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UK Government calls on credit card firms to block internet porn access

o Matthew Finnegan
21.09.2013 kl 18:44 | Computerworld UK

Financial organisations are to convene next month to discuss proposals to block credit card payments to websites allowing under 18s to view explicit porn


Financial organisations are to convene next month to discuss proposals to block credit card payments to websites allowing children to view explicit porn.

The 'summit' is part of plans by the government to clamp down on legal, but explicit, pornography being accessed by those under the age of 18.

A number of organisations are due to attend, according to the reports from the Telegraph, including website regulator the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod), the UK Cards Association, the British Bankers Association, the Payments Council, as well as leading credit card companies and banks.

The government has already been discussing other measures to prevent children accessing internet porn this year, with prime minister David Cameron revealing plans for a default porn filter, requiring those wishing to view explicit material to 'opt-in'. These plans have proved to be controversial with web freedom advocates, and are unlikely to be popular with ISPs, which will be required to enforce the rules.

Under the new proposals, banks and credit card companies would be asked to block payments to sites which do not provide controls that prevent under 18s from viewing explicit images. It is believed that these measures - the first time financial firms would be tasked with taking active measures to punish websites - would be voluntary, though legislation has not been ruled out.

Although there have been attempts by Atvod to prevent children from accessing explicit content in the UK, including a recent fine for Playboy which was found to have fallen foul of these rules, policing sites which are based in other countries is more problematic. Atvod is expected to report back on other cases in coming weeks.

In a statement to the Telegraph, Damian Green, the minister for policing and criminal justice, said that he welcomed the steps taken by Atvod, highlighting plans to explore the "possibility of declining to process payments to websites operating outside the European Union which allow under-18s in the UK to view explicit pornographic content".

Meanwhile Pete Johnson, the chief executive of Atvod, said that the measure would not involve the "outright blocking" of all websites that show explicit images, which are legal to view.

He added that the proposals had so far received a "very positive response" from financial organisations so far.

Keywords: Government  
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