If Pornhub was a cowboy, it just tipped its hat and rode off into the sunset to leave Texas. It is now unavailable in the state after the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit managed that Texas may begin enforcing its age-verification regulations for porn websites. Like 404 Media reports, when you visit Pornhub or any other adult entertainment website owned by its state-owned parent company Aylo, you will now receive a message that begins: ‚ÄúDear User, as you may know, your elected officials in Texas require to verify your age before allowing you access to our website.”

The release then explained that the practice would “infringe on adults’ rights to access protected speech” and that it was “the least effective and yet most restrictive means of achieving Texas’ stated goal of presumptively protecting minors.” Texas’ age verification rules require porn website visitors to prove their age by providing a copy of one of their state IDs. Aylo said in its announcement that “providing identification every time you want to visit an adult platform is not an effective solution to protect users online and will actually put minors and your privacy at risk.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the age-verification bill last year, but a group of porn websites, including Pornhub, sued to block it a month later. A judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking its immediate implementation, ruling that the plaintiffs had shown they were “likely to be harmed if the law goes into effect” and that they would “suffer irreparable harm.” However, state Attorney General Ken Paxton (pictured above) appealed the order. The court struck down the law’s requirement to “display health warnings about the effects of pornography consumption,” but Paxton apparently won the battle.

Pornhub’s message to its Texas visitors is the same it shows to visitors from other states with similar age-verification laws, including Utah, Montana, North Carolina and Mississippi. Last year, Aylo also began requiring visitors to Louisiana to verify their identity through the state’s driver’s license digital wallet app, but most states don’t have a comparable app that works with its system. “We believe the only effective solution to protect both minors and adults is to verify users’ age on their device and deny or allow access to age-restricted materials and websites based on that verification,” explained Aylo in his message.

In a rather amusing but expected turn of events, there was a jump Google search for “VPN” after the appellate court’s decision came out. As you might have guessed, Texas now tops the list of states for VPN searches, indicating that people are now looking for ways to bypass Pornhub’s shutdown in the region.