State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 10/18/2023, by Sen. Erica Harriss and Sally J. Turner


New Act
30 ILCS 105/5.990 new

    Creates the Adult Content Age Verification Act. Defines terms. Provides that a commercial entity that knowingly and intentionally publishes or distributes material harmful to minors on the Internet from a website that contains a substantial portion of material harmful to minors shall be subject to civil penalties if the entity fails to perform reasonable age verification methods to verify the age of individuals attempting to access the material. Provides that the Attorney General may investigate alleged violations and initiate a civil action for an injunction and to assess civil penalties. Provides that the civil penalties shall be deposited into the Cyber Exploitation of Children Fund, which shall be expended for the investigation of cybercrimes involving the exploitation of children and for no other purpose. Amends the State Finance Act to make a conforming change.

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1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Adult
5Content Age Verification Act.
6    Section 5. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Commercial entity" means a corporation, limited liability
8company, partnership, limited partnership, sole
9proprietorship, or another legally recognized entity.
10    "Distribute" means to issue, sell, give, provide, deliver,
11transfer, transmute, circulate, or disseminate by any means.
12    "Internet" means the international computer network of
13both federal and nonfederal interoperable packet switched data
15    "Material harmful to minors" means all of the following:
16        (1) Material that the average person, applying
17    contemporary community standards, would find, taking the
18    material as a whole and with respect to minors, is
19    designed to appeal to, or is designed to pander to, the
20    prurient interest.
21        (2) Any of the following material that exploits, is
22    devoted to, or principally consists of descriptions of
23    actual, simulated, or animated displays or depictions of



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1    any of the following, in a manner patently offensive with
2    respect to minors:
3            (A) Pubic hair, anus, vulva, genitals, or a female
4        nipple.
5            (B) Touching, caressing, or fondling of nipples or
6        breasts of females, buttocks, anuses, or genitals.
7            (C) Sexual intercourse, masturbation, sodomy,
8        bestiality, oral copulation, flagellation, excretory
9        functions, exhibitions, or any other sexual act.
10        (3) Material, taken as a whole, that lacks serious
11    literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for
12    minors.
13    "Minor" means any person under the age of 18.
14    "News-gathering organization" means any of the following:
15            (A) An employee of a newspaper, news publication,
16        or news source, printed or on an online or mobile
17        platform, of current news and public interest, while
18        operating as an employee as provided in this
19        paragraph, who can provide documentation of employment
20        with the newspaper, news publication, or news source.
21            (B) A radio broadcast station, television
22        broadcast station, cable television operator, wire
23        service, or an employee of a station, operator, or
24        service.
25    "Publish" means to communicate or make information
26available to another person or entity on a publicly available



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2    "Reasonable age verification methods" means verifying that
3a person seeking to access the material is 18 years of age or
4older by requiring the person attempting to access the
5material to comply with a commercial age verification system
6that verifies in any of the following ways:
7        (1) Government-issued identification.
8        (2) Any commercially reasonable method that relies on
9    public or private transactional data to verify that the
10    person attempting to access the information is at least 18
11    years of age or older.
12    "Substantial portion" means more than 33 1/3% of total
13material on a website is material harmful to minors.
14    "Transactional data" means a sequence of information that
15documents an exchange, agreement, or transfer between an
16individual, commercial entity, or third party used for the
17purpose of satisfying a request or event. "Transactional data"
18includes, but is not limited to, records from mortgage,
19education, and employment entities.
20    Section 10. Publishing or distributing material harmful to
21minors; age verification.
22    (a) Any commercial entity that knowingly and intentionally
23publishes or distributes a substantial portion of material
24harmful to minors on a website is subject to civil penalties as
25provided in this Act if the entity fails to perform reasonable



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1age verification methods to verify the age of an individual
2attempting to access the material harmful to minors.
3    (b) The Attorney General may investigate an alleged
4violation of this Act and initiate a civil action for an
5injunction and to assess civil penalties. Prior to initiating
6a civil action, the Attorney General shall provide the
7commercial entity with not less than 30 days to comply with
8this Section.
9    Section 15. Penalties.
10    (a) If a court finds that a commercial entity violated
11this Act, the court may assess a civil penalty in an amount of
12not more than $5,000 for each day of violation. The Attorney
13General must deposit the civil penalty into the Cyber
14Exploitation of Children Fund, a special fund that is created
15in the State treasury, and, subject to funding from civil
16penalties or appropriation and as directed by the Secretary of
17State, shall be expended for the investigation of cybercrimes
18involving the exploitation of children and for no other
19purpose. In addition to the remedies provided in this Section,
20the Attorney General may request and the court may impose an
21additional civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 for each
22violation of this Act against any commercial entity found by
23the court to have knowingly failed to perform reasonable age
24verification methods to verify the age of individuals
25attempting to access the material. The additional civil



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1penalty shall also be deposited into the Cyber Exploitation of
2Children Fund.
3    (b) Each violation may be treated as a separate violation
4or may be combined into one violation at the option of the
5Attorney General.
6    (c) If a court finds that a commercial entity violated
7this Act, the court may assess against the commercial entity
8all costs, expenses, and fees related to investigations and
9proceedings associated with the violation, including
10attorney's fees.
11    Section 20. Exceptions.
12    (a) This Act does not apply to any bona fide news or public
13interest broadcast, website, video, report, or event and shall
14not be construed to affect the rights of any news-gathering
16    (b) No Internet service provider, or its affiliates or
17subsidiaries, search engine, or cloud service provider shall
18be held to have violated the provisions of this Act solely for
19providing access or connection to or from a website or other
20information or content on the Internet or a facility, system,
21or network not under the control of that provider, including
22transmission, downloading, intermediate storage, access
23software, or other related capabilities, to the extent the
24provider is not responsible for the creation of the content of
25the communication that constitutes material harmful to minors.



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1    Section 99. The State Finance Act is amended by adding
2Section 5.990 as follows:
3    (30 ILCS 105/5.990 new)
4    Sec. 5.990. The Cyber Exploitation of Children Fund.