Bill Summaries: S714 (2021-2022 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 9 2021 - View summary

    Includes whereas clauses.

    Adds new Article 9 to GS Chapter 73, to be known as the "Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Act." Requires a retailer that manufactures, sells, offers for sale, leases, or distributes an internet-enabled device (retailer) to ensure that the product is equipped with an active and operating filter before sale that blocks, by default, websites that: (1) are known to facilitate human trafficking or prostitution; or (2) display child pornography, revenge pornography, or obscene material harmful to minors. Requires those same retailers to (1) make ongoing efforts to ensure that a product's filter functions properly; (2) establish a reporting mechanism for consumer to report unblocked websites displaying the content described above or to report blocked websites that are not displaying such content; (3) report child pornography received through the reporting mechanism; and (4) establish a procedure to avoid blocking access to websites that are social media sites that allow uses to report obscene materials and have a process for remove that material, serve as a search engine, or display movies that have the specified ratings. Sets out conditions under which the retailer must deactivate a consumer's filter. 

    Sets out the process for unblocking a website that is not displaying the above described content, including allowing a consumer to seek judicial relief. Allows the Attorney General to file suit when a retailer fails to respond to a report of a website displaying the described content that has breached the filter; set out allowable damages in such cases, which may also be brought by a consumer.

    Prohibits a retailer from knowingly: (1) selling an internet-enabled device without an activated filter that at least makes an attempt to block by default websites that display the described content; (2) violating GS 75-153(c) which prohibits providing provide a consumer with instructions on deactivating a product's filter; (3) failing to comply with the requirements of GS 75-153(d) setting out requirements to be met before deactivating a filter; and (4) disclosing to a third party the name or the personal identification information of adult consumers who have elected to deactivate a product's filter. First offenses are subject to a fine of not to exceed $1,000, increasing to $2,500 for each subsequent offense. Makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor when a retailer that commits an offense under this statute while already having one such prior conviction; makes it Class 2 misdemeanor when there are two or more such prior convictions. Also makes violations an unfair and deceptive practice subjected to the penalties under GS 75-15-2.

    Exempts from the act: (1) an occasional sale of an internet-enabled device by a person that is not regularly engaged selling internet-enabled devices; (2) products produced or sold before the act's effective date; (3) independent third-party routers that are not affiliated with an internet service provider; and (4) a retailer of an internet-enabled device that is not subject to NC jurisdiction.

    Effective on the first day of January following the day on which at least five other states enact substantially similar legislation.