Pornhub, along with the adult industry advocacy group Free Speech Coalition and several other website operators and porn industry representatives, are suing the state of Texas to block the state’s law requiring age verification for viewing adult content. This is reported by Vice.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on August 4, 2023. The plaintiffs claim that the law violates both the United States Constitution and the federal Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA).

Texas HB 1181, requiring age verification for adult websites, will go into effect on September 1, 2023, unless a court agrees to block it. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1181 into law in June 2023.

The plaintiffs write that the law uses “the least effective and yet most restrictive means to achieve the State of Texas’ stated goal of allegedly protecting minors,” and that minors can easily use VPNs or Tor. In addition, the plaintiffs argue that filtering content on the user’s device would be a much better method of restricting children’s access to pornography.

“But such far more effective and far less restrictive means don’t really matter to Texas, whose true aim is not to protect minors but to squelch constitutionally protected free speech that the State disfavors,” the document says.

According to HB 1181, in addition to age verification, porn sites will be required to display a “Texas Health and Human Services Warning” on their pages in 14-point font or larger.

“Texas could easily spread its ideological, anti-pornography message through public service announcements and the like without foisting its viewpoint upon others through mandated statements that are a mix of falsehoods, discredited pseudo-science, and baseless accusations,” the lawsuit of Pornhub says.

Age verification, even with the provision of an ID, is already being implemented in some US states, such as Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Virginia. That’s why Pornhub has started blocking content in these states. Texas (September 1, 2023) and Montana (January 1, 2024) are to follow.