The controversial “Digital Card” regulation on online pornography


The term “Digital Card” refers to the proposed law in Spain, which aims to raise age restrictions and prohibit excesssive access to pornographic material. This has sparked an ongoing debate, with many journalists in the prominent papers of Andalusia dedicating opinion pieces about whether it is too strict a measure or just a bear necessity.

Would you consider a regulation that plans to maximize the security control in streaming porn in the mainstream websites to be in the right path on how such policies should operate? The advocates of the digital card argue that it limits an underage person to view the sensitive material, that is so widely destributed online, from being so easily accesible to adolescents, the age- group to which limitless exposure can turn-out to have an extremely harmful outcome in later life. There is no doubt that the ethical aspects of pornography online is as old as the concept of streaming itself, that date back to the 90s. Therefore, there definitely are a lot to be said on this controversial issue that has been around for 30 years now.

Some food for thought

It is hard to question the “Digital Card” regulation, because the government has already clarified its good intentions to pass the law, to broaden their policy on digital safety and child protection during this era of digitality. Although the conversation surrounding it does not present it as “panacea”. Two school of thoughts are exchanging views trying to answer the following questions: Does this legal move by the spanish goverment remind you of the time of Prohibition, where that occasion ultimately threw people more to access liquor through illegal means? Maybe there are some connection to be drawn with the the concept of Censorship as well, since pornographic content is very much related to Sex Work and by making it harder to access by anyone (no matter the age) does not bring the desired solution. After all, knowing the online world and since Dark web exists, can anybody guarantee that the younger audience shall reduce searching it, even to the slightest?

Down bellow you can find the key points of the Digital Card proposed law:

  • The government is seeking to introduce a ‘digital card’ that will limit the number of times someone can access porn websites each month1.
    The Spanish government plans to roll out an app by late summer, starting with a beta version.
  • The bill would modify the criminal code to create specific crimes for sharing pornographic material with minors.
  • The law also addresses the creation of “deepfake” images using artificial intelligence, especially if they target victims with sexually abusive material.
  • This proposed law is being developed in response to studies suggesting that as many as 70% of Spanish teens watch porn. The aim is to protect minors on the internet.

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