Georgia House Bill 509

Summary

Georgia House Bill 509 requires that certain products sold or leased by retailers contain a digital blocking capability that renders obscene material inaccessible.

This bill is based on a model bill drafted by the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (HTPA) campaign. The campaign’s goal is to block access to sexual material and other content on the internet by enacting laws in all the 50 states and Congress to force manufacturers, distributors and retailers to install and activate filtering software on any device that allows access to the internet. In 2017, 14 HTPA bills have been introduced in 12 states. Click here to learn more about the campaign.

Last Action

There has been no activity on the bill. It was removed from House agenda on March 1, 2017 before any hearing. Presumed dead.

Status

House second reading on March 1, 2017 (was scheduled for a hearing but removed from agenda).

Analysis

» Filters may be deactivated if:

  • The consumer specifically requests in writing that it be deactivated;
  • The business verifies in a face to face meeting with the consumer in person or through electronic means that the consumer is 18 years old or older;
  • The customer acknowledges receiving a written “warning” of the potential danger of deactivating the filter;
  • The consumer pays a $20 tax to the business (which must be remitted to the state).

» Other requirements in the legislation for covered businesses: 

  • Send out regular updates to “ensure the quality and performance of the filter.”
  •  Establish a reporting website or call center so consumers can report failure to block harmful to minors material;
  •  Allow consumers to report filtering of non-obscene material;
  • Set up a review process to determine if material material that should have been blocked was not or was not blocked that should have been. The business must send out updates to the filtering software to correct any under filtering. It’s not clear that they have to do so if they over filter.

The Attorney General or any district attorney can to enforce the provisions of the legislation. A consumer can sue for damages due to a violation of the act.

History

  • The bill was read for the second time in the House on 3/1/2017 (was scheduled for a hearing but removed from agenda).