STATE HOUSE – Sen. Frank A. Ciccone (D-Dist. 7, Providence,
North Providence) has introduced legislation (2018-S 2584)
would require internet service providers to provide the capability, if the
consumer requests, to block sexual content and patently offensive material on
the internet. If the consumer wishes to unblock the content after
requesting the block, a fee of $20 would be applied, of which the money would
be used to fund the Council on Human Trafficking.
“Everyone knows the internet can be a harmful and dangerous
environment for our children. Our kids now have easy access to materials
that no child should be viewing, such as pornography and other highly offensive
or disturbing material. The purpose of this legislation is to first and
foremost protect our children from viewing websites that could have possible
detrimental effects to their psyches and developmental process. And I
want to be clear, the intent of this bill is to require that digital blocks on
this kind of material be available to parents if they so choose to use it,”
said Senator Ciccone.
Senator Ciccone notes that the bill is a work-in-progress
and that several changes may be made to the legislation to address questions
about the intent of the legislation and the technical capabilities needed to institute
the law if passed by the General Assembly.