Atty. Corey Silverstein Outlines Civil Liberty Concerns of HB 295

CYBERSPACE—Corey D. Silverstein of and Adult.Law, recently spoke to about civil liberties concerns raised by Ohio’s House Bill (HB) 295. 

Read "Proposed Porn Age Verification Bill in Ohio Raises Serious Civil Liberties Concerns" via here.

Dubbed the "Innocence Act," HB 295 would implement an age verification requirement in the state of Ohio similar to what has already been implemented in several other U.S. states, however, with more aggressive penalties for non-compliance.

In its current form, HB 295 states that companies and webmasters who don’t implement "reasonable" age verification methods could be subject to criminal charges, a third-degree felony. No other proposed and/or implemented age verification regulation in the U.S. has such punitive criminal penalties.

Silverstein said, "HB 295 is another example of a dangerous trend where politicians are seemingly ignoring commonsense and the Constitution at the same time."

Silverstein explained to that additional language in HB 295 creates a misdemeanor for anyone circumventing the age block from the side of the user (e.g. via VPN). According to Silverstein, this aspect of HB 295 will most certainly impact young people looking to access adult content online.

Silverstein added, "I can’t think of a worse idea than charging minors with criminal offenses for viewing adult content and potentially ruining their futures. Attempting to shame and embarrass minors for viewing adult-themed content goes so far beyond common sense that it begs the question of whether the supporters of this bill gave it any thought at all."

In sum, per Silverstein, introducing criminal penalties for failing to verify a user’s age is a significant First Amendment violation that would impact all people, not just minors.

Silverstein is the managing and founding member of Silverstein Legal. His practice focuses on representing all areas of the adult industry. He is also the founder of the subscription service Adult.Law. Those interested in subscribing to Adult.Law’s services can learn more about subscription tiers here.

Join Silverstein on Twitter @myadultattorney and on Instagram @coreydsilverstein