Texas has filed a suit against Aylo for allegedly violating a state law that requires pornography companies to verify the ages of users and block minors from accessing obscene material.

Aylo Global Entertainment, formerly known as MindGeek, is the parent company of Pornhub. The company declined comment in an email to the Deseret News.

“Texas has a right to protect its children from the detrimental effects of pornographic content,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a release announcing the suit. “I look forward to holding any company accountable that violates our age verification laws intended to prevent minors from being exposed to harmful, obscene material on the internet.”

Texas claims that Aylo is in violation of Texas’ law “because they have failed to implement reasonable age verification methods.”

The suit also alleges Aylo has “failed to display health warning notices.” Texas law requires that websites distributing pornography display notices on their sites.

“Pornography is potentially biologically addictive, is proven to harm human brain development, desensitizes brain reward circuits, increases conditioned responses and weakens brain function,” one of the notices reads. The other notices state that “exposure to this content is associated with low self-esteem an body image” and that “pornography increases the demand for prostitution, child exploitation and child pornography.”

Texas is seeking $1.6 million in relief for these alleged violations.

The Texas law in question was originally set to go into effect in September 2023. In addition to blocking minors from accessing pornographic material using “reasonable age verification methods,” the law also established liability for noncompliance.

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Other states including Utah and Louisiana have passed similar laws.

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The Free Speech Coalition sued Texas over the law in August 2023. The suit claimed that Texas’ “age verification is overbroad” and that it employs “the least effective and yet also the most restrictive means of accomplishing Texas’s stated purpose of allegedly protecting minors.”

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas issued a ruling in August 2023 that blocked Texas’ law and prevented the government from enforcing it.

The Office of the Attorney General in Texas appealed the injunction. On Nov. 14, 2023, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down an order that unblocked the injunction. This meant that Texas could enforce the law.

Explaining the order in a release, the Texas Attorney General’s Office stated, “Any company found to have violated the age verification requirement will be subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day, an additional $10,000 per day if the corporation illegally retains identifying information, and $250,00 if a child is exposed to pornographic content due to not properly verifying a user’s age.”

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