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Commented Safe methods prove elusive...

Australian government to spend its own money on trying to find a safe method of age/ID verification for porn viewing


Link Here5th May 2024
Full story: Age Verification for Porn...Endangering porn users for the sake of the children
As part of its efforts to combat violence against women, the government of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced funding to test age/ID verification methods for pornography websites in a pilot program. This move came after Albanese and the national cabinet ruled in 2023 that mandatory age verification was not yet an option.

AUS $6.5 million has been allocated for a pilot of age assurance to test the technology's effectiveness. The pilot will identify available age assurance products and assess their efficacy, including in relation to privacy and security. The outcomes of this pilot will support the eSafety Commissioners' ongoing implementation of censorship rules under the Online Safety Act.

Australia's prime minister has also moved to ban deepfake and artificial intelligence pornography as part of a $925million bid to counter a  rise in violence against women. Sharing sexually explicit material using artificial intelligence will also be subject to serious criminal penalties.

Albanese noted community concerns about toxic male views online and young men's exposure to violent imagery on the internet.

 

Offsite Comment: The Australian Government Is Making Porn a Scapegoat for Rising Violence Against Women

5th May 2024. Thanks to Trog. See article from vice.com by Darcy Deviant

Here is an artlcie offering a very sensible counter argument to the usual porn is bad diatribes:

As a sex worker, the most concerning part of this conversation is the use of the sex industry as a political scapegoat for men's violence.

Let's be clear: the porn industry was never created to provide sex education to children. But let's also be honest: if your child is actively seeking out pornography, or so-called violent pornography, perhaps there's a gap in their learning about sex and sexuality that the education system or a guardian has failed to fill.

See article from vice.com

 

 

 

Age of censorship...

Georgia joins list of states requiring age/ID verification to access porn websites


Link Here30th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Georgia's state governor Brian Kemp has signed into law a bill that requires age verification on adult websites, a law which likely will cause the sites to shut down in the state.

Senate Bill 351 sponsored by Sen. Jason Anavitarte, aims at protecting children from cyberbullying and exposure to pornographic content, as well as regulates the usage of social media.

The law requires parental consent before allowing minors to create social media accounts. It also echoes a Texas law that would mandate age verification on pornography sites by requiring users to upload a government-issued photo ID before allowing them to view adult content. Any sites that do not enforce these rules would receive a $10,000 fine for each child who accesses content deemed harmful to minors.

 

 

Verified by Google...

Meta outlines plan for operating systems and app stores to take control of age/ID verification


Link Here19th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
When the British Government started work on online censorship laws I think it envisaged that age/ID verification would create a business opportunity for British start up companies to exploit the market so created. Unfortunately for them it looks inevitably set that the usual US internet giants will be the ones to profit from the requirements.

In fact Meta has been speaking of its ideas that operating system companies and app stores should be the ones to implement age/ID verification.

Meta is calling for implementing age verification across Europe and proposed a way to do it. The company wants to ensure that parents only need to verify the age of their child once and noted that the most effective way of achieving this would be to have operating systems or app stores complete the verification process.

The move would pass on the responsibility of age verification from social media platforms to firms such as Apple and Google. Other platforms have also in argued in favor of the solution, including Twitter and Match, the company behind dating apps like Tinder, Hinge and OkCupid.

Meta delivered its statement during a hearing of an Irish parliament committee focused on children's rights this week. Meta has been taking different approaches to try and ease pressure from global censors on the age verification question. The company has been experimenting with facial age estimation technology from UK firm Yoti in several countries.

 

 

Offsite Article: Online safety for porn viewers...


Link Here19th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
Online porn restrictions are leading to a VPN boom

See article from popsci.com

 

 

Vague in application...

The Kansas state governor refuses to sign the states age/ID verification law but it will become law anyway


Link Here17th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
The Kansas state governor, Laura Kelly, has announced that she will not sign age verification legislation that was recently passed through the state legislature.

Instead, she will let the bill, Senate Bill (SB) 394 , automatically become law by letting it enter force on April 25. The bill levies age verification requirements on websites with users from Kansas IP addresses to check their identities through government identification or transactional data.

SB 394 empowers Attorney General Kris Kobach to enforce the law.

