Pornhub blocks access in Texas over age-restriction law

March 14 (UPI) -- Fighting back against an age-verification requirement in Texas, Pornhub on Thursday blocked access to its content in the state.

Anyone with an IP address in Texas now is blocked from the site, which is one of the most popular porn websites viewed in the United States.

"Unfortunately, the Texas law for age verification is ineffective, haphazard, and dangerous," the statement read, Pornhub told NBC News. "Not only will it not actually protect children, but it will also inevitably reduce content creators' ability to post and distribute legal adult content and directly impact their ability to share the artistic messages they want to convey with it."

The company encouraged users to contact their representatives about the state's law.

"As you may know, your elected officials in Texas are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website," the company said. "Not only does this impinge on the rights of adults to access protected speech, it fails strict scrutiny by employing the least effective and yet also most restrictive means of accomplishing Texas's stated purpose of allegedly protecting minors."

Other adult content platforms owned by Pornhub's parent company, Aylo, including Brazzers, YouPorn and, also have removed access to their content in Texas.

"Aylo has publicly supported age verification of users for years, but we believe that any law to this effect must ensure minors do not access content intended for adults and preserve user safety and privacy," Alex Kekesi, Aylo's vice president of brand and community, said in a statement.

The "real solution," to an age verification mandate is to impose a device-based verification system, which would have users input their age information directly into their phone's operating systems, Kekesi said.

Aylo is reviewing its options and consulting with its legal team, Kekesi said.

Texas is the latest state where Aylo has restricted access to its porn sites in response to age-verification laws. Others include Montana, North Carolina, Louisiana, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi and Virginia.

Texas sued Aylo, claiming it violated its age-verification law, which requires visitors to porn sites to provide government-issued identification or other proof that they are at least 18 years old.

The law was challenged in federal court last year by an adult industry trade association before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an injunction in November, allowing Texas to enforce it.

The law fines porn sites as much as $10,000 per day for failing to verify users' ages. Texas' lawsuit claims Aylo has been in violation for 160 days and so must pay up to $1.6 million, as well as up to $10,000 for each additional day after the court filing date.

"Texas has a right to protect its children from the detrimental effects of pornographic content," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said after the Feb. 26 lawsuit.

"I look forward to holding any company accountable that violates our age verification laws intended to prevent minors from being exposed to harmful, obscene material on the internet," he said.

Pornhub countered that asking users to provide ID every time they access porn sites will "put minors and your privacy at risk." It said leaving enforcement up to individual platforms will drive users away from sites that comply with the law but funnel them toward those that don't.