Proposed mandatory age checks for porn sites for UK visitors

The results of a survey conducted by The Authority for Television On Demand (Atvod) is being used as ammo in the war against underage access of pornography in the UK.

UK based industry players are currently required to implement this feature, however foreign based providers have no such restriction in place. Atvod estimate that just one of these websites was visited by 112,000 boys in the UK aged between 12 and 17 years old over the course of a single month.

The article quotes the moderate nature of the surveys findings:

Atvod added that the survey probably underestimated the scale of the issue since smartphone and tablet use was not included in the figures.​

Mindgeek, a Luxembourg based sub-contractor which handles a plethora of adult websites, stated that this system is already implemented in countries which require it, however they deemed this effort as futile insisting that there was no one solution and that responsibility should be primarily shouldered by parents. Any interested parent can check out Anti-Porn. Atvod agreed that this was not the sole solution, however it could it be used as a constructive effort through suggesting that age verification be conducted through provisional credit card submission, which would become a mandatory process before "revealing the goods".

The proposed clamp down is welcomed by the Labour party, which in tandem wants to act through force by means of financial cut-off by way of payment processor. The head of an ex UK-based operator shared Mindgeeks view of this being an ineffective tactic as it was avoidable by way of crypto currency.

Source: BBC News Image via tuts

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50 Comments

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I'd rather my kids be blocked from seeing all the ultra-violent content on the damned evening news than a little bit of skin on a computer screen. One is people enjoying each other, the other is people being absolute shits to each other.

Our values are messed up when we consider graphic images of dead people more acceptable than a bit of boob.

FloatingFatMan said,
I'd rather my kids be blocked from seeing all the ultra-violent content on the damned evening news than a little bit of skin on a computer screen. One is people enjoying each other, the other is people being absolute shits to each other.

Our values are messed up when we consider graphic images of dead people more acceptable than a bit of boob.

I don't necessarily disagree, but it gets quite a bit more extreme than "a bit of boob".

Granted, but I'd rather they see that than some of the stuff that gets put on the news these days... Or in various drama's and soap operas...

As others have said; censoring what children see is the parents job, not the governments. History proves that governments only ever get this wrong.

I am sorry UK guys, but it seems that your lawmakers doesn't have anything better to do. Is pornography really most important problem now? Or this is some clever tactics to focus on uhm, silly things to pass much more serious stuff unnoticed?

Just to add to my comment, I also currently know of a couple 10 year old girls who have found their mothers porn collection and they find it funny to look at. Nothing wrong with that either.

Its all part of growing up.

Anarkii said,
... their mothers porn collection...

:-) haha
You don't hear that every day. Usually it's dad's collection ;-)

Odom said,

:-) haha
You don't hear that every day. Usually it's dad's collection ;-)

Yea single mother, a good friend, her daughter told me bout it when I went over a few weeks back. Was awkward when the daughter and her friend came up to me and asked all them questions meant for a father to answer :/

Still, quite a funny situation.

Nothing wrong with accessing porn at 12.
Hell, every male I know has been accessing porn whether through magazines or online since they were about 8. Big deal. If they want to access porn they will, regardless of what system is in place to stop them.
The UK Government is just wasting tax-payers money here.

You can fake anything now days with powerful retail printers and computers.

I wish the coalition would spend more time in dealing with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, child abuse, theft, trafficking of illegal immigrants and prostitutes and quit wasting time an effort
on something that is probably accessed by 1 child in every 50,000.

First pr0n I ever saw was when I was 7 in 1975, I found a dumped pr0n mag on the side of the road.

When I was 8 I found my mothers volumes of 'the joy of sex'.

All I know is the wheel barrow position looks clumsy.

Exactly, there's a local solution to a local problem provided by Microsoft within Windows. The unfortunate thing is, not everyone is aware it's there. It's a shame too, because it appears to be quite good.

It would of been allot cheaper and more efficient to just run a series of ad saying.


