Texas age-verification law for pornography websites is going to the Supreme Court

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Texas will be the main battleground for a case about porn websites that is now headed to the Supreme Court. The Free Speech Coalition, a nonprofit group that represents the adult industry, petitioned the top court in April to review a state law that requires websites with explicit material to collect proof of users’ ages. SCOTUS today agreed to take on the case challenging a previous ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit as a part of its next term beginning in October.Texas was one of many states over the last year to pass this type of age-verification legislation aimed at porn websites. While supporters of these bills have said they are intended to protect minors from seeing inappropriate content, their critics have called the laws an overreach that could create new privacy risks. In response to the laws, Pornhub ended its operation in those states, a move that attracted public attention to the situation.”While purportedly seeking to limit minors’ access to online sexual content, the Act imposes significant burdens on adults’ access to constitutionally protected expression,” the FSC petition says. “Of central relevance here, it requires every user, including adults, to submit personally identifying information to access sensitive, intimate content over a medium — the internet — that poses unique security and privacy concerns.”This case is one of the latest First Amendment rights questions to go before the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, the court remanded a case about social media content moderation back to lower courts and passed judgment on how closely social media companies can engage with federal officials about misinformation.

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