Pornography: Internet

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd April 2018.

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Photo of Lord Framlingham Lord Framlingham Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to protect primary school children from being exposed to hard-core pornography on the internet.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

As part of our commitment to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online we have introduced the requirement for commercial providers of online pornography to have robust age verification controls in place to prevent children and young people under 18 from accessing pornographic material.

In February the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) was officially designated as the age-verification regulator with responsibility for making sure providers meet this requirement. The BBFC is currently undertaking a public consultation on its draft guidance on the age verification arrangements that it will treat as compliant and the approach that it will take to ancillary service providers. This guidance will require parliamentary approval.

We continue to aim for the conclusion of the parliamentary proceedings as soon as possible. We will ensure that there is a sufficient period after the regulator’s guidance has been approved for the public and the industry to prepare for and comply with the new rules. It is anticipated that age verification will be enforceable by the end of the year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is also working closely with the Department for Education to ensure that online safety forms part of new compulsory Relationships Education in primary schools.

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