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Canada may soon be free of Pornhub – vile website is refusing to block minors with age verification

Canada Pornhub ban

The world’s second most popular pornography website, Pornhub, could block access to Canadians if a new Senate bill requiring age verification to access porn online is passed.

The bill proposes to impose hefty fines of up to $500,000 on companies that refuse to ensure minors cannot access sexually explicit material due to concerns about pornography addiction and the reinforcement of harmful gender stereotypes.

Solomon Friedman, a partner and vice-president of compliance at Ethical Capital Partners, which owns Pornhub’s Montreal-based parent company, Aylo, told The Canadian Press that Pornhub was going to pressure parliamentarians to reject the age verification legislation.

Mr Friedman, an ordained Rabbi, trial lawyer and law professor, said the onus should be on the manufacturers of devices to prevent minors from accessing pornography instead of the sites itself, and argued age verification laws would drive children into sites that did not comply with the law.

“We will never ever take the private identifying information of our users … [we] will always comply with the law,” he said.

“That’s either by imposing the solution, not operating … or in addition to all those, challenging these in law, if we think that they violate some higher legal principle like the Constitution.”

Mr Friedman pointed to the case of Utah, which he said passed a bill that did not allow users to verify their ages using government ID, and was subsequently blocked by Pornhub.

New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois and Conservatives have voted to send the bill to the committee, while Liberal MPs have opposed it.

Pornhub was blocked by Visa and Mastercard in 2020 after a series of controversies including claims that the site hosts non-consensual pornography.

The site has also been caught hosting child sex abuse material, channels involved in sex trafficking, rape videos, and revenge porn.

It is blocked in China, Russia, the Philippines, India and Thailand, and is facing a ban in Germany – also for failing to comply with age verification laws.

A German regulator last year accused Ethical Capital Partners of ignoring court rulings and repeated calls to comply with minor protection laws.

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