Utah governor signs legislation requiring porn filters on cellphones, tablets

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a bill on Tuesday requiring porn filters on cellphones and tablets, The Associated Press reports.

The bill, H.B. 72, is aimed at establishing filter requirements and enforcement for tablets and smartphones activated in the state on or after Jan. 1 of the year the measure takes effect, according to its text. Manufacturers that don’t abide by the law could face fines of $10 for each violation with a cap of $500.

At least five other states have to pass the measure for it to take effect, however.

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A spokesperson for Cox previously told the AP that he would “carefully consider this bill during the signing period.”

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Susan Pulishper (R), said she was “grateful” that Cox signed the bill, which she said was aimed at keeping porn away from children, the AP notes. She also noted that parents could take the filters off.

Jason Groth, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, told the news service that the measure was “another example of the Legislature dodging the constitutional impacts of the legislation they pass.” He further said the bill’s constitutionality will likely be argued in court.

Utah has been trying to curb pornography in the state for years.

Former Gov. Gary Herbert (R), for example, asked the state for $50,000 in 2016 to fund the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, which was a private nonprofit group that fights porn.