The long-rumoured 'porn block' will now come into force on 15 July for websites and apps, the UK Government has announced. 

After that date, you'll need to provide age verification according to information from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The process will be - a little bizarrely - enforced by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). As part of this, there will be a new BBFC symbol - AV - for age verification which you can see above. There's also a new site for the process which will detail compliance.

The DCMS says that websites that fail to implement age-verification technology "face having payment services withdrawn or being blocked for UK users".

The block was first stipulated in the Digital Economy Act 2017 as a way to stop under 18s from seeing material they shouldn't online - however, it won't help with the stacks of other ways you can view inappropriate material online of course...

"Adult content is currently far too easy for children to access online," says Minister for Digital Margot James in a statement. "The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first, and we’ve taken the time to balance privacy concerns with the need to protect children from inappropriate content.

"We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online, and these new laws will help us achieve this."

The move follows the publication of the Online Harms White Paper which set out clear responsibilities for tech companies to keep UK citizens safe online and the subsequent code of conduct published by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). 

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