UK Residents Will Need ID to Watch Porn Online from July 15

In a controversial move that has been coming (heh) for some time, the UK Government has finally implemented a law forcing pornographic websites to require official identification before users can gain access to any of their content.

The “porn ban”, as its critics have dubbed it, has been in the making for some time, though has not been without its setbacks. Now, as of July 15, salacious sites including PornHub and YouPorn will direct visitors to a non-pornographic landing page, prompting them to enter valid proof-of-age via the AgeID system.

The AgeID system allows internet users to verify their age with valid proof, like a driver’s license, Mobile SMS, credit card or passport. AgeID works across a number of sites, and once a user is verified they can create an account with a password so as to bypass the rigmarole of entering the same details every single visit, for every site that uses the service.

The entire implementation has thus far been overseen by the BBFC (which is incidentally also a category on PornHub, we think), who is regulating the process, and said that there will be “an implementation period before the law comes into force”. July 15 is reflective of the three-month grace period given to all websites so they may organise themselves for the change in legislation.

AgeID spokesman James Clark told UK paper The Sun this week: “When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site. Each website will create their own non-pornographic landing page for this purpose.

“It is a one-time verification. Once a user has age verified once, on any site protected by AgeID, they will then simply pass-through or login to any other site using AgeID without needing to reverify.”

The push comes from a movement from within the UK parliament to heavily restrict access to such material by people under 18 years of age. This, while a seemingly obvious pursuit, has proved tricky up until now for various reasons. A similar law was proposed in Australia under the Kevin Rudd Government, but was ultimately ditched after it was realised how much it would slow down Australia’s already cripplingly sluggish internet speeds.