The UK is just about to introduce internet censorship for porn via onerous and economically unviable
age verification requirements. In what may be a godsend for porn companies, a parliamentary group is considering widening the age verification requirements to a wider range of age restricted products sold on the internet. If a wider group of
companies become involved in the requirements it may encourage a more technically feasible and cost effective solution to be found.
XBIZ writes that online companies that sell e-cigarettes, knives, alcohol and pharmaceuticals, which typically would require identification at brick-and-mortar stores, could be regulated under the law, which focused originally on mandatory age
verification for the consumption of commercial adult content.
London attorney Myles Jackman, who also is the legal director of the Open Rights Group told XBIZ that the likely expansion of the Digital Economy Act to include other products and services sold online beyond pornography is predictably inevitable.
In fact, later this month the London-based Digital Policy Alliance, a cross party group of parliamentarians, plans on addressing the wider application of age-gating to other sectors at a formal meeting on September 19.
XBIZ also notes that the U.K. has yet to appoint an official regulator, although fingers have pointed to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to assume the role. A decision over the appointment will be announced in coming weeks.
Elspeth Howe has tabled yet another internet censorship bill planning to define any sex work rejected by the BBFC to be 'extreme
pornography'. The first reading of the bill took place in the House of Lords on 10th July 2017. The bill reads:
A Bill to Amend the definition of extreme pornography in the Digital Economy Act 2017.
1 Amendment of the definition of extreme pornography
(1) The Digital Economy Act 20 17 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 15 (meaning of "pornographic material"), in subsection (1), omit paragraphs (g) to (i). (3) In section 22 (meaning of "extreme pornographic material"), for subsections (1) to (4) substitute--
"(1) In this section "extreme pornographic material" means any of the following--
(a) the whole or part of a video work--
(i) if it is reasonable to assume from its nature that the video work was produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal, and
(ii) if the video works authority has determined the video work not to be suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it;
(b) material whose nature is such that it is reasonable to assume--
(i) that it was produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal, and
(ii) that the video works authority would determine that a video work including it was not suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it."