Government Planning Controversial Porn Age Gates for Everyone

By Gary Cutlack on at

The government's plan to implement controversial pornography age gates is pushing ahead, with politicians launching a public consultation to gather ideas on how it might be best implemented or if it's even necessary. Before probably doing it anyway.

The broad aim is to: "Establish a new requirement in law for commercial providers to have in place robust age verification controls for online pornographic content in the UK," with the consultation saying "Offline, there are clear expectations that children will be protected from seeing pornographic material. However, online pornography has never been more easily accessible, and material that would previously have been considered extreme has become mainstream online."

The actual proposal we're being asked to comment upon [PDF] says that 1.4 million unique visitors under 18 accessed porn sites from a desktop computer during May of last year, before moving into the technicalities of how internet blocking might be introduced and enforced, plus the penalties infringing providers might face.

One obvious and quite enormous problem is that the questions and rules appear designed to stop paid sites from accepting subscriptions for services, completely ignoring the fact that most casual porn browsers don't usually tend to offer their credit card details to paid sites. Free porn portals plastered in adverts seem to be being ignored, in favour of shutting down a few official channels in some sort of... political move. [GOV via The Register]


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