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UK's porn blocking laws to be delayed again

The laws were to be introduced on 15 July, but are to be delayed because of bureaucratic, legal issues.

Image: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

THE UK GOVERNMENT is expected to delay the introduction of its porn-block law, according to UK media reports.

Sky News and the Guardian report that sources have indicated that the introduction of the new law will be delayed indefinitely following a legal issue with the European Commission after they weren’t notified of the changes in time.

This follows several other delays of the proposed law, which has also raised privacy concerns about who will have access to the personal details of porn users.

The law would introduce an age-verification system for porn sites, with the aim of preventing children getting access to potentially harmful images and videos.

Options being put forward in the UK include requiring adult users to buy a special card over the counter at a newsagents, where they will be asked to show photo ID to verify their age. The card will have a code on it that can be used to access the site.

Some sites will ask users to provide a scan of a passport or driver’s licence which will then be verified by a third-party while others may ask for credit card details as proof a person is over 18.

Websites who don’t adhere to the system risk being blocked, although UK government officials have admitted that this would prove difficult to enforce

In the Dáil yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Irish government will consult with the UK about its new “porn block” and how it is working, with a view to perhaps rolling out an age verification system for Ireland.

Communications Minister Richard Bruton has already said that “there is a valid concern there” in relation to the regulation of commercial adult porn sites.

The Secretary for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright is expected to confirm the delay in the House of Commons later this morning.

- with reporting from Christina Finn

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