All Porn Blocked by ISPs with no Opt Out…Elspeth Howe attempts to get all adult websites blocked by ISPs unless they implement onerous age verification via an amendment to the Children and Families Bill

Posted: 25 January, 2014 in Internet Blocking
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Read more UK Parliament Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from publications.parliament.uk

House of Lords logoElspeth Howe has tabled amendments to the Children and Families Bill which forces ISPs to block all hardcore porn sites unless the subscriber opts to receive adult content AND the website being accessed implements onerous age verification procedures.The required age verification is very onerous, eg requires users to submit credit card details (debit cards wont do). in reality websites cannot function with such restrictions as people aren’t going to type in masses of personal details just to take a look at an adult website.

The amendment is somewhat toned down from the ludicrous Online Safety Bill which would impose similar age verification on a wider range of websites with content not suitable for children. That bill defines adult content as containing harmful and offensive materials from which persons under the age of eighteen are protected;

The Children and Families Bill amendment defines adult content as material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen. The authorities would like to think that hardcore porn fits the bill, but if it did, then we would already have millions of seriously impaired young people on our hands.

Elspeth Howe’s amendment to the Children and Families Bill reads:

Insert the following new Clause–

Duty to provide an internet service that protects children (1)   Internet service providers must provide to subscribers an internet access service which excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(2)   Where mobile telephone operators provide a telephone service to subscribers which includes an internet access service, they must ensure this service excludes adult content unless all the conditions of subsection (3) have been fulfilled.

(3)   The conditions are–

(a)   the subscriber “opts-in” to subscribe to a service that includes adult content;

(b)   the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and

(c)   the provider of the service has an age verification policy which meets the standards set out by OFCOM in subsection (4) and which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over before a user is able to access adult content.

(4)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to set, and from time to time to review and revise, standards for the–

(a)   filtering of adult content in line with the standards set out in section 319 of the Communications Act 2003; and

(b)   age verification policies to be used under subsection (3) before a user is able to access adult content.

(5)   The standards set out by OFCOM under subsection (4) must be contained in one or more codes.

(6)   It shall be the duty of OFCOM to establish procedures for the handling and resolution of complaints in a timely manner about the observance of standards set under subsection (4).

(7)   In this section, internet service providers and mobile telephone operators shall at all times be held harmless of any claims or proceedings, whether civil or criminal, providing that at the relevant time, the internet access provider or the mobile telephone operator–

(a)   was following the standards and code set out by OFCOM in subsection (4); and

(b)   acting in good faith.

(8)   In this section–

“adult content” means material which might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of persons under the age of eighteen;

“opts-in” means a subscriber notifies the service provider of his or her consent to subscribe to a service that includes adult content.”

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