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Internet pornography: requirement to prevent access by persons under the age of 18

Part of Digital Economy Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 20th October 2016.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Policy) 2:00 pm, 20th October 2016

The principle is that there is a distinction between those who are making money by targeting and are indifferent to potential harm and those whose services facilitate the provision of porn to those who are under age. I think it is a reasonable distinction. We are trying to deal with the mass of the problem. By its nature, it is very difficult to get to 100%. I think that leaving the Bill in this way, with flexibility for the regulator to act, has a big advantage over being overly prescriptive in primary legislation and too specific about the way in which the regulator acts, not least because disrupting the business model is the goal of trying to provide enforcement.