Online pornography age limit would be hard to police, says expert

An Auckland University PhD candidate has shared doubts as to whether a proposed ban on people under 18 viewing internet pornography would even be possible.

Kris Taylor, speaking this morning to TVNZ1's Breakfast, was responding to a plan by Children's Minister Tracey Martin, who wants compulsory age verification on pornographic sites.

The move would follow on from what is planned in the UK, where people are divided as to whether such a ban will be successful.

Mr Taylor said there are ways around any ban, and that children may be able to access pornographic material from a diverse range of sources - not just dedicates pornographic websites.

He said there is almost no way to police such a ban.

"I would put money on most teenagers who have access to a computer knowing what a VPN is," Mr Taylor said.

"Even if we could roll out an age verification system, it would be very difficult to stop them getting around it."

Mr Taylor said there is too much stigma and shame attached to pornography, and that discussions need to be had around sex education.

Kris Taylor of Auckland University says there are always ways to get around bans, particularly in the world of technology. Source: Breakfast