In a bid to reduce the number of younger viewers on porn sites, all internet users will have to prove that they are over 18 to prevent themselves being blocked from seeing adult content from July 15.
The new regulations will mean that porn websites will have to enforce a strict age verification process, which may include users entering their personal details onto the site.
“We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online.”
—Minister for Digital Margot James
If adult websites do not adhere to the new rules they may become completely inaccessible to UK users.
“Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online,” Minister for Digital Margot James said in a statement on the issue.
“We’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content,” she added.
“We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this.”
Access to pornography “corroding childhood”
Relaxed verification procedures for online adult content is an issue politicians have been fighting against for many years.
In 2013, then-Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would work towards a block on pornography in every household.
“I want to talk about the internet,” he said. “The impact it is having on the innocence of our children. How online pornography is corroding childhood. And how, in the darkest corners of the internet, there are things going on that are a direct danger to our children, and that must be stamped out.”
The day of the porn ban has been disputed
Originally reports said the ban would take place on April 1, but no official date was announced until now.
“Introducing age verification is a world-leading step forward to protect children,” a spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told PinkNews in March.
“Adult content is currently too easy to access on the internet, we’re making sure the protections that exist for children offline are provided online too.”
When the ban finally comes into full force, Britain will become the first country in the world to have an age verification for online porn.