An adult content filter, also commonly referred to as the ‘porn block’ in recent news, will come into play from the 15th July 2019. From this point onwards, anybody using the internet who tries to access pornographic material will be required to prove their age first. With one of the biggest adult website seeing over 30 billion users last year, it’s likely that this change is going to affect a large number of people. But as a parent, it’s something that’s likely to provide some relief.
Though the casual term for it may be the ‘porn block’, it’s in fact part of UK government legislation – section 25 of the Digital Economy Act, to be exact. And when it comes into play, pornographic websites will have to prompt UK visitors with a special screen when they come to the website. This screen is forbidden from showing any adult content and must request age verification to allow entry.
How it will work
If you’ve got little ones in the house, or even young teenagers, you might welcome this news with open arms. But understandably, you might have some questions about how the process is going to work.
What we know so far is that from the above date, anybody who uses a website that contains adult content will be requested to go through age verification. They’ll have to provide some form of proof that they are indeed that age and not lying. This can either be done over the internet, or within a retail store where they can buy an ID pass.
Though the process is still largely new and undefined to many people who question how it will work, it’s likely that the process of obtaining a pass in store will be much like purchasing alcohol now. Employees will probably make a judgement as to the shopper’s age and request a driving licence or passport if it’s suspected they’re under 18.
For online users, some form of third-party verification will have to take place. This will be via a service named AgeID, software that has been placed in charge of verifying users, and it will mean uploading a scanned copy of a passport or driving licence. The creators say that no personal information will be retained, but it’s yet to be seen how secure this process will be.
For such a large-scale, national change, you’d expect there to be some robust software in place, perhaps commissioned by the government. In fact, AgeID is run by a firm named Mindgeek who are the umbrella brand that also owns some of the most popular pornographic websites in the industry.
Can the block be bypassed?
Before you celebrate that adult content will be hidden away from the minors in your home, you’ll want to know that there are ways in which somebody can get around the age verification system – and you don’t even need to pay. Anybody who is reasonably tech-savvy will likely know about specific software that can be used to bypass various verification systems and other location-based checks. We won’t go into any great detail about those here, save for handing a free pass to any underage people reading this blog, but if you’d like to know more then give WiseGuys a call.
Other parental safety options
Though the ban may see varying levels of success, there are also other measures you can take to safeguard the browsing experience on mobiles and tablets. Given that most kids and teenagers are now accessing the internet on their devices, you’ll be relieved to hear that there are parental controls you can set up to limit what’s available to your kids via their phones. For more information, get in touch with WiseGuys on 0808 123 2820.