South Carolina House Bill 3003

Summary

South Carolina HB 3003 requires that all devices that allow access to the internet must come with an “active and operating digital blocking capability” that make obscene material “inaccessible.” The “digital blocking capability” must also make “inaccessible” child pornography (not defined), revenge pornography (SC doesn’t have an RP law), hubs that facilitate prostitution (undefined) and websites that facilitate trafficking in persons (defined by reference to a separate statute).

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.

Status

HB 3003 was tabled tabled prior to hearing in Judiciary Committee on 2/8/2017 (Scheduled for hearing but pulled by sponsor)

Analysis

>>The “digital blocking capability” can only be deactivated by an adult who goes through a four step process:

  • The adult makes a written request.
  • Presents identification proving he or she is 18 years or older.
  • Acknowledges receiving a written warning of the potential dangers of deactivating the “digital blocking capability.”
  • Pays a $20 “access” fee.

The bill makes it illegal to manufacture, distribute, or sell a product that makes content accessible on the Internet without the “digital content blocking capability,” selling the product to a minor without activated filters, or providing the means to disable the “digital content blocking capability”.

>>Any business that violates the section will be deemed to have violated three separate laws:

  • Section 16-15-345. Disseminating obscene material to person under age eighteen. This is a felony subject to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Section 16-15-385. Disseminating harmful material to minors and exhibiting harmful performance to minor. This is a felony subject to up to 10 years in prison.
  • Section 16-15-250: Bars the anonymous communication to another person without their consent of “obscene, profane, indecent vulgar, suggestive, or immoral message.” This is a misdemeanor subject to three years in prison.

The Attorney General may seek injunctive relief against any business that “violates the provisions of this article.”

History

The bill was introduced on January 10, 2017 and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.