It is always instructive to find out what governments are up to when the populace is distracted. It is also disturbing to see how the state will attempt to sneak seemingly benign dollops of tyranny into its governance like a shrewd mother slipping vegetables into the children’s dinner. After all, how are diligent citizens supposed to keep an eye on their leaders when the establishment media’s theater and pageantry constantly distract them?
… government software that would block pornographic content.
As the American public fixated on Black Hebrew Israelite racists, an alleged Native American valor thief, and a smiling teenager in a MAGA hat, the Arizona state government proposed a measure that easily could become a precursor to expanded government control and surveillance. This particular proposal would provide the state with the means to regulate and tax the internet activity of everyday Arizonans, and those who value liberty should take note.
Arizona Senate’s Disturbing Proposal
The Arizona State Legislature recently considered a bill that would mandate all digital devices include government software that would block pornographic content. House Bill 2444, proposed by State Rep. Gail Griffin (R-Hereford), would require that any product that can access the internet would have this type of software installed before it could be sold, leased, manufactured, or distributed in Arizona.
If the bill becomes law, individuals who wish to deactivate the software would be required to submit a request to the entity that distributed the device, show identification proving they are at least 18 years old, and pay a fee to the Arizona Commerce Authority. The state would then allocate the fees to a fund that will finance multiple initiatives, including the construction of a border wall between Arizona and Mexico. It also would give grants to programs designed to assist victims of human trafficking.
The bill would also make it illegal to deactivate the software through other means because, of course, it would.
Should We Be Concerned?
Now, you might be saying to yourself: “Well, that’s not so bad. Taxing porn to fund the border wall might be a great idea!” Not so fast, dear reader. There is a reason why a lawmaker would introduce legislation restricting a taboo activity to pursue a cause with which many in the state would agree, and it ain’t good.
While it is likely that the government would assure its citizens that it will not go any further than restricting pornography, it is not unreasonable to point out that states rarely restrict their own power. It wouldn’t happen overnight, but it’s not hard to imagine that any government, in any state, could take legislation such as this further, restricting other types of content it deems offensive. Moreover, what happens when the federal government decides to introduce this type of legislation? The presence of such a law in Arizona could bolster its case.
Today, they are coming for pornography, an activity that already carries a social stigma. Tomorrow, they could come for your favorite source of information and news. When the government has the power to decide what people can view online, it will be empowered to exert undue control over the American public. Perhaps it is best to prevent it from getting its foot in the door.