Making age verification mandatory for porn sites will perfectly complement measures the Morrison government announced today, the Australian Christian Lobby said. As the government directed $1.6 billion on cybersecurity weapons to tackle paedophiles and hackers, the ACL said a federal parliamentary committee and the French parliament have backed the age verification model.

“Parliament’s Protecting the Age of Innocence inquiry report tabled in February endorsed this way to protect children,” ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis said, “And just last month, the French parliament unanimously moved in this direction. Australia should move quickly to protect children from damaging online porn.

“With a surge in internet use during lockdowns with no clear end in sight, protecting children online has never been more urgent. Pornography websites have profited from the pandemic, such as Pornhub offering its “premium service” for free.

“On average, children are being confronted with sexually inappropriate material at 13 years of age - or younger. More and more Australian children are being exposed to disturbing, and often violent, sexual images. They are also being groomed and recruited online for dark purposes.

“Australia moved quickly to implement a technological tracking solution for COVID-19. Protecting kids online is urgent and age verification is the best online tool to stop creeps in their tracks.”