UK Porn Ban To Come Into Effect In July

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The UK government has confirmed a porn ban will come into effect this July.

From July 15, 2019, all internet users wishing to access pornographic material will have to prove they’re 18 or older, otherwise they’ll be entirely blocked from seeing adult content.

The commercial providers of online pornography will be imposing ‘robust age-verification checks on users’ to ensure they’re of age.

The government says these new restrictions are being put into practice to reduce the number of children being negatively influenced by pornographic content online, which it believes is too easily available, the Independent reports.

Margot James, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, said:

Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online.

The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.

We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.

However, the news has not been welcomed by everyone, as digital rights and privacy campaigners have strongly opposed the new rules, saying they impose a severe limit on the way the internet works, and many people will find a way around them.

The new restrictions are to be enforced by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the same board who give film ratings to movies shown in cinemas.

They’re giving websites an ‘implementation period’ between now and July 15 to give them time to introduce the measures and comply with the new standards.

BBFC chief executive David Austin said:

The introduction of age-verification to restrict access to commercial pornographic websites to adults is a ground breaking child protection measure.

Age-verification will help prevent children from accessing pornographic content online and means the UK is leading the way in internet safety.

On entry into force, consumers will be able to identify an age-verification provider has met rigorous security and data checks if they carry the BBFC’s new green ‘AV’ symbol.

Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, said:

The government needs to compel companies to enforce privacy standards, the idea they are ‘optional’ is dangerous and irresponsible.

Having some age verification that is good and other systems that are bad is unfair and a scammer’s paradise – of the government’s own making.

Data leaks could be disastrous. And they will be the government’s own fault.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.