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A lawmaker in Arizona wants to tax internet porn to pay for Trump’s border wall

A republican lawmaker in Arizona introduced HB 2444, a new bill that would force retailers to install software that blocks internet porn on computers and smartphones. The block can be removed, but porn privileges would start at $20. 

This is not the future this liberal wants.

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Gail Griffin’s plan would then use the money raised to help build Donald Trump’s completely insane border wall

Writing for Gizmodo, Matt Novak reported:

… [T]he bill would require retailers to install porn-filter software on all new internet-capable devices sold in Arizona. The filter would only be removed if the customer asked for it, they could prove that they were at least 18 years old, and paid at least $20. The $20 fee would be sent to the state, but retailers would be allowed to charge more on top of that.

“On top”. Heh.

Gizmodo continued:

The bill would also set up something called the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Fund, which is where all those $20 fees would be sent. The fund would then issue grants for programs that help the victims of sex offenses, which sounds reasonable enough until you look at the list in the bill. The first thing on the list, which will allegedly “help” victims of sex offenses, is a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The bill goes on to say that it would help pay for things like mental health services, temporary and permanent housing, help victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence, among other programs. It also claims that it will block access to websites for prostitution and revenge porn.

I don’t think you’ll find a single rational person who thinks that putting more money into mental health services or helping victims of sex trafficking and domestic violence is a bad thing. Having worked for child protective services for over half a decade myself, I’ve seen how prevalent and real these issues are, and how they can affect someone for a lifetime.

But… Taxing porn? Really?!

There are undoubtedly better and more realistic ways to find funding for these much needed programs.

What’s also funny is how they define “pornography” in the bill.

(a) LESS THAN COMPLETELY AND OPAQUELY COVERED HUMAN GENITALS, PUBIC REGION, BUTTOCK OR FEMALE BREAST BELOW A POINT IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE TOP OF THE AREOLA.

(b) HUMAN MALE GENITALS IN A DISCERNIBLY TURGID STATE, WHETHER COVERED OR UNCOVERED

Triple word score for the use of turgid!

This is reminiscent of the 1964 Jacobellis v. Ohio Supreme Court case. The case was about the state of Ohio having the right to block the showing of a film because it was considered “obsence”. In the ruling, which decided in favor of the film, Justice Potter Stewart famously defined pornography by saying “I know it when I see it.”

As Gizmodo points out, this isn’t the first time the lawmaker has done something so puritanical:

Senator Griffin has a long history of introducing socially conservative legislation in Arizona, including a bill in 2018 to allow teachers to put up the phrase “God enriches” in Arizona public schools, a translation of the state’s Latin motto, “Ditat Deus.” She also introduced a bill backed by the NRA in 1999 that protected gun manufacturers from being sued.

The bill itself has not been voted on yet, but both houses of Congress in Arizona are held by republicans, and the governor is also a republican. So there’s a chance that this could actually get passed.

And if it does pass, I have to wonder how in the world they’ll enforce this. I think it would be impossible. The day the software went out, I’m sure someone would be hard at work reverse-engineering it and there would be an exploit found by the next day. It would be fairly pointless.

But even if we pretend like it will pass, and even if we pretend like it would actually be enforceable, think about the conversations that would be had the next time you go to the Verizon store.

Verizon: Sir, your new phone today comes to a total of $150. And would you like to add $20 so you can squint at porn on your 4 inch screen and get annoyed by endless pop-ups that you accidentally click on?

Me: Ahem, well, I have a 17.5″ laptop at home for that, but thank you for the offer

Written by Dan Broadbent

Science Enthusiast. Atheist. Lover of cats.

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