Iowa lawmakers ponder ways to block minors’ online access to porn

DES MOINES — Iowa lawmakers are exploring ways to try to prevent children from accessing pornography online.

Republican Representative Bill Gustoff of Des Moines says there already are two or three bills that outline different approaches. “It’s all like a game of Whac-A-Mole,” Gustoff says. “…We’re going to pass what we can. and then somebody will come up with a way to get around it a little bit and we’ll have to come back and revisit it here and in other states.”

Gustoff is the leader of a subcommittee in the Iowa House that held a hearing on one of the bills on Tuesday.

Chuck Hurley, legal counsel of The Family Leader, told lawmakers efforts to restrict minors’ access to pornography in the digital environment have not yet been successful. “Kids are vulnerable and you all really have an opportunity to do something to protect them,” Hurley said.

Governor Reynolds is making a proposal similar to a Utah law that requires age verification for access to websites with pornographic or indecent content.