Jacquie & Michel, Pornhub, Xnxx … Porn sites will soon be banned?

The Basics Under the new legislation, pornographic websites must check the age of their users in order to protect minors. The CSA could act to ban access to websites in the event of a criminal offense. La Dépêche explains.

“The content on this site is not intended for minors. By clicking ENTER, I am confirming that I am of legal age in my country,” warns the Jacquie & Michel porn site. On Pornhub, the question is straightforward, “Are you 18?” On the Xnxx site, the message on the home page is more alarming: “Dear users, you may not be able to access our site in less than a month.”

What happens on the major porn sites to find these warning and warning messages from internet users? The operators of the websites fear that access could simply be suspended at the request of the CSA, the Supreme Council for Audiovisual Media.

Pornhub is asking the user to confirm that they are over 18 years old. DDM acquisition

Prevent minors from entering

To fully understand this, you should know that until last summer, a simple click was enough to claim you are of legal age and have access to thousands of free or paid pornographic content. The domestic violence law, passed on July 30, 2020, tightened the rules. According to Article 23, the publisher of a porn site must “take all measures that can prevent minors from accessing the offensive content”, namely pornographic content.

The new law gives the CSA (Superior Council of Audio-Visual) an essential role. If he determines that content remains accessible to minors, he gives the website 15 days to comply with the legal requirements. If nothing changes, the CSA can seize the Paris court. The judiciary can then “terminate access to the service”. So totally block access to any porn site. But also to stop the website from being referenced by the search engines.

Penalty amount in the event of a criminal offense: 3 years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros for offenders. 375,000 euros fine for legal entities.

Blockade on April 15th?

Several locations have already been announced, the Parisian points out. The editors had until March 16, 2021 to convey their comments to the audiovisual gendarme. “The instruction is still being processed. A decision will be made in the coming weeks,” the CSA explains to our colleagues. The websites that are not yet legally compliant could therefore be blocked from April 15th, confirms the specialist website Les Numériques.

France wants to better protect minors from pornographic content. MaxPPP photo

A text that is difficult to use

How do you check the age of the internet user? Xnxx started a poll. He submits various ideas: SMS code from his mobile operator (who knows the age of the customer), buying a pass from a tobacco shop, delivering the ID card, facial analysis by artificial intelligence, customer identification, FranceConnect public service, etc. I’m not sure if Porn users want to reveal their identity or buy a tobacco shop pass publicly.

Because the law does not suggest a reliable method for verifying the age of Internet users. Jacquie & Michel, the empire founded by the Hautes-Pyrénées, is testing the My18Pass system. Two solutions are offered to verify the majority: Enter your bank card number anonymously and securely. No trace is shown on the bank account. Or have an identification document checked. The process takes about two minutes. Once verified, My18Pass destroys the document from its servers. The internet user then no longer has to confirm his or her majority every time.

Jacquie et Michel opened official stores like here in Nancy. MaxPPP photo

Easy access to the bypass road?

Parental control software already exists to block a minor’s access to pornographic content, but it is used relatively little. The e-Enfance Association is committed to their installation by default and mandatory. Emmanuel Macron supported this idea during a speech at Unesco in November 2019.

To get around the ban, there are VPN servers. It is a virtual private network that allows the connection to be routed through a server. The data is then encrypted. The porn site then receives the data and location from the VPN server and not from the internet user’s computer. It is also necessary that a minor can control it. Identification by bank card is also not a panacea, as minors can benefit from a bank card.

Strict application of these measures could put an end to free porn and generalize the monetization of content. The text is also endorsed by Marc Dorcel, the historical porn actor in France.

Younger and younger porn

Minors have access to ever younger porn in France. According to an Ifop poll for the Observatory on Parenthood and Digital Education, 51% of minors had already watched porn in 2017, up from 37% in 2013. Age is growing precocious. 8% of 14 to 15 year olds even watch porn several times a day. The first visit to a porn site takes place on average at the age of 14 and 5.