law

Age Barriers for Porn Sites to be Erected Early Next Year

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

Remember those vague proposals about hiding porn behind mysterious age barriers in the UK? Unfortunately for horny teenagers across the nation, they haven’t been forgotten.

The freshly-published Digital Economy Bill says that porn sites that fail to introduce an age verification tool thing -- there’s naturally still no word on how one could actually work -- will face fines of up to £250,000.

Nothing’s written in stone yet, as the bill needs to be disputed by MPs who are old enough to watch all the smut their hearts desire before becoming cold, hard law, but the measures are expected to come into force by spring 2017. It’s time to start hoarding dirty downloads.

The bill also outlines plans for Ofcom to fine mobile network operators up to £20,000 a day (up to a total sum of £2 million) for missing coverage targets, in the hope that it leads to improved use of spectrum.

"At the moment, when a provider breaches its licence, in most cases our only sanction is to remove the licence completely, or launch criminal proceedings," a spokesman said. "The bill would allow Ofcom alternatively to impose financial penalties, which may in some cases be a more proportionate means of securing compliance."

Also presented are stricter penalties for nuisance callers, a new legal right for homes and businesses to be able to request a minimum download speed and additional sentencing options for English and Welsh courts to make an example of internet pirates. You can read all of the details here. [BBC]