Do you have kids? Do you have a computer? If so, look up how to use your computers parental controls today.
Help protect your children.

Search "parental controls" when your next online.

Done. It educates the public, and doesn't need government blocking schemes. Unless; It was their intention to set up the blocking under the flag of "for the children", so they can take advantage of feature creep later down the line... Just saying.

I'd reckon some day people will be required to prove their age via webcam live before being let in.

Or an identity site setup which requires you to scan government issued ID, and then that data is sent to the sites.

Big brotherish, but eh.

Over here we actually have ID cards instead of passports which you can use to digitally sign documents and such with an ID card reader and passwords. I think if more countries were to use such a system it would be pretty easy to age check as well.

oh look...click...click...I'm 18 all over again! WOOHOO, that saves me 18 years, I'll take it! That's how easy it seems it'll be to bypass. Let me think, I was born in June, on the 15th....now some basic addition or subtraction, and even though I MAY be too young to see it, I can be 18 even if I'm not! That's using your heads, UK, and I don't mean that in an ugly way, just making an example of how easy it is to spoof age checks.

Lord Method Man said,
I propose that its none of the government's business.

This. Government should have no authority to censor anything.

ZipZapRap said,
before anyone jumps in with an anti-gov't comment (all good) how do YOU propose a gov't stops children accessing porn?

They could always.. you know.. not censor the internet and leave it up to the parents

zikalify said,
Parent's job.

Yep, partly fair, and I agree, parents need to be tech savvy. But they're not. No amount of training is going to fix that - have you ever tried to train someone how to do basic things on a computer? I showed my dad Windows Explorer on Saturday and he said he'd never seen it. I said he had, as every time he opens a folder to access his files, he's going through explorer.. "oh"...

95% of parents are techno-illiterate. And to say "parents job" as if that's the end of the story, ignores that it's not the end of story.

duoi said,

They could always.. you know.. not censor the internet and leave it up to the parents

Who said anything about censoring?
It's about locking this stuff away from kids. I'm not against the content mind. Naught wrong with pr0n. But it's too easily accessible by kids, and software is too easy to bypass.
So what's the solution?

ZipZapRap said,

Who said anything about censoring?
It's about locking this stuff away from kids. I'm not against the content mind. Naught wrong with pr0n. But it's too easily accessible by kids, and software is too easy to bypass.
So what's the solution?

Why do we need a solution when there isn't a problem?

ZipZapRap said,

Who said anything about censoring?
It's about locking this stuff away from kids. I'm not against the content mind. Naught wrong with pr0n. But it's too easily accessible by kids, and software is too easy to bypass.
So what's the solution?

There is no solution; any 14 year old boy that wants to get access to this kind of content will find a way.

edit: I would also argue that there isn't any problem here that needs a solution.

Edited by virtorio, Mar 31 2014, 4:40am :

Athernar said,

Why do we need a solution when there isn't a problem?

Really.. young kids (and some very young) accessing this content isn't a problem in your world?

ZipZapRap said,

Really.. young kids (and some very young) accessing this content isn't a problem in your world?

No, not especially. Sex and the human body is perfectly natural.

Personally, I'd be a little more concerned about children in abusive homes, being exploited, or witness to domestic violence.

Athernar said,

No, not especially. Sex and the human body is perfectly natural.

Personally, I'd be a little more concerned about children in abusive homes, being exploited, or witness to domestic violence.

There is so much wrong with this comment.

1. Yep, sex and the human body is natural. If you think the porn that's on the net though, is "natural", then you have an awesome sex life.
2. Since what's on the net, is without argument generally "one way viewing" (read, more for guys than gals), that's a great message to be passing on, right?
3. the last bit? These are not mutually exlusive points. You can still be concerned about those things, AND be concerned about this.

ZipZapRap said,

There is so much wrong with this comment.

