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US state mulls passing law to make smartphones filter porn

The US state of Utah is considering passing a law to make smartphone and tablet makers filter pornographic content.

The bill would require smartphones and tablets to “automatically enable a filter capable of blocking material that is harmful to minors,” The Verge reported.

Governor of Utah Spencer Cox said he will “carefully consider” signing the bill, said the report.

Utah’s legislature passed the proposal earlier this month as the bill is supported by members of the state’s Republican majority.

Cox can either veto or sign the bill into law by March 25.

Utah’s H.B. 72 measure requires that all smartphones and tablets sold in the state have active adult content filters.

Users will be able to disable the filter through a passcode that phone makers would provide.

But if a filter is not enabled automatically at the time the user activates the device and a minor accesses harmful content, its manufacturer can be held legally liable.

Every violation may attract a maximum fine of $10.

“Harmful” content can include “any description or representation” of nudity or sexual conduct that doesn’t have artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.

Both iOS and Android devices already come with parental controls, but they are turned off by default, The Verge reported.

However, if the bill becomes a law, it is likely to face a legal challenge.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah (ACLU) of Utah, which opposed the rule, said in a tweet that it “infringes upon the general public’s First Amendment rights to freely access the Internet.”

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