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Germany on the Brink of Blocking One of the Largest Porn Sites

Photo by Christian Wiediger via Unsplash

Germany on the Brink of Blocking One of the Largest Porn Sites

By Movieguide® Staff

In a bold move against pornography, German Child-Protection Regulators announced plans to block access to one of the world’s largest adult sites.  

The officials plan to issue a blocking order, which would block the site—which is reportedly called xHamster—from 83 million people living in Germany. 

The site refused to implement age-verification checks to prohibit access for users under 18, resulting in its complete ban by the Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Media (Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz in German, or KJM).

According to Wired, the order would mark a turning point in the two-year campaign by regulators to “compel all pornographic websites accessible in Germany to implement age-verification checks.”

The campaign comes as other legislators from across the globe look to protect children from pornographic materials online. 

Wired reported

German officials are taking action against four major pornography websites, says Marc Jan Eumann, chair of the KJM. The group, which represents the country’s 14 state media authorities, is responsible for enforcing a broad treaty agreed upon by all states around the protection of children. It is in addition to other German laws on child protection. Eumann refuses to confirm the four websites the KJM is taking legal action against. However, German reporting says the cases are against xHamster and three websites, YouPorn, Pornhub, and MyDirtyHobby, all of which are owned by MindGeek.

The regulators have been trying to force pornographic websites to introduce age-verification checks—which can involve the uploading of identity documents—since September 2019. Much of this has been pushed by one state regulator, Tobias Schmid of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia, who has been criticized for his views on sex, but the matter is now also being handled by the KJM.

German law requires that pornographic content only be accessed by adults. However, with the supposed xHamster’s refusal, KJM is working on a legal case against the site. 

“We have a blocking order for the hosting provider, which is based in the Netherlands,” Marc Jan Eumann, chair of the KJM, said. “If the host provider does not comply, we will take the last step.” 

“The last step is taking actions, a blocking order, against German access provider,” Eumann added, noting that the order had expired. 

However, the battle for age verification could become a long one, as KJM expects legal push-back from Germany’s top web providers, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, O2, and 1&1.  

“The largest providers will be targeted first, with smaller ones following, and it is likely a block would happen at the Domain Name System (DNS) level,” Wired reported. “When you are browsing the web, the URL that you type into your browser’s address bar is converted to an IP address by DNS. Imposing a DNS block would mean anyone typing the pornography site’s address into their browser wouldn’t be able to see the page.”

“We’ve already talked to them, they are not happy,” Eumann said.

Introducing porn blocks is not a new concept, even for other nations. However, with KJM’s involvement and the growing awareness surrounding MindGeek’s promotion of child abuse and trafficking through its adult sites, Germany could be on the brink of a groundbreaking change.  

The response from those in the porn industry is frustration, as they claim online regulations bottleneck their livelihoods.  

However, Eumann argued that the central goal of the restrictions is to protect children.

“We’re not going from this perspective that we have something against pornography,” he said. “It’s not against net neutrality, it’s not against freedom of speech. It’s just for the protection of the minors.”

While the change is significant in principle, many question whether the legislation would be effective at all. 

“There is a legitimate question about how effective this kind of legislation will be,” Neil Thurman, a professor in the University of Munich’s department of media and communication, said. 

Advocacy group Exodus Cry noted that the change would still benefit the overall fight to protect children. 

“In one of the boldest moves against porn, Germany child protection regulators are about to block access to four major porn sites including Pornhub, YouPorn, MyDirtyHobby (all MindGeek-owned) and xHamster, according to German reporting. This blocking order is being made because none of these sites require its users to verify their age, putting millions of children at risk,” Exodus Cry posted to Facebook. “The timing of this is quite remarkable because TOMORROW we’ll be launching a new campaign, called Protect Children Not Porn, with this exact focus. We’re calling for required age verification on all sites hosting porn because the effects of underage porn exposure can be devastating on a child’s life.”

Read Also: Comcast Removes All MindGeek Content Due to Sexual Exploitation, Awarded Dignity Defense Alert

Read Also: More Than 700 Sexual Abuse Survivors Call on Congress to Investigate Pornhub

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.