West Virginia legislators are poised to repeat the mistakes of Virginia and Texas in their attempts to limit access to pornographic websites. 

As a parent myself, there are certainly online materials that I don’t want my child to view, but I don’t need a surveillance state rife with unintended consequences to accomplish this goal. Laws that seek to impose age verification systems on porn purveyors might sound reasonable at first, but the devil is in the details.

Under these laws, websites must verify a user’s age and identity via uploaded and stored images of a person’s government-issued ID. This presents numerous threats to users’ online privacy and safety. 

Some of these laws even allow individuals to sue porn sites for “damages resulting from a minor’s access to such material.” In Texas, the law requires websites to publish statements about the government’s viewpoint on pornography, an unconstitutional f0rm of compelled speech. 

Read the full piece here.