WASHINGTON – Rep Jim Banks signed as one of four lawmakers who sent a letter to the US Attorney General’s Office calling for more action against “obscene pornography.”
Banks tweeted Friday afternoon with the signed letter, also approved by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, Rep Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, and Rep Brian Babin, R-Texas, asking Attorney General William Barr to “pursue obscenities and make it a priority (Department of Justice).
“The laws are ALREADY on books that prohibit the distribution of obscene pornography in the places we frequent every day: the Internet, on cable / satellite TV, in hotels / motels and more,” Banks tweeted in a subsequent post. “Yet the enforcement of these laws actually stopped under Obama.”
The letter describes an “explosion of obscene pornography” that has become widely accessible via the Internet and other technologies.
“There are US obscenity laws that, if applied, can improve this problem, as you well know from your previous tenure as US Attorney General when you effectively shut down the pornography industry and drastically reduced child pornography in America,” he says. the letter to Barr.
“Given the pervasiveness of obscenity, we recommend that you make the prosecution of obscene pornography a criminal justice priority and urge your US attorneys to prosecute major producers and distributors of such material,” the letter continues.
The letter does not directly define the term “obscene pornography”.
In the modern era, pornography has generally been considered an expression constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.
Although in common usage, people might refer to indecent material such as pornography as “obscene,” the term has a particular legal definition.
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court in the Miller v. California has ruled that to be considered obscene, the material must lack “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” According to this test, many representations of pornographic material are therefore not classified as obscene.
Subsequent court cases in the early 2000s also rejected attempts to restrict the distribution of pornographic material via the Internet through the use of obscenity laws as unconstitutional.
Following the follow-up request to Banks’s office asking for clarification on the term “obscene pornography” and the intent of the letter, Banks Press Secretary Mitchell Hailstone indicated that the letter “requires Barr to simply apply the laws already on books that are the will of the people, do nothing that Congress has prohibited ”.
Hailstone also provided information from the Justice Department website which states, “Federal law makes it illegal to distribute, transport, sell, ship, ship, manufacture with the intent to distribute or sell or engage in a sale or transfer business. of obscene material. Convicted offenders face fines and imprisonment. While the law generally does not criminalize the private possession of obscene material, the act of receiving such material may violate federal laws that prohibit the use of mail, common carriers, or interactive computer services for transportation purposes. “
Acts that include the production of child pornography, the distribution of such material, and the dissemination of pornographic material to minors are all illegal acts in federal and state law.
One of Banks’ tweets on Friday also referred to a pledge signed by President Donald Trump from the nonprofit Enough is Enough to enforce obscenity laws and fight obscene pornography. Enough is Enough describes his organization’s goal of “addressing online pornography, child pornography, child stalking and sexual predation with innovative initiatives and effective communications,” according to the nonprofit website.
This commitment focuses on applying existing laws to prevent the sexual exploitation of children online; enforce federal statute to oblige schools and public libraries to filter pornography; establish a presidential commission to study the effects of pornography on youth, families and culture; and establish partnerships to implement voluntary measures to reduce Internet-assisted exploitation.
Pornography is a billion-dollar-a-year business in America and around the world, with Internet sites ranking among the most viewed sites in the world.
Web traffic monitoring company SimilarWeb ranked adult sites Pornhub, XVideos, and XXNX as the seventh, tenth, and thirteenth most visited site in the United States as of November 1, respectively.
According to Alexa Internet, a subsidiary of Amazon, LiveJasmin, Pornhub and XVideos ranked 33rd, 38th and 51st most visited globally at the end of August.
According to Enough is Enough statistics, about one-third of young people have visited a pornographic site on a mobile device between the ages of 11 and 14, with the average age of first exposure to pornography being 12.2 years.