Another day, another legal or legislative action against the popular Pornhub website. In March, Texas became the latest state to enact restrictions on the site. In response to the state enacting an age-verification law, Pornhub decided to add Texas to the list of states where it would restrict access to the site based on IP address. Pornhub was already restricting access for those in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

Why pornography matters for your security clearance?

We’re frequently asked why sexual behavior remains an adjudicative guideline. The ability of the government to ask questions about sexual misconduct and ascertain issues that may result in blackmail is one of those reasons. Pornhub is beginning to seem like drug issues in the security clearance process. Ignorance of the law will likely not be bliss, and if you’re found to be consuming content online that violates even local or state laws (deep fake porn, nonconsensual sexual conduct, etc.), you should expect those issues to come up in the security clearance background investigation process if you’re up for a higher level screening or undergoing a polygraph.

Because security clearance holders include many in the highly technical set, I could see many simply spoofing an IP address to gain access to the site outside of state law restrictions. If you work in national security or are a service member, I would consider this a bad call. Maybe consider dirty tapes on VHS.

The basis SF-86 or security clearance application doesn’t include any questions about sexual behavior. But a lifestyle polygraph is a different scenario, and it’s common for individuals to be asked if they’ve viewed pornography or ever watched anything that made them uncomfortable. As long as you make sure you’re not consuming illegal content, you’re likely fine. But Pornhub’s ongoing issues with ensuring the content posted is consensual, not a deepfake, and doesn’t involve minors is in part behind some of the state legislative actions.

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Lindy Kyzer is the director of content at Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.. @LindyKyzer