United Kingdom Blocks Access to Porn

The United Kingdom has passed a law designed to control access to pornographic materials by requiring actually verified age verification. Most pornographic websites simply display a splash page that asks users to confirm that they’re over 18 of age, or of the legal age to view pornographic materials. The UK law requires verification through use of an SMS, credit card, or government-issued ID. Mindgeek, which owns PornHub and YouPorn have created “AgeID” which is a system they’re pushing to get used by the UK for the verification process.

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AgeID requires that users verify their identity through a one-time verification using one of the aforementioned items, and then all sites with AgeID will allow the user access to them. There is no mention of how AgeID would respond to a user accessing a site from a different location, how it will stop the sale of adult credentials, or how it will handle VPN use. Pornographic sites face a fine 250,000 Euros or a blanket block in the UK if they fail to comply with appropriate verification measures, of which AgeID appears to be the only one available. Regulatory bodies will investigate websites to ensure compliance, and those websites must be able to show that they are capable of turning away minors who visit. This law seems like a difficult one to enforce practically speaking, as there are a variety of ways around geolocked protective measures, such as VPNs and other tunnels. Interestingly, the age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16 years of age, but the legal age to view pornographic materials is 18.

Source: Porn block: UK porn website ban delayed – how the new proof of age laws will work (eventually)