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France could block pornographic sites that do not verify the age of users

The French government has issued a decree stating that it can block pornographic sites that are unable to verify that minors cannot access their content.

The Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), a French government regulator of electronic media, may, under a new French government decree, block websites that do not have sufficient measures to prevent minors from visiting them. to access.

“The users (…) to which access is prohibited are directed to an information page of the Superior Audiovisual Council indicating the reasons for the blocking measure”, specifies the decree, according to a report from the newspaper. The Parisian.

Under the decree, the CSA may initially send a formal notice to the sites or companies, which will in turn have 15 days to comply and take measures so that minors do not have access to their equipment. under penalty of blocking. .

Previously, the CSA had to go to a judge to request the blocking of a website, but the new decree will allow the regulator to bypass this and request the block itself.

The decree comes after a Friday court ruling in Paris that dismissed complaints from two children’s associations demanding restrictions on pornographic sites to prevent children from accessing them.

The associations have lodged a complaint against French telecommunications companies, arguing that the current system of simply clicking on a box to prove the age of a user was not sufficient. The court, however, rejected the request after arguing that the editors of the pornographic sites had not been heard.

One of the websites involved in the complaint is the streaming site Pornhub, which came under scrutiny earlier this year in the United States when more than 30 women sued Pornhub’s parent company, MindGeek. , for allegations that she posted child pornography and violated federal sex trafficking laws and accused the company of racketeering.

In December of last year, financial giants MasterCard and Visa announced they were investigating allegations that Pornhub also allowed child abuse videos to be posted on its platform.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail to ctomlinson (at)