French Parliament OKs New ‘Age Verification’ Porn-Blocking Law

LOS ANGELES—Just nine months after the United Kingdom dropped its two-year attempt at banning online porn for anyone under age 18, across the English Channel France now wants to give the same thing a try.  The French parliament this week agreed on a new law requiring porn sites to implement an age-verification system, to supposedly guarantee that no one in the country under age 18 is able to view adult content, according to a report by the European edition of Politico.  France’s Superior Council of the Audiovisual, or CSA, the country’s media regulatory body, will be granted new powers to take action against porn sites that fail to comply with the age-verification requirement, including the possibility that they could suffer a total ban from the internet within France. Though France is only the 22nd-most populated country in the world, it is the fifth-most frequent visitor to PornHub, according to the mega-site’s stats.  According to the tech site Gizmodo, however, the French plan is likely to run into the same difficulties that ultimately led the U.K. to ditch its own porn-blocking law. Among those are the considerable privacy and security issues that would result when users are forced to upload personal data identifying them with porn viewing onto servers held by the private “age verification” companies operating the required systems. But even with those issues, as well as technical problems implementing an effective system that led the U.K. to kill its own law, that law may now get a second life. A court in Britain this week ruled that Baroness Nicky Morgan, the U.K. government culture secretary, exceeded her authority when she decided to give up on implementing the law last October, according to a report by The Telegraph newspaper.  The ruling came in a lawsuit by four tech companies who argued that they invested millions in developing age verification software, only to have the government suddenly render their investments worthless.  The court ruling this week clears the way for a full judicial review of Morgan’s decision. If that review also finds that she exceeded her authority, the U.K. could move ahead with putting the age verification system in place after all. The final details of the French version of the porn-blocking law are still being worked out between the country’s National Assembly and Senate, the two houses of parliament. But the Senate has already voted to approve a version of the proposal, and its final passage is seen as inevitable, according to Politico. Photo By Free-Photos / Pixabay 

written by: Lawrence Avery

source: French Parliament OKs New ‘Age Verification’ Porn-Blocking Law | AVN