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UK Government Delays Plan To Force Porn Sites To Age-Check Users

Chris Ogden

Published 
| Last updated 

UK Government Delays Plan To Force Porn Sites To Age-Check Users

Featured Image Credit: PA

In case you haven't heard, since last year the UK government has been planning to force porn sites to age-check their users or risk Brits being unable to access them.

Now the government has quietly pushed back the plans to make sure porn site users are of legal age, burying the news at the bottom of a press release published this past Saturday.

The revelation came low down in a press release relating to the testing of 5G across the country - not the place you'd be most likely to look. The plans are all part of the government's Digital Strategy, which was first published a year ago.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Initially it had looked as though porn sites would need to install age verification software as soon as April this year, as the government looks to make the Internet a safer tool for children to use.

Last July Digital and Culture Minister Matt Hancock - now Culture Secretary - told MPs the measures would be 'fully in place' by 'April 2018'. Sites that fail to comply could be fined up to £250,000 ($347,690) - a ruinous amount for smaller sites.

In Saturday's release, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said it has appointed the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) - which issues age certificates for video games and films - as the regulator responsible for overseeing the age-checks.

However, the department also admitted that the policy still needs more work, meaning the roll-out will be delayed for at least a few more months.

"Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right," the statement reads.

"We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month."

WATCH HOLLY AND PHIL TRY OUT 'WHISPER PORN' ON THIS MORNING:

The government explained that the new law may take up to three months to start up once the BBFC has finished its consultation to allow 'the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with age verification'.

It now believes that age vertification checks will be in place 'by the end of the year'.

Under the new law, anyone from the UK looking to go on a porn site will need to be able to prove their age and maybe even provide their credit card details, as is the case for gambling sites.

Topics: government, UK News, News, UK government

Chris Ogden
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