State Senator Mike Bohacek (R-Michiana Shores) recently filed a bill for the 2024 legislative session that would help keep Hoosier children safe online by requiring age verification for websites with pornographic content.

“Indiana has an opportunity to protect children from many types of pornographic material on the internet by simply limiting access to adults,” Bohacek said. “These verification methods aren’t restricting the rights of legal adults, just tightening the law to ensure kids don’t access harmful material.”  

The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor if a website operator knowingly or intentionally publishes a website with pornographic content without reasonable age verification methods. The penalty would be increased to a Level 6 felony if the operator has a prior violation or conviction. 

Reasonable age verification methods would include:

A mobile credential, an independent third-party age verification service that compares identifying information of the individual seeking access with material from a commercially available database; and any commercially reasonable method that relies on public or private transactional data.

Similar legislation has already passed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Utah, Virginia, and Texas.

“States are only just beginning to implement meaningful protections to keep pornographic material away from our children, so it’s important for Indiana to be a leader for others to follow,” Bohacek said. “Today, kids carry the internet in their pocket, so we have to be proactive. This is a way to ensure our kids are using the internet safely.”