Anti-porn group calls for age IDs in Australia

A GROUP pushing for greater protection for children against internet porn has called on the Federal Government to follow the UK's lead in introducing age verification processes.

Under new laws announced by the British Government, pornography websites serving the United Kingdom could soon be forced to prove viewers are adults.

In a statement last week, the government said that by April 2018, anyone in the U.K. looking to access online pornography will have to prove they are an adult.

Pornography sites will be forced to verify users' ages via their credit cards to prove they are over 18, or may be banned in Britain.

The aim is to prevent children from being exposed to pornography online as it can have damaging effects on their development.

Chair of Porn Harms Kids, Liz Walker, says: "The Australian government has a duty of care towards protecting its children from pornography harm and should immediately introduce a system to stop children accessing adult material on their phones, iPads and computers."

Porn Harms Kids is calling upon the Australian Government to stand by their commitment as signatories to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child, and exercise their responsibility to protect children by introducing age verification process.

"Pornography is a social problem and must be addressed at a governmental level.

"Age-verification is a digital child protection buffer that has the potential to create a greater level of safety for our children in the current technological environment. Free and easy access to graphic and extreme content is not acceptable."

But other groups have opposed the move.

Electronic Frontiers Australia executive officer Jon Lawrence told the ABC compulsory age verification would be an ineffective policy and the Australian public would not stand for it.

"[The age checks] are trivial to circumvent, they are not effective and they have really quite serious unintended consequences," he said.

If people's porn surfing habits were being collected, the data could be hacked and used for malicious purposes such as blackmail, Mr Lawrence said

Porn Harms Kids says there is a clear conflict between standards applied to the film industry and those applied to the internet.

"In the top 50 Australian websites by visitor numbers, there are three porn sites, the group says in a post on its website.

"Porn hub is one such site. It advertises on its website that Australia had 154 pageviews per Capita in 2016.

"A 2013/14 survey in the UK revealed that the porn site Pornhub was one of the "Top 5" internet sites for 11-16 year-old boys.

"On any given day, Porn hub landing page undeniably contains RC content - 1. Incest; 2. Double fisting of a woman; 3. Double penetrations; 4. Rape; 5. Teen themes (e.g. Video name: Tatooed Australian teen shower toying); 6. Adult / minor themes (e.g. Video name: Teachers give free extra points for Melissa Mathews and Ally); 7. the list goes on and on of RC content available. No age verification. No standard filters. No limitations."

News Corp Australia


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