Could proposed bill in South Carolina affect manufacturers of Microsoft products?

Kit McDonald

The Human Trafficking Prevention Act proposed earlier this month might set some new standards for future devices including OEMs of Microsoft products (via CNet). The bill was filed just days ago on December 15 by Representative Bill Chumley in South Carolina as an effort monitor exposure to ‘obscenity’.

In particular, Chumley believes that having pre-built filters into new devices will protect minors and public from what the representative believes to be offensive material. Although, the call for action is a bit obscure. In one section of the proposal, it cites that the responsibility falls on a business, manufacturer, wholesaler, or individual that manufactures, distributes, or sells a product that makes content accessible on the Internet. It even goes so far as to say that they should not be allowed to do business in the state of South Carolina without first activating the block.

Of course, the legislation isn’t asking that people not have access to the block content altogether. Once purchased, the consumer would be more than capable of unlocking the device with the following steps:

  1. requests in writing that the capability be disabled;
  2. presents identification to verify that the consumer is eighteen years of age or older;
  3. acknowledges receiving a written warning regarding the potential danger of deactivating the digital blocking capability; and
  4. pays a one-time twenty dollar digital access fee.

As a state bill, the control over global manufacturers seems to be a bit of a leap. However, it is entirely possible that should the bill come to pass, Microsoft products might become unavailable in the state of South Carolina until they comply with the regulation.

CNet reports that Chumley’s Human Trafficking Prevention Act has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, but it won’t see any further action until next month.

We’ll update accordingly.