UK Government Introduces New Online Porn Restrictions

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All sites containing pornographic content will soon be legally required to request some form of age verification

The UK Government has outlined new proposals aimed at stopping children from viewing adult content online.

Under new proposals from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), any company that profits from online pornography will soon have a legal obligation to ensure those accessing this material are over 18 using age verification technology.

This means that users unable to prove they are of age will not be allowed to go any further and access contents across a range of sites, although it’s not known exactly how the technology will work.

Priorities

kids-pornography-internet-censorshipThe government is also looking to establish a new regulatory framework, underpinned by civil sanctions, covering the hosting and access of pornographic material online.

The new regulations will include giving the government power to monitor providers of adult content to ensure they are keeping underage users out, and will be able to impose sanctions or even withdraw services completely if this is not the case.

The plans will now be put forward for a public consultation, which will last until April 12, with the public encouraged to offer its feedback.

“The Internet is a tremendous resource for learning and creativity but it is important to make sure that children are able to make the most of all it has to offer in a safe way. Keeping children safe online is one of government’s greatest priorities,” said Internet Safety and Security Minister Baroness Shields.

“Just as we do offline, we want to make sure children are prevented from accessing pornographic content online which should only be viewed by adults.

“So we are delivering on our manifesto promise by launching this consultation today, which proposes we require companies providing this pornographic content to ensure they have safeguards in place to ensure those accessing their websites are over 18.”

The DCMS says that today’s announcement is part of a broader commitment by the Government to make the internet a safer place for young people, efforts which will now also look to build on existing measures by tackling these issues further, addressing cyber bullying, sexualised content, self-harm and suicide sites, extremism content, and child sexual abuse online.

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