ATVOD seeks DCMS support for blocking paymentsAVMS

The UK payments industry has concluded that statutory underpinning will be required to prevent them from processing payments to non-UK online services that permit children to access hardcore pornography, according to the latest information from ATVOD, the co-regulator for video on demand (VOD) services in the UK.

The issue of children’s access to online porn is a topic of ongoing concern for ATVOD and regulators. On 9th December, ATVOD launched a conversation with the UK payments industry to see whether they might be convinced to refrain from processing  payments to out-of-jurisdiction online pornographic services that are accessible to children. Home Office Minister Damien Green expressed Government support for the initiative, and  later that month a conference for policy makers, industry representatives, enforcement bodies and and childrens´ interest groups was well attended.

Since those initial talks the UK payments industry, including the British Bankers’ Association, MasterCard, the Payments Council, PayPal, the UK Cards Association and Visa Europe have concluded that any such initiative would require statutory underpinning and this is now being discussed with DCMS.

According to ATVOD, ¨One option would be to mirror the licensing requirements being introduced for foreign online gambling services. It may be possible to establish a similar licensing regime for foreign porn services whose services are being used in the UK. A condition of such a licence could be that hardcore porn material could only be provided if access was denied to children. Payments could then be prevented to unlicensed services or to licensed services which breached the licence conditions.¨