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South Carolina bill seeks to block porn from computers sold in the state

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South Carolina state Rep. Bill Chumley, a Republican, wants to make it more difficult for state residents to access pornography, and he's hoping to accomplish that goal by requiring computer manufacturers to install "digital blocking capabilities" that prevent access to internet pornography on all their devices sold in the state.

In addition, though, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reports, the Human Trafficking Prevention Act would be embedded with a loophole. Any manufacturer, seller or buyer who wants to opt out of the software installation can pay a $20 fee for each device sold or purchased, as long as they can verify they are at least 18 years old.

"If an end user buys an apparatus, a computer, and they want access to that, they would have to pay to have that filter removed," Chumley said.

And the money would go to a good cause. All revenue made from the opt-out fee would go to the South Carolina Attorney General's Office to be placed in a fund for the human trafficking task force, which works with law enforcement leaders, nonprofits and state advocates to crack down on trafficking.

According to Chumley the legislation would also bar people from accessing any site that facilitates prostitution and would require manufacturers and sellers so block any website that facilitates trafficking.

"The human trafficking thing has exploded. It’s gotten to be a real problem," he said.

The bill is co-sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Burns. Chumley and Burns say the law would protect children and keep them from being exposed to sexually explicit material.

"If we could have manufacturers install filters that would be shipped to South Carolina, then anything that children have access on for pornography would be blocked," Chumley said. "We felt like that would be another way to fight human trafficking."

Chumley said the bill is in no way "political." Instead, the lawmaker said, "It’s an issue I’m pretty passionate about."

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