Australia Proposes Facial Recognition Requirement to View Internet Porn

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The Australian government is reportedly proposing the use of facial recognition technology to verify the age of those who seek to watch pornography online.

The New York Times reports that the Australian government is now proposing that a facial recognition system be used to verify the age of individuals wishing to watch pornography online. Currently, laws in Australia do not prohibit minors from viewing pornography but now the federal government is developing proposals that would require viewers to prove their age before watching porn.

A new proposal from the Department of Home Affairs would have viewers’ faces matched with images from official identity documents such as a passport or divers license in order to ensure that the viewer is of legal age. The proposal immediately received objections as an infringement of citizens’ privacy.

Senator Rex Patrick, a centrist lawmaker from the state of South Australia, commented on the proposal stating: “I think people should be very concerned about any government department that’s seeking to store this kind of information.”

The Department of Home Affairs did not respond to questions about the proposal and the attorney general’s office directed all questions about the proposal to Home Affairs. This proposal echoes a similar law from the United Kingdom which required porn viewers to submit a valid form of ID in order to access certain websites.

“When someone first clicks on a site, they’ll be asked to register with AgeID and verify their age using a Mobile SMS, credit card, passport, or driving licence,” reported the Sun in March of this year. “Users will then be able to use their AgeID username or password to access all porn sites that use AgeID – though some may use different age verification systems.”

“As well as registering with AgeID, Brits will also be able to access porn sites using a voucher you can buy from high street shops,” the Sun explained, adding that each voucher “will cost £4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across multiple devices.”

British obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman warned that a similar system could also be applied to social networks in the future, stating: “There seems to be a massive groundswell of opinion in Westminster that age verification is a solution to the problem. It’s seen as a simple way forward to cure all the ills allegedly caused by social media.”

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at lnolan@breitbart.com

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