UK forces porn websites to implement over 18 age verification

In a push for a more family-friendly Internet, the UK government is considering plans that could mean porn and adult websites will soon have to verify that visitors are over 18 years of age.

The legislation is being drawn up by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and would initially only affect UK-based websites. Similar to the verification tools already in use by gambling websites, the plans would also affect the owners of domains that sell guns or any other kind of adult content.

The process of checking users' ages would not necessarily just be an "Enter Your Date of Birth" box. The Sunday Times reports that other forms of verification could include checking credit card details, since these can only be issued to those over 18.

This already exists on sites like Betfred, whose terms and conditions state that the domain owners can ask users to provide a copy of an Ewallet statement, driver's license, passport or bank statement.

How do you keep your child safe online?

A DCMS source told The Independent: "We take the issue of child safety online very seriously and have set out a series of robust measures, including family friendly filters, to help keep children safe online. We are always looking at ways to build on these measures to make children even safer."

The news comes a year after Prime Minister David Cameron's controversial "porn filters" took effect, which meant that UK households had to "opt in" with their ISP if they still wished to view adult material.

The UK government is still working closely with these ISPs - including TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT – with more plans in the works, including family-friendly filters that are connected to all devices around the home.