"Straightforward" pornography is allowed on the Internet. But what does "straightforward" mean and what are the conditions for its dissemination? 

"Straightforward" pornography refers to all sexual images which in their drastic directness degrade humans to simple interchangeable objects of sexual lust or activities of all kinds in a manner to encourage sexual urges. For example, if there is an extreme camera focus on the sexual activities and genitals of the actors and if this focus only serves to sexually stimulate the user, the term "pornography" is used.

Closed user groups and age verification systems.

It is legal to disseminate images like this on the Internet, but they must not be freely accessible. The provider must use closed user groups to ensure that only adults have access to this content. Age verification systems (AV systems) or age testing systems are employed for this purpose. These systems have a two-level process encompassing identification and authentication.

In an initial step, the provider of pornographic online content must require a one-time identification of the user through personal contact, video identification or an identification by automatic comparison of biometric data. This means that users must undergo personal verification including identification with their official ID cards once – for example at a post office.

In the next step, users of pornographic content must go through "authentication" for each individual use. Entering a TAN similar to those for online banking can be an example of this. This authentication serves to ensure that only the person who had been identified and age-verified gains access to the closed user group, which is intended to impede the transfer of access authorisation to unauthorised and potentially underage third parties. 

If you come across websites with freely accessible pornographic content, you can report them to us using our complaint options.