Home > News > EFF Has 'Serious Concern' Over U.K. Age-Verification Proposal • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

EFF Has 'Serious Concern' Over U.K. Age-Verification Proposal

EFF Has 'Serious Concern' Over U.K. Age-Verification Proposal
Get XBIZ News
Jul 8, 2016 2:21 PM PDT    Text size: 

SAN FRANCISCO — The Electronic Frontier Foundation, troubled over a proposal to install a new regime in the U.K. to restrict access to sexually explicit material, said that a portion of the Digital Economy Bill introduced this week gives the organization “serious concern.”

On Tuesday, the U.K. government published the bill, which includes a section that if passed would create an age-verification regulator that could impose financial penalties of up to £250,000 for noncomplying adult entertainment sites that stream content into the nation.

The regulator would be charged with handing out fines also to offending sites’ payment service providers and advertisers — whether in the U.K. or overseas.

The EFF, a nonprofit digital rights organization based in San Francisco, warned of trouble ahead if the government goes ahead with new provisions that would require age-verification gateways before allowing access to adult content.

In the U.K., pornographic content includes material that has been either previously been rated 18 or R18 by the nation's Video Standards Council, or that it is "reasonable to assume … would have been" given those ratings if they had been submitted for VSC classification.

“The hypothetical classification that material ‘would have been’ given is not judged by the VSC, but by a new 'age verification regulator,'" the EFF said in a statement Friday. “By creating a new and separate internet regulator to make these hypothetical determinations, we are bound to see decisions being made that are inconsistent with the actual classification decisions made by the VSC, whose work is difficult and contentious enough already.

“Worse, the possible impact of the law extends beyond video hosting websites, but also extends to payment services providers, hosting providers, and advertisers on those websites, whether they are based in the U.K. or overseas,” the EFF said. “Adding to the fact that the bill also doesn't specify what kind of age-verification system is required, the result will be a mess of legal uncertainty for websites conducting business in the U.K. going forward."

The widespread use of age-declaration dialogs on adult websites already shields minors from accidental exposure to adult content, the EFF said.

“Going further and requiring proof to back up these declarations, as the bill appears to do, is a step too far. It provides only minimal additional protection for children against exposure to age-inappropriate material, but at the cost of making anonymous access to adult content impossible,” the EFF said.

“Due to the stigma that continues to be associated with pornography, and the risk of embarrassment or worse if one's consumption of it becomes public, many adults will only choose to access such material anonymously.

“If this bill should pass, many will simply flock to overseas websites that don't care about complying with U.K. law, rendering the bill not only harmful to U.K. online businesses, but also ineffective.”

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

EDUCATIONAL FEATURES

E-Stim Basics: Selling Customers on Powerboxes as Pleasure Tools

Electrosex is a commonly misunderstood pleasure practice for good reason: Most of us have negative associations with electricity; maybe we’ve been shocked after rubbing our feet across a carpeted... More »

Search Oftentimes Is Left to Chance

Adult content is frowned upon in search, whether in paid, organic or social. With the big algo updates from the past few years, Google has cleaned up search, trying to get rid of spammy and low-quality... More »

Five Tips to Generate Repeat Business

A $50 sale is great. But what if you could get that same $50 sale to come back four times in the next few months? Here are some ideas how to achieve that. 1) On your receipts, you should have an option... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

eroFame

Oct 05 - Oct 07
Hannover, Germany

EXXXOTICA Edison

Nov 04 - Nov 06
Edison, New Jersey

2016 Inked Awards

Nov 05 - Nov 05
Edison, New Jersey

XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!