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Porn age verification law delayed again just days before coming into force

Josh Jackman March 27, 2019
Women look at their mobiles, but they may have enter personal details to look at porn.

The porn ban will mean strict verification procedures for all UK users. (Pexels)

A law that would have banned anyone in Britain under 18 from accessing porn sites has been delayed days before it was reportedly due to come into effect.

PinkNews understands that despite many news outlets reporting that the ban was set to be implemented on April 1, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not yet finalised a rollout date.

Reports that the law has been delayed until the end of 2019 are also understood to be incorrect.

“Introducing age verification is a world-leading step forward to protect children.”

— Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson

A DCMS spokesperson told PinkNews: “Introducing age verification is a world-leading step forward to protect children.

“Adult content is currently too easy to access on the internet, we’re making sure the protections that exist for children offline are provided online too.”

When the ban comes into force, Britain will reportedly become the first country in the world to enforce age verification for online porn.

What is the law known as the porn ban?

The porn ban, passed by the House of Commons in December 2018, will affect anyone using a British IP address who cannot prove their age through official documents like a driving licence, credit card or age verification card bought at a shop.

This block on under-18 viewers was included in the Digital Economy Act 2017, but was delayed by the government in March 2018 to give the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) time to implement the new rules.

A woman looks at porn on her phone while also resting a laptop on her lap.
The porn ban will force anyone using a British IP address to prove their age through official documents. (Pexels)

MindGeek, a porn giant which owns sites like Pornhub, YouPorn, Brazzers and Men.com, has indicated it will use its AgeID system to follow the new law, which could see porn sites blocked or fined as much as £250,000 if they don’t comply.

Organisations including the NSPCC have praised the move, explaining that it will help tackle the problem of children watching porn at a young age.

NSPCC’s associate head of child safety online, Andy Burrows, told PinkNews last year that “every year the NSPCC’s Childline hears from children as young as 11 worried about pornography, and we know that exposure to it is damaging young people’s views about sex, body image and healthy relationships.”

However, he said that the government‘s new law did nothing to stop children viewing adult content on social media.

“While age verification laws will make the UK a world leader in shielding children from this harm, they won’t protect them from what they see on social networks,” said Burrows.

“It isn’t acceptable that some sites pay lip service by banning pornographic content, then don’t enforce their own rules.”

More: Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport, Government, Internet, Law, Politics, porn, UK

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