Tom Reed wants to ban free online porn to prevent underage consumption

Rep. Tom Reed, who is not seeking reelection at the end of his current term but may seek office in the future, plans to introduce a bill in the current session of Congress that would ban free pornography from websites that are accessible in the United States, requiring that pornographic publications establish limited-access paywalls that require credit or debit card authentication — which he believes will reduce minors’ consumption of pornography by more than 90%.

The law would effectively ban websites that have been accused of child exploitation, like PornHub and YouPorn, which distribute user-uploaded videos for free, from internet access points inside the United States.  Reed has cited public comments from pop star Billy Eilish, in which she detailed the impact that consuming pornography had on her mental health as a teenager, as being an inspiration for the law.

Reed believes that that children badly need new consumer protections from the internet, social media products, and emerging technology “as a matter of public health and child protection,” explains one staffer.  “He’s considering a slew of new consumer protections, but the Congressman wants to start with limiting youth access to pornography because he believes that it is particularly destructive to the well being and mental health of children.”

“He wants this legislation to be bipartisan, and Sen. [Kirstin] Gillibrand‘s office has already indicated that she is willing to sponsor the bill in the Senate,” he adds.  “[Congresswoman] Kathleen Rice is going to be the Democrat co-sponsor on the House side.”

Critics of the law say that it could backfire.  By banning free porn for everyone, lawful adult consumers would be forced to subscribe to specific pornographic publications with limited-access, limited-distribution content.  That would create an enormous new revenue volume for adult websites, which might instigate an economic boom in the adult entertainment industry, they postulate.

Advocates for the well being of sex workers have argued that a more regulated industry with ‘high-price setting’ would afford production companies the revenue to unionize the workforce, professionalize the industry, and implement stronger public health protocols.

Reed wants a vote on the legislation this spring.

Staffers for the congressman deny rumors that he is considering a run for State Comptroller later this year.

 

 

 

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