The Government has formally proposed that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) be designated as the regulator for the age verification of
online pornography in the UK.
Age verification will mean anyone who makes pornography available online on a commercial basis must ensure under 18s in the UK cannot access it. This is part of the Government's continuing work to make the UK the safest place in the world to be
The BBFC has unparalleled expertise in classifying content and has a proven track record of interpreting and implementing legislation as the statutory authority for age rating videos under the Video Recordings Act.
This, along with its work with industry on the film classification system and more recently classifying material for mobile network operators, makes them the preferred choice for regulator.
Digital Minister Matt Hancock said:
One of the missions of age verification is to harness the freedom of the internet while mitigating its harms. Offline, as a society we protect children from viewing inappropriate adult material by ensuring pornography is sold responsibly using
appropriate age checks. It is now time that the online world follows suit. The BBFC are the best placed in the world to do this important and delicate task.
David Austin, Chief Executive Officer at BBFC said:
The BBFC's primary aim is to protect children and other vulnerable groups from harmful content and we are therefore pleased to accept the Government's proposed designation.
Age-verification barriers will help to prevent children accessing or stumbling across pornographic content online. The UK is leading the way with this age-verification regime and will set an international precedent in child protection.
The government's proposal must be approved by Parliament before the BBFC is officially designated as the age-verification regulator.
The regulator will notify non-compliant pornographic providers, and be able to direct internet service providers to prevent customers accessing these sites. It will also notify payment-services providers and other ancillary service providers of
these sites, with the intention that they can withdraw their services.
The Government will shortly also publish guidance on how the regulator should fulfil its duties in relation to age verification.
Response: The BBFC will struggle to ensure that Age Verification is safe, secure and anonymous
15th December 2017 See article
Responding to the news that the BBFC are in line to be appointed Age Verification regulator, Jim Killock Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:
The BBFC will struggle to ensure that Age Verification is safe, secure and anonymous. They are powerless to ensure people's privacy.
The major publisher, MindGeek, looks like it will dominate the AV market. We are very worried about their product, AgeID, which could track people's porn use. The way this product develops is completely out of BBFC's hands.
Users will not be able to choose how to access websites. They'll be at the mercy of porn companies. And the blame lies squarely with Theresa May's government for pushing incomplete legislation.
Killock also warned that censorship of porn sites could quickly spiral into hundreds or thousands of sites:
While BBFC say they will only block a few large sites that don't use AV, there are tens of thousands of porn sites. Once MPs work out that AV is failing to make porn inaccessible, some will demand that more and more sites are blocked. BBFC will
be pushed to block ever larger numbers of websites.
Response: How to easily get around the UK's porn censorship
15th December 2017 See article from vpncompare.co.uk
Of course, in putting together this hugely draconian piece of legislation, the British Government has overlooked one rather
glaring point. Any efforts to censor online content in the UK can be easily circumvented by anyone using a VPN.
British-based subscribers to a VPN service such as IPVanish or ExpressVPN will be able to get around any blocked sites simply by connecting to a server in another democratic country which hasn't chosen to block websites with adult content.
As much as Governments try to censor online content, so VPN will offer continue to offer people access to the free and uncontrolled internet they are legally entitled to enjoy.
...Read the full article from vpncompare.co.uk