UK Proposes Mandatory Age Verification For Porn Sites

A proposed bill read in the House of Commons, “suggests that by next year websites will require visitors to prove they are of legal age before entering…” reports the Mirror. Britain’s prime minister “says none of Britain’s top 10 porn sites — which account for 52% of all views — have a ‘robust’ process to verify users’ age,” citing figures that 10% of the site’s viewers are below the age of 18. The Independent adds that “the issue has alarmed privacy campaigners, since it could mean having to register a credit card with a porn website.”

U.K. lawyer Neil Brown contacted Slashdot with more on the age-verification requirement:
Sites which failed to do so could face fines of up to 250,000 pounds or 5% of annual turnover. Their URLs could also be given to ISPs and payment processing providers, to consider voluntary blocking/service suspension, although no mandatory blocking regime is planned currently. This is the same bill that proposes jail terms up to 10 years for those found guilty of copyright infringement. According to the article, one 2013 study found that 7% of the world’s porn was hosted in the UK, with 60% in America and 26% in the Netherlands.


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