UK Porn Ban To Come Into Effect In July

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I can hear teenage hearts breaking across the land.

That’s because their worst fears have been realised and the UK’s porn ban will come into effect in July as after the 15th, all internet users will be forced to prove themselves to be over 18 or be entirely blocked from seeing adult content.

Under the new rules, any commercial provider of online pornography will have to carry out “robust age-verification checks on users” to ensure they are adults.

The government says these new restrictions are being put into practice to reduce the number of children being negatively influenced by pornographic content online, which it believes is too easily available, as the Independent reports.

The UK Government’s Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, Margot James said:

“Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online. The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.

“We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.”

The Chief Executive of the BBFC, David Austin, added:

“The introduction of age-verification to restrict access to commercial pornographic websites to adults is a ground breaking child protection measure.

“Age-verification will help prevent children from accessing pornographic content online and means the UK is leading the way in internet safety.

“On entry into force, consumers will be able to identify that an age-verification provider has met rigorous security and data checks if they carry the BBFC’s new green ‘AV’ symbol.”

However, some digital rights campaigners have attacked the new rules, arguing they represent a severe limit on the way the internet works and could compromise privacy.

“The government needs to compel companies to enforce privacy standards,” said Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group. “The idea that they are ‘optional’ is dangerous and irresponsible.

“Having some age verification that is good and other systems that are bad is unfair and a scammer’s paradise – of the government’s own making.

“Data leaks could be disastrous. And they will be the government’s own fault.

“The government needs to shape up and legislate for privacy before their own policy results in people being outed, careers destroyed or suicides being provoked.”

It is expected that most sites are now considering using AgeID, a system allowing users to provide ID just once to then have access to the world’s biggest dirty sites.

AgeID spokesperson James Clark recently said to Metro: “When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site.

“Each website will create their own non-pornographic landing page for this purpose.”

“It is a one-time verification, with a simple single sign-on for future access. If a user verifies on one AgeID protected site, they will not need to perform this verification again on any other site carrying AgeID.”

It was only a matter of time before this happened.

Images via Getty

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