Banks to block payments to websites that allow children to view porn

Banks may be instructed to block payments to pornographic websites that haven’t put adequate age verification controls in place.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the banks and video services regulator will hold a “summit” next month to discuss the move.  It also revealed that “government sources have made it clear that ministers would be prepared to consider legislation, if necessary”.

The Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod), which regulates UK websites hosting videos, is working on proposals to crack down on pornographic sites that offer free and unrestricted access to any visitors.

Damian Green, the minister for policing and criminal justice, said: “The Government supports the work that Atvod has undertaken. This will explore with UK financial institutions and card companies 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.”

Pete Johnson, the chief executive of Atvod, said:  “This free, easy to access content is not being made available as a public service, it is being made available as a business model. Essentially you provide a lot of stuff for free, you get millions and millions of people to access your website and then you sell them the premium rate of the service, which has higher quality images, longer scenes, a wider range of content and all the rest of it.”

The news comes after the prime minister launched an opt-in system where households would get access to explicit material only if they applied for permission.

 

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