UK Government Begin ‘War On Porn’

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First it was the war on drugs, then the war on terror, now the UK has decided to start a war on pornography. We’re sure it’ll be as successful as the last two…

The government plans to force all online porn providers in the UK to add age verification technology to their websites, or else they’ll face the threat of civil sanctions, ARS reports.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said all porn sites and companies that make money from online pornographic material will be expected to comply with the proposed law, and it will be illegal for those sites to allow anyone under the age of 18 to access that content.

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There are also plans to make these rules apply to overseas websites as well – the tech website ARS were told by a DCMS spokesperson that the rules ‘would apply to all websites, wherever they are hosted’.

Under the government’s new plans any site that’s found to be breaking the age restriction will be cut loose from its payment providers and advertisers, essentially suffocating their business in the UK.

The DCMS spokesperson said:

It basically undermines the business model – payment service providers would not process transactions, rendering the site unsustainable.

A public consultation on the proposals was opened today, and anyone wishing to discuss these plans will have until midday on April 12 to do so.

While we can understand the need to censor inappropriate material from minors and young teens, the restrictions on under 18’s seems a bit arbitrary, to be honest.

The age of consent is 16 in the UK and on the BBFC’s guide for 15 certificate films you’re allowed to show: “Portrayals of sexual activity, strong verbal references to sex, sexual nudity and even brief scenes of sexual violence or verbal references to sexual violence.”

So why was age 18 chosen?  Could it be that this is a knee jerk reaction to overly concerned parents putting pressure on the government to step in and regulate something they’re too lazy to understand? Who knows…


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