New porn age-checker can be side-stepped in seconds

The UK’s new porn age-verification system can be sidestepped in seconds using a simple Google search, it is claimed. 

The government confirmed on Wednesday that the new system will become mandatory on 15 July, In a move intended to help prevent children accessing inappropriate material online.

Competitors bidding to become the official government gateway to adult material are now jostling for the rights and one that claims to be the ‘global age-verification specialists’ were found to be porous. 

But the Guardian found that the law can easily be bypassed. They were able to verify an account with the email address IAmUnder18@mailinator.com in a matter of seconds by generating a non-existent credit card number. 

The new law is intended to prevent youngster accessing inappropriate material

The new law is intended to prevent youngster accessing inappropriate material

The new law is intended to prevent youngster accessing inappropriate material

The system was first tested by Channel 4 last week as part of the channel’s Mums Make Porn documentary.

It was hailed as a success and provided by AgeChecked.com, who said the system worked by requiring that people provide a form of ID, an age-verified telephone number, or a credit card.

Upon hearing of the Guardian investigation findings, AgeChecked’s chief executive, Alastair Graham, said it was a first ‘dry run’. 

He added: ‘That’s quite interesting … That’s within the capabilities of someone relatively young. I think we’re going to swap that method out.’ 

He also said that there is a ‘certain level of frustration’ as we edge closer to the date without clarity on how robust the system will be.

The comments come amid concerns that it will be implemented before it’s actually ready, for political reasons. 

‘All of us want more clarity on what is and what is not the correct level of robustness. We’ve been given steers but nothing solid,’ he told the Guardian. 

Concern from privacy campaigners promoted a surge of interest in the topic as there were fears about the amount of sensitive data that would be held as a result of the legislation. 

The government said it had taken privacy concerns into consideration and the age-verification checks would not aim to establish the identity of individuals.

Porn websites that sell adult content, or provide it free of charge but earn money from advertising, will have to employ companies that provide age checks.

But these companies were only told of the privacy plans last minute. Graham said the earliest they would accredit providers would be the start of July, just two weeks before the legal implementation date of July 15. 

 

 

 

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