1. Yep, sex and the human body is natural. If you think the porn that's on the net though, is "natural", then you have an awesome sex life.
2. Since what's on the net, is without argument generally "one way viewing" (read, more for guys than gals), that's a great message to be passing on, right?
3. the last bit? These are not mutually exlusive points. You can still be concerned about those things, AND be concerned about this.

There is so much wrong with this post, your opinions are immoral and obscene.

1. This seems to be more an argument for banning all forms of fiction and acting than anything else.
2. This point is so disgustingly misogynistic it should have an age lock on it. 10ccs of privilege check needed, stat.
3. True, they aren't mutexed. But I only view the latter to be a problem, not the former.

Athernar said,

1. This seems to be more an argument for banning all forms of fiction and acting than anything else.
2. This point is so disgustingly misogynistic it should have an age lock on it. 10ccs of privilege check needed, stat.
3. True, they aren't mutexed. But I only view the latter to be a problem, not the former.

1. Epic strawman!
2. Ah you're one of those, who needs the /s tag to understand sarcasm. Well, here you go: /s /s /s… In the event you DO get sarcasm, then you don't know what misogyny is.
3. Yeah not much needs to be said on this issue. You've exposed something pretty hideous right there about yourself.

Don't worry. You'll grow up when you have kids.

ZipZapRap said,

1. Epic strawman!
2. Ah you're one of those, who needs the /s tag to understand sarcasm. Well, here you go: /s /s /s… In the event you DO get sarcasm, then you don't know what misogyny is.
3. Yeah not much needs to be said on this issue. You've exposed something pretty hideous right there about yourself.

Don't worry. You'll grow up when you have kids.

1. Hard to strawman something when you didn't actually make an argument with the point.
2. Please tell me more about your outdated, misogynistic views of women's sexuality.
3. No, I think you've quite clearly exposed yourself to be a quite clearly immoral character that seems to get his jollies about enforcing his views upon others.

It's funny, the advisor to the UK net filter scheme actually ended up being a pedophile. Always the same with the pro-censor activists.

Athernar said,

1. Hard to strawman something when you didn't actually make an argument with the point.
2. Please tell me more about your outdated, misogynistic views of women's sexuality.
3. No, I think you've quite clearly exposed yourself to be a quite clearly immoral character that seems to get his jollies about enforcing his views upon others.

1. Have another read. Maybe you'll see it from behind your blacked out bedroom windows
2. Ah that old chestnut. That it's misogynist to state that most women probably aren't into gangbangs and facials, and that if you do state or imply it, you've got an outdated view of female sexuality (here, for you: /s). Yeah you're right. Let's just ignore the fact that women themselves state most porn is for men, and that women need to have "for women" sites to cater for a female friendly fantasy. I'll give you this one for free, but there's plenty more out there for you to research.
http://www.theguardian.com/lif...tyle/2011/mar/22/porn-women
3. Ha. Yeah, my views that "young kids and the very young shouldn't access porn" is utterly immoral, right? (here, for you: /s)

Anyway, 1 and 2, whatever. You have you opinion, I have mine. That you think it's okay for young kids to watch porn, especially with the violent content thats available today, is amazing.

ZipZapRap said,

1. Have another read. Maybe you'll see it from behind your blacked out bedroom windows
2. Ah that old chestnut. That it's misogynist to state that most women probably aren't into gangbangs and facials, and that if you do state or imply it, you've got an outdated view of female sexuality (here, for you: /s). Yeah you're right. Let's just ignore the fact that women themselves state most porn is for men, and that women need to have "for women" sites to cater for a female friendly fantasy. I'll give you this one for free, but there's plenty more out there for you to research.
http://www.theguardian.com/lif...tyle/2011/mar/22/porn-women
3. Ha. Yeah, my views that "young kids and the very young shouldn't access porn" is utterly immoral, right? (here, for you: /s)


The number of fallacies in your misogynist tirade is hilarious. Please do go on demonstrating the depths of your contempt for women. Check your straight white cis-male privilege please, it's hanging out.

