October 31, 2020
News

Government considers new laws to block kids’ access to porn in wake of Ana Kriegel murder trial

THE Government is considering introducing new laws to restrict access to pornography in the wake of the Ana Kriegel murder trial.

Two 14-year-old boys were convicted of the schoolgirl’s murder this week and the case and trail has promoted calls for tougher legislation to prevent minors from accessing pornography.

In the UK, pornographic material will be blocked until an internet user can first provides proof that they are over 18 years of age. From July 15, commercial providers of online pornography in the UK will be required to carry out “robust” age-verification checks on users. Websites that refuse can be blocked by UK internet service providers or face having their access to payment services withdrawn.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government would be monitoring the implementation of the UK’s new system to see if it would be worth implementing here.

“It is a concern that pornography is so accessible to young people. And indeed so many young people learn about sex through pornography which is not an accurate representation of what is healthy in life,” Mr Varadkar said.

Mr Varadkar said the Government is currently in the process of bringing forward an online safety bill.

He added: “That will put new requirements on online platforms including an online safety code. It will also prohibit the cyber bullying of minors and harmful material that promotes suicide, self-harm and bulimia and anorexia. There will be an online safety commissioner.”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said more must be done to protect our children.

“Reports online, on every radio station and in every newspaper are about how easy it is for children and teenagers to access pornography. Many parents are wondering how best to protect our children and while no one can protect them 100pc, it is certainly time the legislators caught up and addressed this issue,” he said.

 

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