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Bill would require phones in Tennessee to come with an activated content filter

From WKRN in Nashville: A new bill in the Tennessee General Assembly would require content filters to be preinstalled and turned on for phones activated in the state.


Sen. Joey Hensley (R- Hohenwald) wants phone manufacturers to automatically block content that is “harmful to minors,” according to the bill. Under this legislation, adults could unblock content and turn off the filter.


“The bill is just to protect children from accessing inappropriate sites sites on their cell phones,” Hensley explained.


The bill is written to define “harmful to minors” as it is defined under the obscenity section of Tennessee’s criminal code. 


Some House Democrats question whether the concept is constitutional and say it infringes on First Amendment rights. 


A similar bill passed in Utah in 2021.