Mandatory age checks for United Kingdom porn sites to be unveiled today

Mandatory age checks for United Kingdom porn sites to be unveiled today

As per NSPCC, over 1 million children are estimated to view porn online through free websites.

For example, those surfing for porn may be required to provide credit card details to verify their age as credit cards can't be legally issued to minors.

Age verification will become mandatory for pornography websites from April 2018, reports the BBC. The idea is to restrict anyone who is not over the legal age from viewing adult content online.

Sites that refuse to cooperate face the wrath of earmarked regulator the British Board of Film Classifications. Obviously sites hosted overseas can not be fined, but the United Kingdom will just put them on its banned list. The new rules will apply to both paid and free porn sites both domestic and foreign, meaning that sites from Pornhub through to Brazzers are set to be affected.

Children deserve the strongest possible protections online and the robust age-verification checks on pornographic websites, brought in through The Digital Economy Act, are a vital milestone in the fight to stop children being exposed to harmful content online.

The minister of state for digital, Matt Hancock, is expected to start the official process on Monday via a written statement to the House of Commons.

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By April 2018, websites that make pornographic content available to United Kingdom users for commercial purposes-even if they are not based in the United Kingdom -will be legally required to install age verification controls, the BBC reported.

Despite the fact that new powers will be hard to implement effectively-given that so many sites are overseas which can be accessed by porn fans using, say, VPN workarounds-Hancock is convinced that "the United Kingdom will have the most robust Internet child protection measures of any country in the world".

Will Gardner, chief executive of internet safety charity Childnet, said: "Protecting children from exposure, including accidental exposure, to adult content is incredibly important, given the effect it can have on young people".

According to a report past year by the NSPCC, children are more prone to check out such explicit websites when they are able to access them without any restrictions.

The move has the support of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which told the Daily Telegraph that online pornography could be "deeply damaging" for young viewers.

Researchers found children were more likely to stumble upon explicit sites that access them directly.

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