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Rhode Island bill would impose fee for accessing porn online

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Rhode Island bill would impose fee for accessing porn online

By Jacqueline Tempera
Journal Staff Writer

Posted Mar 2, 2018 at 6:19 PM
Updated Mar 2, 2018 at 6:19 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island residents will have to pay a $20 fee to access sexually explicit content online if a recently introduced bill passes the General Assembly this session.

A bill introduced by Sen. Frank Ciccone, D-Providence, and Sen. Hanna Gallo, D-Cranston, on Thursday would require Internet providers to digitally block “sexual content and patently offensive material.” But, consumers could deactivate that block for a fee of $20.

Each quarter the internet providers would give the money made from the deactivation fees to the state’s general treasurer, who would forward the money to the attorney general to fund the operations of the Council on Human Trafficking, according to the bill’s language.

If online distributors of sexual content do not comply with the filter, the attorney general or a consumer could file a civil suit of up to $500 for each piece of content reported, but not blocked, according to the bill.

Ciccone and Gallo did not respond to phone messages requesting comment Friday night.

The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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