back to article Online ID checks to limit teen booze and knife purchases

If you can’t prove how old you are, your days of shopping on the internet may be numbered. Fears that young people could be getting hold of knives, adult DVDs and alcohol are all fuelling a campaign by Margaret Moran, MP for Luton South, to make online age verification compulsory in the UK. This Friday, she will introduce a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward



    That's all I have to say on the matter. But it is so important that I feel I should say it twice.


  2. Liam


    you need a debit/credit card to buy stuff online... i thought this was only available to 18+??

    the banks KNOW how old users are so why incorporate this?

  3. AListair


    How are thse items being paid for? I guess you can get a switch card when you are under 18, but surely it'd be better for parents to be able to block cards for use online.

    or that they are flagged as belonging to someone under 18

  4. Anonymous Coward

    and this bill would affect overseas operations ...

    ...exactly how ?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Filter their net access

    Then parents can block their access to gambling sites and online knife shops.....

    If you say shops need to verify the ages of buyers, then you have to give them some way to identify those ages, which means everyone having some magic id and every retailer in the world having access to the ages of people when they order.

    Somehow the idea of governments putting a big database with all our ages online doesn't fill me with confidence.

    On the other hand, if a parent could just log on to their ISPs site and switch on the type of filtering they want to filter their kids internet feed. That seems the best solution.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID Card System through the backdoor yet again

    They are up to it again, shoving the kid in as the sacrificial lamb so we all have to start showing ID online.

    Let's just ban the kids from the Net, fullstop. Move the onus of keeping the kiddiewinks off the Net over to the parents. If parents wish to club together and build another network just for kids and pay for the policing of it, then they can do so out of their own pockets.

    I would say the minimum age should be 25, so people can argue it should be 18.

  7. shaun

    frikkin parents

    if they can't pay enough attention to thier kids to notice them ordering weapons or alcohol then they shouldn't be allowed to have kids at all.

  8. The Mole

    Parents credit card

    And there was I thinking that most kids likely to be doing this were also likely to be using their parents credit card, and if this were passed into law there ID card too.

  9. Dave

    And they're gonna police this how?

    This has partially been enforced already. Air weapons which are legal to own in the UK are now banned from sale by mail order or internet.

    (Well to 100% accurate, you can order them via the net and pay for them, but they have to be collected in person)

    This raises several points.

    Either this means a requirement for age verification by some means or another, which can usually be counterfeited,

    Or it means that online retailers cannot sell age restricted goods into the UK.

    Can you really see Mr and Mrs online shopper ordering the weekly shop for delivery taking kindly to the fact that they now can't get a six pack of beer or a nice chianti with that.

    Its a valid concern, but the cure is gonna be much worse than the illness

  10. David Adams
    Thumb Down

    Repeat after me.......


    Can we have an icon for the inexorable erosion of freedom and liberty in this once great Kingdom?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Age Verification, Labour MP

    Wonder if she supports the ID card?

  12. Steve
    Thumb Down

    Where are the parents?

    Okay, so in a shop the person serving at the till has to verify the age of the purchaser, so they say, no you can't have that litre of vodka and the kitchen knife.

    Online it's much more difficult to verify, but these items do need delivering.

    How exactly does a child that should be at school all day explain to their parents the delivery of said kitchen knife and litre of vodka? Or to put it another way, the problem isn't the online retailer, it's the parent that lets a child take deliveries and doesn't question what they are (or how they afforded them).

  13. voodooray

    Will proving that only 18 year olds and above can buy alcohol...

    ...if said individuals are still imbeciles, actually help in any way? Perhaps a cretin test is needed also. Or shock collars from birth.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Utter Nonsense

    "Ms Moran has latched on to an issue that worries the public"

    Luton South's completely pointless MP is clutching at straws in the forlorn hope that she will be re-elected. After supporting every crackpot initiative dreamed up by Blair & Brown, this is just another excuse for more snooping and spying.

    What children do up to the age of majority is the sole responsibility of their parents, not a job for an unwanted self - appointed watchdog with an inflated view of her own importance.

    I live in Luton South and have never voted for Ms Moran

  15. Rande Knight
    Paris Hilton

    Teen boys

    Teen boys _buying_ porn on the net?

    Are they stupid? They should know by that age you don't have to pay for porn.

    Just like music and movies...

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Bubble wrap the planet!

    I am oh so very tired of having what I can and can't do dictated to me, not because it's a bad thing for me but because there's a chance it might affect children. Even if it couldn't possibly affect them. And 'solutions' that will do considerable harm and absolutely no good.

    This is the job of parents... and Natural Selection. Stop. Protecting. Morons.

    I agree this seems like another excuse for ID Cards. Keeping looking, Labour, there must be a justification you can get away with somewhere, if only you could find it.

  17. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    Oh great...

    ... because I run a business selling "adult products" (ie BDSM gear), I will no doubt have to waste time and money trying to find a way to implement all sorts of pointless and worthless "age check" bells and whistles that will simply irritate all my legitimate customers even though I can pretty much guarantee I've not had the slightest interest from underage purchasers.

    Gosh, thanks again to our Nanny State for "protecting" us.

  18. Solomon Grundy


    Hahaha. An entire country, and once leader of the largest empire on Earth has gone to pansy. You are now afraid of guns, and knives, and video games, and people without proper ID. You are constantly surveillance by CCTV and your cops like to shoot foreign (brown) tourists. And now you all sit around and whine about it instead of missing work today and marching down to the govt. office to bitch (or something better than whining on an IT forum about politics)

    It's all too bad really. I like you lot, it's just that I can't stand a pansy - and you guys are looking pretty bad...

