertainment, the parent company of Pornhub, and other adult websites, alleging violations of a state law requiring age verification on adult websites. The lawsuit, filed in Travis County District Court, accuses Aylo of failing to implement reasonable age verification measures as required by Texas House Bill 1181, which was passed last year.

The law mandates that websites hosting pornography must implement measures such as requiring users to submit a driver’s license or other government ID to prove they are 18 or older. According to the lawsuit, Aylo has allegedly not put proper age verification methods in place, making it too easy for minors to access explicit content on its websites.

In a press release, Attorney General Paxton stated, “Texas has a right to protect its children from the detrimental effects of pornographic content. I look forward to holding any company accountable that violates our age verification laws intended to prevent minors from being exposed to harmful, obscene material on the internet.”

If found to be in violation of the law, Aylo could face fines of up to $10,000 per day, as well as additional civil penalties. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forcing the company to implement age verification measures and requests up to $1.6 million in damages.

Last year, a federal judge initially deemed the Texas law unconstitutional, but the decision was later overturned on appeal, allowing the attorney general to enforce it. Texas is among several states that have passed legislation mandating age verification for adult sites. Other states, including Utah, Virginia, Mississippi, and North Carolina, have also implemented similar laws, which the pornography industry has challenged.

Critics of age verification requirements argue that they violate free speech and privacy rights. There are also concerns about the effectiveness of age verification methods and the security of personal data submitted to access adult sites. However, supporters argue that such laws are necessary to prevent minors from accessing explicit and potentially harmful content online.

Some websites, including Pornhub, have responded to the new Texas law by blocking access entirely in certain states. It remains unclear whether Aylo will make modifications to comply with the law or simply limit access to its services in Texas if the court rules against it.

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