Britain to make porn sites check that users are at least 18

Elias Hubbard
July 18, 2017

Age verification through the use of credit cards will be implemented on all porn websites in the United Kingdom by 2018.

Visitors to sites may need to input their credit card details in order by bypass the age restrictions, as is now the protocol with gambling websites.

"There is also nothing to ensure a free and fair market for age verification".

Websites will be legally required to install age verification controls by April 2018 as part of a move to make the internet safer for children.

According to a BBC report, the British Board of Film Classification could take on the role of determining which sites require age verification.

Measures to force pornography sites to check the age of United Kingdom viewers will be announced this week, signaling the next step in a government crackdown on adult online content.

Hancock is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons today.

"All this means that while we can enjoy the freedom of the web, the United Kingdom will have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world", he said.

"Will Gardner, chief executive of internet safety charity Childnet International, said it was an "essential" measure to protect youngsters on the Internet".

"Protecting children from exposure, including accidental exposure, to adult content is incredibly important, given the effect it can have on young people".

In the offline world children are shielded from harm through age rating mechanisms for films and magazines and a host of other tools - age-verification for access to pornographic content is a very welcome step towards bringing protection of children online into step with the offline world.

The organization's study also deduced that about 28 percent of children have been noted to stumble upon pornography websites accidentally, while 19 percent searched for such sites intentionally.

But privacy campaigners have repeatedly expressed concerns about what they say is the censorship of perfectly legal material that is served up online.

In a statement about the new rules, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, Jim Killock, mentioned that MindGeek, which owns Pornhub, might end up dominating (no pun intended) the age verification process with the system it has built. The idea is to restrict anyone who is not over the legal age from viewing adult content online.

"As we saw with the Ashley Madison leaks, the hacking of private information about people's sex lives, has huge repercussions for those involved".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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