Italy Forces Cellphone Providers to Block Minors From Porn, Surfing Anonymously as Part of ‘Pro-Family Initiatives’

Italy Forces Cellphone Providers to Block Minors From Porn, Surfing Anonymously as Part of ‘Pro-Family Initiatives’

Italy is embarking upon a campaign of limiting what kinds of websites can be accessed on cell phones belonging to minors.

The Italian Communications Regulatory Authority, known as Agcom, is now requiring that cell phone providers install filtering software on devices that have SIM cards registered to minors, according to the Washington Stand.

The filter will block sites that promote pornography, gambling, weapons sales, violence, hatred and discrimination, unhealthy eating and other potential actions that could harm one’s health, including suicide, and sites that can be used for anonymous browsing, according to a Google translate version of the Italian-language website Avvenire.

Avvenire noted that most phones are registered in the name of an adult, in which case the filter is not required.

Under the new law, a parent can have the filter enacted on a phone purchased for a minor, just as home internet setups can have similar filters installed.

Agcom Commissioner Massimiliano Capitanio said the purpose of the law is to make “the web a safer and more protected place,” according to the Stand.

“However, the provision will also be a test bed to verify the real willingness of adults to take an active part in the digital education of their children,” he said.

“Our hope is to promote the basic digital civic education necessary to use tools that exist, but are not used, such as parental controls,” he said.

Capitanio said the government also wants to toughen age verification for social media in a nation where children under 14 are – on paper – banned from using social media.

The government is also trying to put some form of regulation and guidelines on social media influencers.

According to the website Statista.com, in 2022, about 98 percent of Italians between the ages of 15 and 17 went online.

In 2017, that figure was below 94 percent.

The actions come at a time when Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has established a Ministry for Family and Birth, and said it was  “time to rediscover the beauty of parenting,” according to the Stand.

The government is putting up about $1.1 billion to fund what the Stand called “pro-family initiatives” that include extended parental leave, fiscal support for working mothers, and more cash for daycare centers.

Italy’s cell phone law went into effect on Nov. 21.

The issue of protecting children in America from pornography has been raised in several states.

Earlier this year, the website Pornhub blocked residents of Utah, Virginia and Mississippi after those states passed laws requiring pornography websites to verify the ages of those accessing them.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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