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Lawmakers and Parents Say “No” to Porn

Utah- Thirty-seven Utah lawmakers and the Utah PTA have filed a “friend of the court” brief defending the state’s online registry designed to protect children from unsavory email. A lawsuit from the Free Speech Coalition – a trade association for purveyors of porn – claims the website violates freedom of speech.

Businesses that sell porn, alcohol, tobacco and gaming are required to check their mailing lists against the child email registry monthly to be certain they aren’t sending their material to kids. To date 174,000 child email addresses have registered for the online equivalent of a “do not call” registry. About 200 companies check their lists against the registry once a month – most of them porn companies. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he’s confident the state will prevail in the porn-industry lawsuit.

The Child Protection Registry works like a do-not-call list, allowing parents to protect their children’s e-mail addresses at www.kidsregistry.utah.gov. The adult industry, alcohol and tobacco companies are required under Utah law to check their e-mail lists against the registry and scrub any e-mails that match. It costs the companies a half-cent per e-mail address. Companies that violate the law are subject to fines.

The Free Speech Coalition is suing Utah, claiming the registry violates its first and 14th amendment rights. The group, made up of some 3,000 producers and distributors in the adult entertainment industry, claims in the 2005 lawsuit that the registry puts an undue burden on e-marketers and treats them differently than any other marketer.

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