Senator’s bill would charge RI residents $20 to access online porn

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Frank Ciccone_656976

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Rhode Island lawmaker is taking aim at pornography.

State Sen. Frank Ciccone has filed a bill that would allow internet service providers in Rhode Island to block online porn, requiring residents to pay a $20 fee if they want to access it.

“Everyone knows the internet can be a harmful and dangerous environment for our children,” Ciccone, D-Providence, said in a statement Tuesday. “Our kids now have easy access to materials that no child should be viewing, such as pornography and other highly offensive or disturbing material.”

“The purpose of this legislation is to first and foremost protect our children from viewing websites that could have possible detrimental effects to their psyches and developmental process,” he continued. “And I want to be clear, the intent of this bill is to require that digital blocks on this kind of material be available to parents if they so choose to use it.”

The money collected from the porn fee would go to the Council on Human Trafficking. Ciccone described the bill as a work in progress, and acknowledged changes may be required in part to deal with technical limitations.

While the current draft of the legislation is silent on how the block would be activated, a Senate spokesman said Ciccone’s intention is that the $20 fee would only apply to those who previously requested a block and later ask to have it removed.

The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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