ZipZapRap said,
Anyway, 1 and 2, whatever. You have you opinion, I have mine. That you think it's okay for young kids to watch porn, especially with the violent content thats available today, is amazing.

Clearly you're not with it.

Nobody is suggesting it's OK to allow young people to watch porn. The problem is, nobody wants the government to be the one policing it, because they have no chance of doing it effectively anyway.

The correct course of action is to get the parents to address it. You had the children, now act like parents and guide them however you see fit. I know your type, you're the type who wants the government to raise their kids for them. We have these sorts in Australia, they're the sort who treat school as a day care centre for their children, and expect everyone except themselves to raise their children for them.

There is no technological measure the government could demand that would be effective, unlike a parent who's prepared to....be a parent.

Let's start with a few examples, the age restriction one. That's dead simple to bypass. When I view a website for a movie/game that's rated MA15+ in Australia and it has one of those stupid "age walls", I put no effort into filling it out. Pick a calendar year from the 1950s or something and done. 1/01/1952 is a perfect legitimate birth date, so who cares.

Next we have credit card. Yeah, that may stop them accessing some legitimate sites, but not other sites, like those what harbour TV shows, so not really effective anyway.

So perhaps the government should filter at the ISP level? VPN tunnel your way through that nonsense and you're still not effective.

Throw in a few more scenarios, like mates sharing it at school, with USB Flash Drives, email, chat programs, file sharing, etc. There's a massive number of easy ways to get around all these technological restrictions that only serve to frustrate those who will give up at the first sign of resistance.

However, a parent who's prepared to monitor their child's activity, install filters, enforce computers in public places, and enforce proper parenting practices, would be much more likely to be effective.

You also make the point about parents being technologically illiterate. That's perfectly valid, but it should be their responsibility and motivation to become technologically adept if they wish to. If they can't be bothered learning how to do something, then that's their problem, not the government's.

ZipZapRap said,

Yep, partly fair, and I agree, parents need to be tech savvy. But they're not. No amount of training is going to fix that - have you ever tried to train someone how to do basic things on a computer? I showed my dad Windows Explorer on Saturday and he said he'd never seen it. I said he had, as every time he opens a folder to access his files, he's going through explorer.. "oh"...

95% of parents are techno-illiterate. And to say "parents job" as if that's the end of the story, ignores that it's not the end of story.

Don't need to be trained in squat. A concerned parent would get of their ass and ask the ISP if they have an adult filter and move to an ISP that does, if they need/want one. How can you be classed as a parent if you cannot be bothered to even phone your ISP and ask a simple question? The market will provide the level of censorship the consumer requires for themselves.

Ideas Man said,
snip. .

I agree ... there is no easy solution here.

I'm NOT for the gov't block btw, I simply ask what would be a solution to those who would disagree with it.

You seem to have discounted parents but what other group of people are so close and have such authority ?

If you give your children unfettered access to the internet then you as the parent are responsible for what they view. Don't like it, don't give them unfettered access.

Instead of being their friend try being their parents and say no once in a while.

ZipZapRap said,
before anyone jumps in with an anti-gov't comment (all good) how do YOU propose a gov't stops children accessing porn?
Easy. They don't.

Your premise implies that 1) the government can. 2) the government should 3) One size fits all.

ZipZapRap said,

Yep, partly fair, and I agree, parents need to be tech savvy... And to say "parents job" as if that's the end of the story, ignores that it's not the end of story.

You cannot absolve yourself of responsibility by claiming ignorance. That would be like claiming you didn't know your child would die from drinking half a bottle of whisky since you can do it. Part of the parental responsibility is the parents educating themselves on how to protect and develop their kids in all realms. This includes technology. If you don't know, and you don't educate yourself, then you just don't care. This is a fact.

Let them access it. I found porn when I was 8, and it didn't scar me. It's probably more important to protect children from graphic violence.