  19. Nomen Publicus

    Ob Monty Python

    There is still the huge problems society has with pointed sticks, fresh fruit and 10 tonne weights.

  20. ImaGnuber

    Politician vs Child

    Age verification? Kids have been getting past that in the real world forever so I don't imagine the virtual world will ever pose much of challenge to any half-way intelligent and determined child. Perhaps if everyone was thoroughly chipped and borged there might be some chance of control but I think even Britain is still some way away from that.

    Politician vs child? No contest.

  21. Robajob

    Yet more evidence of how spoiled kids are today

    When I was a nipper I had to go to Vicky Wines and nick fags off my dad.

  22. shaun

    Re: Wankers

    If you weren't an idiot you'd know we can't do anything. Thanks to the Criminal Justice Act (were you at those riots?) we technically can't gather together in groups of more than six people in the UK without breaking the law. WE DON'T HAVE ANY RIGHTS AT ALL HERE. If anyone was paying attention ten years ago we wouldn't be in this state.

  23. Liam

    the thing is....

    how many kids actually BUY knives anyway? i mean a simple trip to debenhams, some five finger discount and they've got a sabatier sharper than any 'rambo style' knife...

    and as said before kids who buy porn are just too stupid to download it! retailers should have an 18+ rating for anything that is unsuitable for kids. the bloody bank that authorises the card transaction KNOWS how old their customers are. so they could block it.

    now, if little johnny is using dads credit card then how is that gonna help anyone? check credit card payments? i do! "ooh i dont remember buying 12 gash mags and 3 knives"...

    also all kids can steal knives from kitchens and the old favorite a stanley knife from dads workshop/shed/garage

    waste of time.

    lets face it all boys look at porn... its the only way you learn anything... sex ed? yeah right....

    maybe we need to look at why kids carry knives? maybe if the police policed rather then just being speeding nazis then the streets would be safer?

    i swear i give up on this place. was at a conference this week and companies from NZ were recruiting. maybe time to live in a place that isnt run by useless twats!

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @Solomon Grundy

    Hahaha. An entire government, and once leader of the largest empire on Earth has gone to pansy. Your goverment are now afraid of guns, and knives, and video games, and people without proper ID. You are constantly surveillance by CCTV and your cops like to shoot foreign (brown) tourists. And now you all sit around and whine about it instead of missing work today and being arrested for marching down to the govt. office to bitch


    Sadly, the above applies to a large section of the western world now.

  25. Mark

    @Graham Marsden

    Maybe you can sell *beige* BSDM gear. That would automatically ensure that only old gits buy your stuff and saving a lot of money in the age verification.

    Ah, yes. The beige macintosh for me...

  26. Anonymous Coward

    bah humbug

    common you buch of misery's will all these sat exams the kids deserve to let their hair down a bit, get drunk watch a porn and knife someone surely.

    I'm sure with a bit of arm twisting Gordon bennet sorry brown would subsidise this activity anyway.

  27. bobbles31

    "Ms Moran cited a story from The People"

    I really do wish our politicians would stop trying to make policy based on what they read in the weekly comics.

  28. Guy Herbert

    Scaredy-cat mountain.

    Isn't the "real problem" at the bottom of this not evasion of the law but the construction of the law by populist kegislation on the basis of moral panics, Ms <strike>Moral's</strike> Moran's bill merely being the capstone to a great pile of legislation to 'protect' the kidiwinks against things, most of which aren't very dangerous if they are dangerous at all.

    You don't have to be much over 30 to remember when every Boy Scout wore a sheath-knife as part of his uniform. It was about as threatening as his woggle.

    Even the drinking-age is really just a hopped-up version of one step in 19th century temperance movement's prohibitionist strategy. But constantly pressured to rise *now*, because official policy is to currently to be scared of everything and make damn sure everyone else is too.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    nanny state

    Let's see....I can't buy a knife online, but I can buy a bar of steel and a grinder and then....

    I'm just popping out to the hardware for a look around, I'll get my coat!

  30. Pyros


    Give a kid his due of booze and boobs. They gotta learn SOMEwhere, right?

    Knives, OTOH, I can agree with to an extent. Being a Boy Scout myself, I'd rather have all adolescents take the Woodcarving merit badge classes so they can *properly* handle the pointy bits involved.

    It's like sex--you don't know how it's done until you study for it. (Although I frown at using knives for purposes other than carving wood, cleaning your deer/pheasant, and shaving.)

  31. This post has been deleted by its author

  32. Boring Bob


    So how is this going to work exactly? As most computers do not have smartcard readers the user will only be able to enter data that is printed on the ID card. Any child will have access to their parents card to copy this information.

    The vendor will then have to have some way of verifying that the name and address is connected to someone over 18 years old and will then have to ship to only the name and address on the ID card. This means you will not be able to have items shipped to your work address, but instead everyone who works during the day will have to spend their weekends queueing at a depot to pick-up their purchases! And I thought Labour was already unpopular!

  33. Sweep

    @ Liam & Alistair

    The answer's in the article, they bought a prepaid card, which you can buy from newsagents quite easily.

    They are not supposed to sell these cards to under 18s, so surely if there is to be a knee-jerk reaction it should be against the card sellers, not online retailers?

  34. Brian Drury

    Stu Reeves asked:

    Wonder if she supports the ID card?

    Yes, it looks like she does.

    Her voting record can be inspected here:,,-3710,00.html

    Unfortunately, it appears she had a majority of 5,650 at the last election, see:,,-1103,00.html

    However, a tactical vote for the Conservatives looks like giving the best chance of unseating her.

    We'll have to see what we can do about that...

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