What is the UK porn ban, when does it start and can you unlock the new block?

NEW laws are about to come into effect banning UK citizens accessing online porn without proving their age.

But when does the block kick in, why is the government changing the rules, and can you switch it off?

Sites like PornHub will require age verification before showing users any footage

What is the UK porn ban?

Porn sites will soon be required to get proof of ID from UK residents before showing any X-rated clips – in order to protect children.

That includes free porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn – which attract nearly two billion visits a month between them worldwide.

They’ll join a number of other sites in using the AgeID system, which requires users to verify their age via an official form of ID.

From July this year, when the new system is being launched, randy internet lurkers will be shown a non-pornographic “landing page”, according to AgeID spokesman James Clark.

“When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site,” he told The Metro.

“Each website will create their own non-pornographic landing page for this purpose.”

New rules will make it trickier to access porn sites
Alamy

When someone first clicks on a site, they’ll be asked to register with AgeID and verify their age using a Mobile SMS, credit card, passport or driving licence.

Users will then be able to use their AgeID username or password to access all porn sites that use AgeID – though some may use different age verification systems.

Clark said: “It is a one-time verification, with a simple single sign-on for future access. If a user verifies on one AgeID protected site, they will not need to perform this verification again on any other site carrying AgeID.”

Sites face fines of up to £250,000 or a blanket block by UK internet service providers if they do not comply with the rules.

Regulators will also be able to block porn websites if they fail to show that they are denying access to under-18s.

The new rules are expected to come into effect on April 1
Alamy

When does the ban start?

The porn ban isn’t far off – it starts from July 15, 2019, the government has said.

That means that from this date, those trying to access a porn site from a British IP address will be asked to provide “proof” that they are aged 18.

For example, using driving licences, or age verification cards bought from retailers.

The automatic block is being introduced under the Digital Economy Act 2017.

Can you unlock the new block?

As well as registering with AgeID, Brits will also be able to access porn sites using a voucher you can buy from high street shops.

Thousands of shops will offer the special ID cards, which users can link to an app known as Portes.

Through Portes, they can then login to sites without having to hand over their email address.

Clark said: “The PortesCard is available to purchase from selected high street retailers and any of the UK’s 29,000 PayPoint outlets as a voucher.

“Once a card or voucher is purchased, its unique validation code must be activated via the Portes app within 24 hours before expiring.

“Once the user has been verified, they will automatically be granted access to all sites using AgeID.”

Each PortesCard will cost £4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across multiple devices.


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