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Government pledge to implement third party age verification to watch porn online

You might need your Post Office to verify your age before you could watch porn online in the UK, in what seems to be the biggest turn-off I've heard in years.

The country's Conservative party pledged to introduce mandatory age checks for viewing pornography online, using third parties such as post offices, mobile operators, banks, credit agencies and similar.

Now, as the Party got re-elected, it appears that discussions have begun with the tech industry to see how to implement such change.

The Digital Policy Alliance (DPA), a nonpartisan body that offers advice on technology policy in the UK, has suggested using "information already on file" to carry out the checks, The Verge reports (opens in new tab).

"Nobody in the UK wants a centralised identity database," Dr Rachel O’Connell, an expert on online child safety advising the DPA, told The Guardian (opens in new tab). "The way around that is that Royal Mail knows who you are, your mobile operator knows who you are."

Users could choose which company they want to verify their ID, and all the requests would go through an "anonymizing hub“, built to keep the identities hidden.

All sites that don't offer age checks could then be blocked by regulatory agencies and communications watchdogs.

The Authority for Television on Demand is expected to be given the role.

The main problem of this approach is that it's only applyable to UK porn sites, and it's yet unclear how the age checks would be applied to non-UK porn sites.

The Guardian reports that MindGeek — owner of numerous "tube" sites including Pornhub — has "joined discussions" with the DPA.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.