Government under fire for limp porn site crackdown

porn-2Government plans to force all porn sites to introduce age verification measures have already been dismissed by technology experts, just hours after the launch of a public consultation.
Alongside the legal requirement for companies to put in place age verification technology, the Government will also establish a new regulatory framework to monitor and enforce compliance, with the ability to impose civil sanctions where breaches are identified.
Internet Safety & Security Minister Baroness Shields said: “The Internet is a tremendous resource for learning and creativity but it is important to make sure that children are able to make the most of all it has to offer in a safe way. Keeping children safe online is one of government’s greatest priorities.
“Just as we do offline, we want to make sure children are prevented from accessing pornographic content online which should only be viewed by adults.
“So we are delivering on our manifesto promise by launching this consultation today, which proposes we require companies providing this pornographic content to ensure they have safeguards in place to ensure those accessing their websites are over 18.”
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC said the issue was a matter of urgency and that children who had ready access to content rated over 18 could develop a “warped” view of sexual relationships.
However, Dr Gilad Rosner, who is a member of the Cabinet Office Privacy & Consumer Advocacy Group, has said the clampdown will not stamp out much of the porn that is freely available online.
Dr Rosner added: “My initial response to this release is that while the UK Government may get some traction with payment processors, and that that could have some effect, it won’t affect the free pornography.
“I would wager that we won’t see much in the way of tangible results for the next five years,” he said, “This is a particularly challenging regulatory goal.”
Even so, Pornhub – one of the most visited porn sites in the world – has already said it will co-operate.
“Pornhub will comply fully with any robust legislative and relevant local measures that emerge from this consultation,” said a spokeswoman for the site.

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