Obscenity Laws

Content on this page was borrowed from National Center on Sexual Exploitation with additions


“Porn laws,” more formally known as obscenity laws in the United States are not being enforced by the Department of Justice currently, for the past 7 years, and were on a steady decline before that. Did you know that distribution of pornography is prosecutable federally, and in most states?! The Department of Justice quietly closed the Adult Hard Core Obscenity Section, and only investigates child pornography cases now. This was done very quietly, and any inquires from the public, organizations, and non-profit leaders on the number of adult hard-core pornography cases is not provided (because they aren’t prosecuting).

Federal Obscenity Laws

Federal obscenity laws, which are not being enforced, prohibit distribution of hardcore, obscene pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite or hotel/motel TV and in sexually oriented businesses and other retail shops.

The 93 U.S. Attorneys (each state has at least one) enforce the Federal obscenity laws. FBI Agents, Postal Inspectors and Customs Officers investigate violations of Federal obscenity laws.

Sections 1462 and 1465 cited above also prohibit distribution of obscenity on the Internet.

U.S.C Title 18 Chapter 71, sections 1460-1470:  Beginning Obscenity Law Primer: Primer on Obscenity Laws

The United States Federal government has prosecuted major producers and distributors of obscene pornography. However, rather than aggressively enforcing federal obscenity laws against large distributors of obscene pornography. Prior to seven years ago, the Department of Justice has targeted primarily small operations that distributed the most extreme hardcore pornography (for example the case of Ira Isaacs or “Max Hardcore” case) and prosecuted very few even though the federal and state laws are robust. Thus, illegal, obscene pornography is flooding our nation and the harm is great. Much can be done to turn this tide. Join Us to be involved!

State Obscenity Laws

Each United States Attorney General can also prosecute pornography distribution occurring with, in, and out of their states.

alabama arizona arkansas california colorado connecticut delaware florida georgia idaho illinois indiana iowa kansas louisiana maine maryland massachusetts michigan minnesota mississippi missouri nebraska nevada newhampshire newjersey newyork northcarolina northdakota ohio oklahoma pennsylvania rhodeisland southcarolina southdakota tennessee texas utah virginia washington wisconsin wyoming