Kelly said in a statement:

While well-meaning in its efforts to protect children from content the legislature considers 'harmful to minors,' this bill is vague in its application and may end up infringing on constitutional rights, which is an issue being litigated in other jurisdictions over similar bills. For that reason, I will allow this bill to become law without my signature.

Kelly added that she could have vetoed the bill, but the Republican-held state legislature would have the necessary votes to overturn her veto.

 

 

Bizarre law needs filtering out...

Alabama State House passes bill to require Net Nanny like filters to be installed on all phones and tablets and turned on for minors


Link Here8th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require makers of phones and tablets to fit the devices with a filter to block pornography that would be activated when the device is activated for use by a minor.

The bill, HB167 by Representative Chris Sells passed by a vote of 98-0. It moves to the Senate.

HB167 says that beginning on Jan. 1, 2026, all smartphones and tablets activated in the state must contain a filter, determine the age of the user during activation and account set-up, and set the filter to on for minor users.

The filter must be able to block access to obscenity as it is defined under state law.

The bill says a manufacturer can be subject to civil and criminal liability if a device is activated in the state, does not, upon activation, enable a filter that complies with the law, and a minor accesses obscene material on the device. The bill says retailers would not be liable.

 

 

Harming kids by giving them a criminal record in the name of preventing harm...

Ohio age/ID verification law proposes criminal sanctions against kids who circumvent the controls


Link Here 7th April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
The Ohio state legislature is debating House Bill (HB) 295 , introduced last October by Republican state Rep. Steve Demetriou. HB 295 would require adult entertainment websites with content considered harmful to minors to verify users' ages using government identification or transactional data, with felony penalties for website operators who violate the law.

An amended version of the bill, dropping the penalties for website operators to a misdemeanor, was adopted during the hearing before the House Criminal Justice Committee on April 3.

However, one of the more controversial elements of the bill is the establishment of a misdemeanor charge against minors who manage to circumvent the age gate through falsified records or the use of a virtual private network that spoofs an IP address.

 

 

Dangers of surveillance, identity theft and exposure...

Arizona state is the latest to adopt age/ID verification requirements to access porn websites


Link Here 3rd April 2024
Full story: Age Verification in USA...Requiring age verification for porn and social media
The Arizona state legislature has just passed the state's version of the age verification bills being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists. HB 2596 has been sent to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has five days to veto it.

Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Alison Boden wrote to Hobbs, outlining the free speech and privacy concerns raised by HB 2596 and copycat bills being passed around the country. The text of the FSC letter follows:

The Free Speech Coalition, an advocate for the rights of the adult industry and others engaged in constitutionally-protected sexual expression, writes to express our deep concern regarding HB2586, and ask that you veto the legislation.

The adult industry whole-heartedly supports efforts to keep young people from material that is age-inappropriate or harmful. Unfortunately, HB2586 has significant practical, technical and legal problems that render its ability to protect children limited, while creating dangerous privacy risks for adults, and violating the First Amendment rights of both consumers and producers.

Age-Verification Bills Have a Substantial Chilling Effect

In the past fourteen months, several similar age-verification bills have gone into effect in other states. In that time, we've seen a substantial chilling effect on adult consumers seeking to access legal content. Some adult websites initially attempted to comply with the laws, only to find that the vast majority of adult consumers -- as many as 97% -- refuse to submit their ID or otherwise engage age-verification protocols.

Despite the claims of the proponents of HB2586, submitting an ID online for sensitive content is simply not the same as flashing an ID at a checkout counter.

The process is expensive and complicated, and most consumers fear the real risks of surveillance, identity theft and exposure.

Proponents of these laws have promised that this information will never be shared, but anyone who knows the history of the internet and hacking, knows how unrealistic that is.

Even more worrisome, these bills allow this sensitive information to be stored and sold. While age-verification providers themselves are barred from retaining this information, state governments, credit bureaus, employers, banks or other databases against which age and identity is checked are not.

Unfortunately, this chilling effect goes far beyond explicit adult content. The law is written so broadly that the description or depiction of nudity, sexuality or sexual activity can create liability for a website, if it is determined to be inappropriate for a single minor. In the past several years, we've seen that the designation material harmful to minors has been weaponized to censor art, sex education, LGBTQ+ literature and healthcare resources, chilling speech throughout the public square. With HB2586, the same tactics could now be applied to the internet.



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