A new Kentucky web filtering law have been proposed that will make it mandatory for all vendors of Internet-enabled devices in the state of Kentucky to have pornography filters installed that will prevent users from accessing adult content.

Similar laws have been proposed in other U.S. states to deal with the growing social problems that are caused by pornography. The proposed Kentucky web filtering law is virtually a carbon copy of bills that are being considered in Alabama, North Dakota, and South Carolina.

The proposed Kentucky web filtering law was introduced by Rep. Dan Johnson (R-Mt. Washington). The aim is not to make it impossible to access pornography in Kentucky, only to make it harder. If Kentuckians want to use their Internet-enabled devices to access obscene material such as pornography, they will be required to pay a fee of $20 to have the web filtering controls removed.

The fee could be paid on purchase of the device or at a later date. Lifting the web filter would require proof of age to be supplied and a consent form to be signed. This opt-in approach to adult content is seen as the best way to prevent many of the problems that arise from use of pornography, and to make it much more difficult for minors to view adult web content.

As with other similar web filtering laws that have been proposed, the fees would be directed, in part, to crime victim compensation funds as well as for law enforcement and to add to state funds.

If the Kentucky web filtering law is passed, it would make the supply of PCs and mobile phones without filtering software a Class A misdemeanour. Selling an Internet-enabled device to a minor without web filtering software to block pornography would be a class C felony,

In Alabama, the proposed laws would see the Class A misdemeanour attract a fine of up to $6,000 and a jail term of up to a year, while the Class C felony would be punishable with a $30,000 fine and up to 10 years in jail.

Laws proposed in Alabama, South Carolina and North Dakota also require a mechanism to be introduced that would allow webpages and websites that have not been blocked by the filter to be easily reported. A call center or website would need to be set up for this purpose, and the sites would need to be added to the filter within a reasonable time frame. The failure to do so would result in a fine of $500 per instance.

The new bill would need to survive a vote, but before that takes place, Rep. Johnson first needs to keep his position. Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats called for Johnson’s resignation following allegations that he sexually assaulted a 17-year old girl at his Fern Creek church.