Credit Card-Checking Porn Site Age Gates are Nearly Here

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Once officially announced, anyone from the United Kingdom looking to access an adult site will have to prove their age and potentially provide credit card information the same as they do for gambling sites.

Media watchdog Ofcom has proposed measures such as requesting credit card details, which are only issued to over 18s, as well as checking user details against the electoral register.

The UK has made a decision to increase age verification efforts in the country for pornography websites and is expected to implement the process through legal methods on Monday.

The deadline for the checks, which are being introduced to protect under-18s, was "revealed as digital minister Matt Hancock signed the commencement order for the Digital Economy Act", which requires websites publishing pornography accessible in the United Kingdom "on a commercial basis" to provide ID checking software.

Age verification through the use of credit cards will be implemented on all porn websites in the United Kingdom by 2018.

If a website fails to install age-verifying measures, they "face being banned in the UK", The Independent says.

The government is also set to announce plans to appoint a regulator for the adult websites, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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The claim is that it is vital to protect children from exposure to adult content is incredibly important, so the British Board of Film Classification - which sets age limits on films - will have to look at each site.

"All this means that while we can enjoy the freedom of the web, the United Kingdom will have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world".

Will Gardner, the chief executive of internet safety charity Childnet, said that steps to restrict child access to adult content "are key".

In the offline world children are shielded from harm through age rating mechanisms for films and magazines and a host of other tools - age-verification for access to pornographic content is a very welcome step towards bringing protection of children online into step with the offline world. "It is essential to help".

"Age verification is an accident waiting to happen", said Open Rights Group's executive director Jim Killock at the time in a statement. We are concerned that the porn company MindGeek will become the Facebook of age verification, dominating the United Kingdom market.

"As we saw with the Ashley Madison leaks, the hacking of private information about people's sex lives, has huge repercussions for those involved".

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