Salazar Wants To Tax Porn Sites, Add More Restrictions

Bill Proposes 25 Percent Tax On Online Porn Transactions

Sen. Ken Salazar is one of two lawmakers sponsoring new legislation to protect children from Internet pornography.

Under the proposal introduced Wednesday morning, any pornographic Web site operating for profit would be taxed 25 percent. The money would go to fund law enforcement and groups that combat Internet crimes against children, create an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in each state, and create programs to teach kids about Internet safety.

The bill would also force porn sites to use more advanced age-verification technology.

The legislation comes in conjunction with the release of a new report by Democratic think tank Third Way that shows how easily children are able to gain access to online porn. Citing statistics from a company that sells filtering technology, the report said the biggest group of consumers of Internet porn are children between 12 and 17 years old. Family Safe Media also said that the average age of a child's first exposure to online porn is 11.

"These statistics paint a horrifying picture and the federal government needs to take a stand on the side of parents. Parents need the tools to protect their children from these shocking images, and this legislation is an important step towards giving parents the ability to protect their families as they see fit," Salazar said.

But experts say the proposed new law may not be enough. They say e-mails, instant messages, and pop-up ads reach out to kids and lead them to pornographic sites.

"It's not about kids finding pornography, it's about pornography finding kids," said Regina Lewis, a consumer adviser with America Online.

The Internet Safety and Child Protection Act will be considered by multiple Senate committees before being taken up by the entire Senate for consideration.

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