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UK Government sets date for age restriction porn ban to come into effect

UK Government sets date for age restriction porn ban to come into effect

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The UK Government just set the date for a new age restriction porn ban to come into effect.

Set for 15 July this year, the new measures are designed to stop people under the age of 18 viewing pornography online in the UK.

Websites that don’t comply could see payment services withdrawn and also the government blocking them.

‘Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online,’ Minister for Digital Margot James said today (17 April). ‘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.’

She then added: ‘We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online and these new laws will help us achieve this.’

What is the UK porn ban?

The new Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations are part of the Digital Economy Act 2017. However, there have been some delays.

The ban was originally due to come into effect in April, but delays moved it back to July.

Screenshot from new website, Why Not Bi?
Photo: Why Not Bi?

Technology experts have cited fears over surveillance, cyber security, and blackmail. Consumers of pornography are also concerned about potential data hacks or their habits tracked by the government.

Government sources suggest the way porn sites will verify viewers’ ages is by requiring users to input bank card details.

Once the act comes into force, the Government has tasked the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) with monitoring that the sites comply. The BBFC is the agency that gives age ratings to movies.

To prove their age, users will be able to take advantage of several verification systems. One of the government’s approved methods will be AgeID. This is a system run by MindGeek, one of the biggest companies behind internet porn. It owns PornHub, YouPorn and XTube, among others.

David Bridle, the publisher of Dirty Boyz, announced in October that December’s issue of the magazine would be its last.

He said: ‘Following the Conservative government’s decision… to press ahead with new regulations forcing websites which make money from adult content to carry an age verification system… Dirtyboyz and its website dirtyboyz.xxx have made the decision to close.

‘The new age verification system will be mostly run by large adult content companies which themselves host major “Tube” style porn sites.’

He then added: ‘It would force online readers of Dirtyboyz to publicly declare themselves.’

Read a more detailed description of the UK porn ban.

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