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Measure would impose 25% tax on Internet pornography

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A Democratic lawmaker plans to propose a new, 25% federal tax on Internet pornography and new requirements for adult Web sites to help prevent children from looking at them.

The bill, expected to be introduced next week by Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., would impose the excise tax on transactions with for-profit adult Web sites, which typically sell monthly subscriptions to Internet users to look at pornographic photographs or videos.

Money collected from the tax would be used for law enforcement and for protecting children from Internet-related crimes.

Lincoln's spokesman, Drew Goesl, refused on July 22 to discuss the provisions. "We prefer to wait until the bill is introduced to discuss it," Goesl said.

A draft of the legislation circulated this week among pornography and free-speech groups. Companion legislation was also expected to be introduced in the House.

Called the Internet Safety and Child Protection Act of 2005, the bill also proposes new rules for Web sites to verify that they do business only with adults. The measure, subject to enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission, would compel sites to use specialized software to verify a customer's age.

An FTC spokeswoman said the commission was not aware of the proposed bills.


Federal judge nixes S.C. Internet law

Court: Statute barring online distribution of sexually explicit pictures to minors violates First Amendment, Congress' authority over interstate commerce. 05.12.05

Net-porn law relied too heavily on content restrictions, Court holds
By Tony Mauro But Justice Kennedy doesn't rule out that Child Online Protection Act could be found constitutional if someone can show it's least-restrictive way to protect kids online. 06.30.04

Indecency online

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