Adult website age verification passed

Sen. Dave Murman
Sen. Dave Murman

Lawmakers approved a proposal April 11 that requires websites containing sexually explicit content to verify a user’s age.

LB1092, introduced by Glenvil Sen. Dave Murman, adopts the Online Age Verification Liability Act. The bill attempts to prohibit a commercial entity from knowingly publishing or distributing material harmful to minors online by requiring them to use a reasonable age verification method to ensure that anyone attempting to access such material is at least 18 years old.

The age verification requirement would apply only if a “substantial portion” of the website’s content, defined as one-third or more, meets the bill’s definition of being harmful to minors.

Authorized age verification methods include digitized identification cards, third-party age-verification services or methods that rely on public or private transactional data. A commercial entity or third party that performs an age verification is prohibited from retaining a person’s identifying information after access to the material has been granted.

LB1092 does not apply to any legitimate news-gathering organization or broadcaster, and internet providers will not be held liable if a minor accesses explicit content due to an entity’s failure to implement an age verification method. The bill also allows individuals, parents or guardians harmed by an entity that violates the act’s provisions to pursue a lawsuit and potentially recover damages.

LB1092 passed on a 35-3 vote.

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