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2023: Jan-March

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Only OnlyFans and Pornhub...

So how is porn age verification panning out in the US?


Link Here22nd January 2023
The US state of Louisiana has commenced a new law requiring porn websites to obtain identity/age verification before allow access to viewers. The law is not enforced by official censors. Instead it simply allows Louisiana to sue for damages for any harm claimed as a result of underage porn viewing. So how is it panning out in practice?

It is the second week of the new law. Vice has found that very few sites have actually implemented the age verification system. As it stands, only PornHub and OnlyFans check Louisiana's residents' ages, others don't.

This may have something to do with the way the age check is implemented: when you access PornHub from Louisiana, you're met with a screen asking you to verify your age. From there, you're redirected to AllPassTrust, a Cyprus-based company specialized in age verification. AllPassTrust links to LAWallet, the state of Louisiana's digital driver's license wallet, which provides you with a code that you need to enter on AllPassTrust.

The way it's looking now, only Louisiana drivers licenses are accepted for verification, which is a problem for anybody currently in the state that doesn't have one. Sure, practically everybody in the United States has a driver's license, but there are those who don't, and visitors or short-term residents of the state won't be able to verify their age since they won't have a license issued in Louisiana.

According to local Louisiana newspaper L'Observateur, opponents are already gearing up for a legal challenge.

The idea is spreading though. There are reports of national politicians proposing similar laws to Louisiana.

Also two Republican state senators in Arkansas introduced a bill this week requiring age verification before entering a website offering pornography. Senate Bill 66, which proposes a Protection of Minors from Distribution of Harmful Material Act, is sponsored by Sen. Tyler Dees and Sen. Jim Petty. The proposed legislation is a copycat version of Louisiana's new law.

 

 

Sharing censorship news...

Ofcom warns adult video sharing websites that are stupid enough to be based in Britain that it will soon be enforcing age/identity verification


Link Here15th January 2023
Full story: Ofcom Video Sharing Censors...Video on Demand and video sharing

One of our priorities for the second year of the video-sharing platform (VSP) regime is to promote the implementation of robust age assurance, so that children are protected from the most harmful content. In October 2022, we published our report on the first year of VSP regulation . The report highlighted that many platforms that specialise in videos containing pornographic material (or "adult VSPs") do not appear to have measures that are robust enough to stop children accessing pornographic material.

Today Ofcom is opening an enforcement programme into age assurance measures across the adult VSP sector.

Our objectives for this programme are:

  • to assess the age assurance measures implemented by notified adult VSPs, to ensure they are sufficiently robust to prevent under-18s from accessing videos containing pornographic material;

  • to identify whether there are other platforms in the adult VSP sector that may fall in scope of the VSP regime but:

    • have not yet notified their service to Ofcom, as required under the VSP framework (see more below); and

    • may not have appropriate measures in place to protect under-18s from pornographic content; and

  • to understand from providers of adult VSP services the challenges they have faced when considering implementing any age assurance measures. This will also help us build a picture of what measures work and are proportionate to expect from different VSPs, in line with our strategic priority of driving forward the implementation of robust age assurance.

The programme will seek to determine the scale of any compliance concerns in respect of notified and non-notified adult VSPs. We will then decide whether any further action (including enforcement) is needed, and how best to address potential harm.

 

 

Legal age restrictions...

Porn sites in France suffer setbacks after losing court cases


Link Here15th January 2023
Full story: Age Verification in France...Macron gives websites 6 months to introduce age verification
Notable porn websites operating in France have suffered two legal defeats.

In the first case, a priority question of constitutionality (QPC) had been addressed to the Court of Cassation. MindGeek, which publishes Pornhub, argued that ISP blocking of their websites, as ordered by France's internet censors of the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom), was an affront to freedom of speech in France.

In its verdict of January 5, the Court of Cassation swept aside this QPC:

The question posed is not of a serious nature. Considering that the legal framework in question is sufficiently clear and precise to exclude any risk of arbitrariness . Nor is there any disproportionate harm to the objectives pursued.

The attack on freedom of expression, by imposing the use of a device for verifying the age of the person accessing pornographic content, other than a simple declaration of majority, is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the objective of protecting minors.

Meanwhile YouPorn and RedTube lost an administrative challenge to the rather circuitous way that French authorities have specified the laws requiring age/identity verification to view porn websites.

 

 

Fake law...

Taiwan is drafting a law to criminalise fake porn


Link Here8th January 2023
Taiwan's Legislature has passed draft amendments to restrict the use of technology-enabled sexual images and video. The new laws will make the production and spread of such fake or manipulated images and video for profit a crime punishable by a jail term of up to seven years.

The draft bills were proposed after the arrest in 2021 of a Taiwanese YouTuber for making and selling deepfake pornographic videos of dozens of prominent women, including female politicians.

Under the approved legislation, producing sexual material involving images or video of another individual without that person's consent is subject to a maximum of three years in prison, while the unauthorized distribution of such material can result in a prison term of six months to five years. Anyone found guilty of distributing such content for profit faces an additional punishment of up to one half of the prescribed sentence.

 

 

The Online Safety and Media Regulation Act 202...

A brief summary of Ireland's Internet Censorship Act


Link Here3rd January 2023
Full story: Internet Censorship in Ireland...Ireland considers the UK's lead in censoring porn and social media
Ireland's new internet censorship regime will be overseen by an Online Safety Commissioner (OSC), who will create binding online censorship rules to hold designated online service providers Providers to account for how they censor content. The OSC is also empowered under the Act to introduce an individual complaints mechanism.

Harmful content is set out in Part 11 of the new Act:

  1. Offence Specific Categories sets out 42 different offences. A large proportion of these offences are offences against children, or provisions protecting the identification of child victims or child offenders. Notably the Act appears to be silent as regards identifying a child who is subject to an Order or proceedings under the Child Care Act 1991.
  2. Other Categories of Harmful Online Content are set out as a two-tier category:
  • (a) The Online Content must be content which bullies or humiliates another person; promotes or encourages behaviour that characterises a feeding or eating disorder; promotes or encourages self-harm or suicide; makes available knowledge of methods of self-harm or suicide.
  • (b) Online Content must meet the risk test if it gives rise to: (a) any risk to a person's life; or (b) a risk of significant harm to a person's physical or mental health, where the harm is reasonably foreseeable.

This part of the Act deals with age-inappropriate content yet the Act does not provide for any age-verification measures. Earlier drafts of the Act sought to introduce robust measures to ensure a minimum age verification of account holders of 15 years old. This provision did not survive to enactment stage.



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