Aylo to Block Indiana, Kentucky Due to Age Verification Laws

FRANKFORT, Ky./INDIANAPOLIS—Aylo, the parent company of adult tube website Pornhub, told several local and regional news outlets in both states that Kentucky and Indiana IP addresses are to be geo-blocked due to the new age verification laws in each targeting adult entertainment platforms.

AVN reported on Gov. Beshear enacting House Bill (HB) 278 after the GOP-controlled state legislature adopted it. A local affiliate of Spectrum News reports that the geo-block will enter force on July 10 before HB 278 enters force in mid-July 2024.

As is the case for other states, users logging on to Pornhub in the Kentucky digital space will be presented with a landing page indicating that local laws have prompted their action to block access for the whole state. 

The age verification requirements in the bill were attached through a floor amendment to a bipartisan child protection measure that had nothing to do with regulating porn initially. HB 278 originally prohibited school superintendents and administrators from hiring any person "convicted of an offense that would classify the person as a violent offender, a sex crime ... or who is required to register as a sex offender."

State Sen. Gex Williams introduced Senate Floor Amendment 3 and successfully advanced the bill through its third reading two weeks ago with the floor amendment attached.

Sen. Williams’ amendment reaffirms the Kentucky General Assembly's position that pornography is a public health crisis, despite the fact that it is not considered as such by most public health experts and medical and psychology practitioners.

Indiana lawmakers adopted an age verification proposal that was initially quite tumultuous from a civil liberties standpoint. Indiana Capital Chronicle confirmed Aylo's planned exit June 27. 

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 17, among 75 other bills, on March 13. Sen. Mike Bohacek, a Republican representing the community of Michiana Shores, initially introduced the measure to the Senate, with Rep. Joanna King, a Republican of Middlebury, bringing the bill to the House of Representatives.

AVN previously reported on Senate Bill 17 and its original text, which featured criminal penalties for age verification law violators. The bill was later amended to eliminate criminal penalties, however SB 17 still emulates key facets of other age verification laws introduced throughout the United States, starting in Louisiana.

Adult industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition, Aylo and other adult industry companies sued Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

FSC's lawsuit is similar to others brought in federal district courts throughout the country. It alleges that age verification laws go against the First Amendment rights of adults. FSC also has a pending complaint before the U.S. Supreme Court, with the American Civil Liberties Union representing the plaintiffs in that case, including Aylo, through the ACLU Foundation.

AVN's request to Aylo for comment was not returned by post time.