United Kingdom adult websites face £250000 fines

Pauline Gross
July 18, 2017

It also refused to comment on which third party will be developing and operating the government's age verification system.

Measures to force pornography sites to check the age of United Kingdom viewers will be announced this week, signaling the next step in a government crackdown on adult online content.

To further improve online security, the United Kingdom government is also reported to nominate a regulatory division for monitoring such activities.

The legislation was introduced in the Digital Economy Act in April, and will require websites serving up adult content to verify users' ages or be blocked by ISPs.

"All this means that while we can enjoy the freedom of the web, the United Kingdom have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world".

According to weekend reports, porn websites will have to install age-verification software similar to gambling websites, or risk being heavily fined as part of a new Digital Economy Act.

The new government powers will apply to both free and paid-for adult websites, as well as websites that are hosted overseas.

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To appoint a regulator, Digital Minister Hancock is expected to create a formal statement and present it to the House of Commons.

Childnet's chief executive of internet safety Will Gardner has also shown his interest in the matter by making a statement on the issue.

It is thought this could be the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) which already sets age limits for films.

But internet freedom advocates have expressed concerns about the plans, and called instead for more focus on sex education that would help children cope better with the influence of online pornography. "It is essential to help parents and carers, as well as young people, be more aware of this risk and what they can do to prevent exposure".

In a bid to protect children, internet users in the United Kingdom will soon be forced to prove they are at least 18 years old before being allowed access to pornographic websites.

In the offline world children are shielded from harm through age rating mechanisms for films and magazines and a host of other tools - age-verification for access to pornographic content is a very welcome step towards bringing protection of children online into step with the offline world.

Critics have bemoaned the government's draconian methods, saying that while this will make it more hard for under-18s to stumble upon porn, it will also make porn sites a prime target for hackers and place their users at great risk.

Other reports by GizPress

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