Britain Aims To Protect Children From Online Pornography

The British government thinks it is too easy for children to access pornography online and the is bringing in new laws to prevent access for children. Now, the government has announced changes to its forthcoming Online Safety Bill, including new criminal offences and an expanded list of content that Internet companies will need to address. 

In particular, the government plans to make pornography websites carry out age checks, which would require British users to provide data such as their credit card or passport details to prove they are over 18.

Executives from social media platforms  like Facebook and Twitter, who are found responsible for propagating pornographic material, might end up in jail if they do not comply with new online safety laws. 

The Online Safety Bill will be amended  to ensure that commercial porn sites are brought within its scope, updating the draft legislation, which now applies to providers of user-generated pornography. The Bill will now include additional illegal offences, including revenge porn, hate crime, fraud, the sale of illegal drugs or weapons, the promotion or facilitation of suicide, people smuggling and sexual exploitation. 

The aim is to make the platform owners hosting such content more proactive in removing it, rather than waiting for users to request for it to be taken down. The British regulatory authority Ofcom will be given powers to issue fines of up to 10 per cent of annual worldwide turnover to non-compliant sites or block them from being accessible in the UK. 

The Online Safety Bill will force pornography websites to prevent underage access including by using age verification technologies and the legislation will specify a new legal duty requiring all sites that publish pornography to carry out robust checks to ensure their users are 18 years old or over. This could include adults using secure age verification technology to verify that they possess a credit card and are over 18 or having a third-party service confirm their age against government data.

If sites fail to act, the British regulatory authority Ofcom will be able fine them up to 10 per cent of their annual worldwide turnover or can block them from being accessible in the UK. Executives of these websites could also be held criminally liable if they fail to cooperate.

A large amount of pornography is available online with little or no protections to ensure that those accessing it are old enough to do so. There are widespread concerns this is impacting the way young people understand healthy relationships, sex and consent. Half of parents worry that online pornography is giving their children an unrealistic view of sex and a damaging portrayal of women.

Age verification controls are one of the technologies websites may use to prove to Ofcom that they can fulfill their duty of care and prevent children accessing pornography.

Digital Minister Chris Philp said: “It is too easy for children to access pornography online. Parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected online from seeing things no child should see...  we are now strengthening the Online Safety Bill so it applies to all porn sites to ensure we achieve our aim of making the Internet a safer place for children.” 

The new provision to the proposed legislation will require providers who publish or place pornographic content on their services to prevent children from accessing that content. This will capture commercial providers of pornography as well as the sites that allow user-generated content. Any companies which run such a pornography site which is accessible to people in the UK will be subject to the same strict enforcement measures as other in-scope services. The government is working closely with Ofcom to ensure that online services’ new duties come into force as soon as possible following the short implementation period that will be necessary after the bill’s passage.

The responsibility  to decide how to comply with their new legal duty will lie with the companies themselves and Ofcom is expected to recommend a growing range of age verification technologies available for companies to use that minimise the handling of users’ data. Age verification technologies do not require a full identity check, although users may need to verify their age using identity documents. The measures that companies put in place should not process or store data that is irrelevant to the purpose of checking age.

Solutions that are currently available include checking a user’s age against details that their mobile provider holds, verifying via a credit card check, and other database checks including government held data such as passport data.

Any age verification technologies used must be secure, effective and privacy-preserving. All companies that use or build this technology will be required to adhere to the UK’s strong data protection regulations or face enforcement action from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Online age verification is increasingly common practice in other online sectors, including online gambling and age-restricted sales. In addition, the government says that it is working with industry to develop robust standards for companies to follow when using age assurance tech, which it expects Ofcom to use to oversee the online safety regime.

Gov.UK:     Gov.UK:     OsborneClarke:      E&T:       Guardian:      Latham:     Computer Weekly:     Diginomica:

You Might Also Read: 

Zain Qaider And The Sixty Year Rule:
 

« Google & Facebook Will Have To Pay British Newspapers
High-Tech Lie Detection Systems »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

The PC Support Group

The PC Support Group

A partnership with The PC Support Group delivers improved productivity, reduced costs and protects your business through exceptional IT, telecoms and cybersecurity services.

ManageEngine

ManageEngine

As the IT management division of Zoho Corporation, ManageEngine prioritizes flexible solutions that work for all businesses, regardless of size or budget.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Our Supplier Directory lists 6,000+ specialist cyber security service providers in 128 countries worldwide. IS YOUR ORGANISATION LISTED?

Cyber Defense Media Group (CDMG)

Cyber Defense Media Group (CDMG)

CDMG is the leading global media group for all things cyber defense.

Cleo

Cleo

Cleo is a leader in secure information integration, enabling both ease and excellence in business data movement and orchestration.

Performanta

Performanta

Performanta offer a consultative approach to people, process and technology, focusing on security projects in line with adversarial, accidental and environmental business risk.

Acutec

Acutec

Acutec is an award winning IT support, services and solutions provider including managed IT Security and backup/disaster recovery.

CyberWarrior

CyberWarrior

CyberWarrior deliver training and consulting for some of the world’s top brands and also partner with national systems integrators to augment their teams with our expertise.

Corvus Insurance

Corvus Insurance

Corvus' mission is to create a safer, more productive world through technology-enabled commercial insurance.

Greenetics Solutions

Greenetics Solutions

Greenetics Solutions is a company focused on providing solutions for information security.

Zymbit

Zymbit

Zymbit provides hardware security modules (HSM) for IoT devices, including Raspberry Pi and other single board computers.

CYRail

CYRail

CYRail project will analyse threats targeting Railway infrastructures and develop innovative attack detection and alerting techniques.

Corellium

Corellium

Corellium are dedicated to supporting our peers in the ARM community who seek to build more secure, performant, and accessible software and devices.

Symmetry Systems

Symmetry Systems

Symmetry Systems is a provider of data store and object-level security (DSOS) solutions that give organizations visibility into, and unified access control of, their most valuable data assets.

Winbond Electronics

Winbond Electronics

Winbond is a Specialty memory IC company. Product lines include Code Storage Flash Memory, TrustME® Secure Flash, Specialty DRAM and Mobile DRAM.

Bugv

Bugv

Bugv is a crowdsourcing cybersecurity platform powered by human intelligence where we connect businesses with cyber security experts, ethical hackers, bug bounty hunters from all around the world.

Security BSides Cayman Islands

Security BSides Cayman Islands

Security BSides is a non-profit, community-driven event built for and by information security community members. Our aim is to help build an Information Security community in the Cayman Islands.

Cynical Technology

Cynical Technology

Cynical Technology is a Nepalese cybersecurity company with expertise in security consulting, auditing, testing and compliance.

Multipoint Group

Multipoint Group

Multipoint is an information security and protection solutions company operating in the South EMEA region through value-added distribution channels.