Published: Tue, July 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Mandatory age checks for United Kingdom porn sites to be unveiled today

Mandatory age checks for United Kingdom porn sites to be unveiled today

Users will have to enter their credit card details to prove they are over 18, in an attempt to tackle the issue. "For example, not all explicit and graphic material will be placed behind age-verification checks".

Comments from officials would suggest that the onus for verifying a visitor's age will depend on the sites themselves, as the United Kingdom will not be providing a standardized identification method.

It's now unclear how the new laws will be policed but websites that don't apply the age-restriction measures could face large fines and the threat of being blocked from the UK.

It will also announce plans to appoint a regulator to police sex websites, The Mail on Sunday reported....

Digital minister Matt Hancock will formally begin the process, which was the subject of a 2016 consultation during David Cameron's government, in a written statement to the Commons later.

The move has the support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which told the Daily Telegraph that online pornography could be "deeply damaging" for young viewers.

The claim is that it is vital to protect children from exposure to adult content is incredibly important, so the British Board of Film Classification - which sets age limits on films - will have to look at each site.

Despite the fact that new powers will be hard to implement effectively-given that so many sites are overseas which can be accessed by porn fans using, say, VPN workarounds-Hancock is convinced that "the United Kingdom will have the most robust Internet child protection measures of any country in the world".

According to research by Middlesex University, about 53% of 11- to 16-year-olds have seen explicit material online, almost all of whom (94%) had seen it by 14.

Will Gardner, chief executive of internet safety charity Childnet said: "Steps like this to help restrict access, alongside the provision of free parental controls and education, are key". "It is essential to help parents and carers, as well as young people, be more aware of this risk and what they can do to prevent exposure".

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.

"Age verification is an accident waiting to happen", said Open Rights Group's executive director Jim Killock at the time in a statement.

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