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LGBT Tech Statement on Arizona H.B. 2661

Please attribute the following statement to LGBT Tech.

While we appreciate the Arizona legislature's efforts to enhance online youth protection, we at LGBT Tech express deep concerns about the approach taken in H.B. 2661. We urge policymakers to consider the serious implications it presents before moving forward, in particular for the privacy needs and content access relied on by LGBTQ+ youth and users.

The bill's filter and activation requirements, particularly around age verification, represents a barrier to entry for the millions who do not have the ability to prove their identity or lack documentation that aligns with it, as well as a substantial privacy risk for all users who would be required to entrust their personal information to device makers.

Additionally, the bill’s broad scope of what constitutes as "obscene" can lead to censorship and have a chilling effect on access to important, educational, and constitutionally protected resources for LGBTQ+ youth. Given that filtering technologies have been shown to disproportionately over-censor and block even the most innocuous of LGBTQ+ content, the language of this bill opens the door to infringements on the First Amendment rights of users to access information and express oneself freely.

A more nuanced approach is essential for effective and inclusive online safety measures. If the true aim is to protect kids online from certain harmful content, it is our belief that Arizona H.B. 2661 misses the mark and requires careful reconsideration.


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