What just happened? January 1, 2024, was not a good day for porn-loving residents of Montana and North Carolina. That was the date they became the latest states to enact a law requiring people to verify their ages using government IDs to access pornographic material online. Pornhub's parent company responded by blocking people in both states from accessing its websites.

After Louisiana brought in age verification laws in early 2023, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas introduced similar versions. Montana and North Carolina are the latest to demand websites confirm visitors' ages via ID verification, and Pornhub's parent Aylo – formerly called MindGeek – isn't happy about it.

Aylo has blocked people in Montana and North Carolina from accessing its sites, which include Pornhub, Brazzers, Redtube, and YouPorn, writes 404Media. As is the case in some other states with similar laws, visitors with Montana and North Carolina IPs will see only a video of adult performer Cherie DeVille, a member of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, explaining the reason for the block.

"As you may know, your elected officials in Utah are requiring us to verify your age before allowing you access to our website," DeVille says. "While safety and compliance are at the forefront of our mission, giving your ID card every time you want to visit an adult platform is not the most effective solution for protecting our users, and in fact, will put children and your privacy at risk."

Aylo says that the most effective solution for protecting children is to identify users by their devices and allow access to age-restricted material based on that identification. "Until a real solution is offered, we have made the difficult decision to completely disable access to our website in your region," DeVille continues, before asking visitors to contact their representatives and demand device-based verification solutions.

Some adult websites in the states have turned to third-party services to verify users' ages. xHamster is using Yoti, a company also used by Meta to verify new Facebook and Instagram account holders' ages.

In Louisiana, visitors can access Pornhub by creating an AllpassTrust account and then verifying their age using LA Wallet, a Louisiana government mobile app that creates a digital version of a Louisiana Driver's License. Aylo says its traffic in the state has declined by 80% since the law came into effect, unsurprisingly.

The UK is also considering using Yoti to confirm visitors to porn sites are over 18. The system could require people to submit a selfie and then use AI to estimate that person's age.

As noted by Engadget, Montana and North Carolina have seen the number of searches for "VPN" climb enormously over the last few days.