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Florida Wants to Force Tech Companies to Censor What You See on the Internet

Published: April 26, 2017
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Source: Bits Online

A bill has been introduced to Florida’s state legislature that would require electronic devices to be manufactured with a government-mandated filter pre-installed. The bill was introduced on April 7th and, if passed into law, would take effect October 2017.

The bill, titled the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act,” would prohibit all covered electronics manufacturers from producing, distributing, or selling certain devices without a filter present that blocks specific kinds of online content.

The filter would, according to the bill’s text, block specified types of sexually-oriented material such as prostitution, assignation, lewdness, and human trafficking. Additionally, if covered businesses are caught distributing devices that allow for such items, then they can be subject to a cease and desist order from the State of Florida.

The bill also requires businesses to respond to reports of “obscene material.” Failing to do so can also result in legal action being taken against a business operating in the state, initiated by either consumers or the Attorney General of Florida.

Moreover, selling any electronic device that can access the internet, without a filter, would become a felony if sold to a minor and a first-degree misdemeanor if sold to an adult under state law.

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