Porn Site Age-Check Law Demanded By Media Regulator

A UK industry regulator has called for the law to be changed to require pornography sites to carry out age checks before granting access.

Video-on-demand watchdog Atvod said the government must act to protect children from seeing graphic adult material.

It said credit and debit card operators would be forbidden from processing payments from British customers to sites that did not comply.

But one campaigner said the action would be a "worthless gesture".

The Authority for Television On Demand (Atvod) said the matter was so urgent that it was "critical the legislation is enacted during this Parliament".

To back up its demand, the body commissioned market research firm Nielsen Netview to install equipment that monitored the online habits of 45,000 desktop PC and laptop users over the course of a month. The volunteers were picked to reflect a cross-section of the wider population.

The survey indicated that over the period:

  • 6% of children aged 15 years or younger had accessed an adult website
  • 5% of visitors to such sites had been under-18
  • One website alone - Pornhub - had been visited by 112,000 boys in the UK aged between 12 and 17-years-old
  • Of the wider population, 23% of those who had used the net over the month had visited an adult site
  • Visitors to adult sites spent an average of 15 minutes looking at them during each visit and typically clocked up two-and-a-half hours of time in total over the month

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

(BBC)

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