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The police criticized a site that sold swords and knives because they felt that one of them was used in a murder. In particular, police found that Ashraf Hussan was depicted with a knife, concluding that he and a teenager killed a man in Cambridge.

Det Ch Insp Alan Page was the person who investigated the murder and discovered how easy it was to buy dangerous weapons. In addition to this, the store claimed: ‘’All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.’’ Indeed, the police, after many investigations, revealed that the defendant had purchased numerous weapons from the website, including a folding knife on 13 July. The worst is that a few days later, the officers discovered that 18-year-old Juned Ahmed was also involved in the murder of Peter Anderson.

Specifically, the knife sales company, sales ‘’Rambo’’ knives, other weapons glamorized in films and the ‘’mystery box’’ which concerns the customers, who cannot decide and gives the chance to make it surprise. “Surely if people are going online to buy a knife to use in gardening or some sort of maintenance they know what knife they are looking for’’ said Det Ch Insp Alan Page.

According to the website, it is required to the visitors to verify their age before purchasing such products. However, Det Ch Insp Alan Page argued that more checks should be done and more accurate manners should be found for the validation of any age.

Yes, people can get access to kitchen knives, but why make it so easy to get these “Rambo” knives and hunting knives?” detective said and continued: “Fair enough if someone is a tree surgeon and needs it for a legitimate reason, but someone who lives in a flat in London with no garden and no employment – you’ve got to ask yourself why do they need a knife such as that? ‘’I think it’s because they’re going to use it for a criminal purpose.’’

The government has plans to introduce legislation that strictly prohibits the sale of bladed articles online to residential addresses. This decision was taken as after some researches, it was found that knife crime deaths have risen dramatically, while hospitals have experienced 1000 incidents over a year.

On the basis of this decision, the company director Joseph Wheeler supported: ‘’Knives are used for thousands of legitimate purposes by law-abiding citizens. (We) are extremely careful with our age verification checks, this is our number one priority’’ and added: ‘’Trading standards do regularly check this, and we follow all their age verification guidelines thoroughly. All products we sell are legal and we abide by all laws.’’

 

‘’Verify with Koupon’’ is an innovative and easy way which can be implemented for age verification in convenience stores.

Koupon Media which constitutes a consumer analytics platform, makes a pioneering proposal, verify with coupon, which aims to help c-store retailers and CPG brands verify the age of their customers. This procedure is an experience, which gives the opportunity to retailers to integrate age verification into its digital channels. As ‘’Verify with Koupon’’ has been created on the basis of new technologies, this means that it will have quick and positive results for the consumers. In addition to this, it can also be used in digital channels such as mobile apps, websites, and via email and can be integrated with third-party loyalty technologies and CRM platforms.

It is also important to mention that ‘’Verify with Koupon’’ is an equally good solution for the protection of elderly people, as the sale of products like alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and lottery is restricted. Specifically, Brad Van Otterloo, CEO of Koupon Media claimed: ‘’Age verification is becoming a crucial component of digital promotions in the c-store industry and beyond’’ and continued ‘’as the leader for digital promotions in c-store, Koupon Media is actively using Verify with Koupon to unlock even more opportunities for members of its network’’.

The first convenience store chain, which adopted ‘’Verify with Koupon’’ was GPM Investments in Richmond and the retailers remained fully satisfied and excited as they have the chance to implement this innovative technology. “Koupon Media continues to push the envelope with new and innovative mobile offer technologies,” said Ruth Ann Lilly, senior manager of loyalty, tobacco and alcohol at GPM Investments. “Verify with Koupon will help GPM promote age-restricted products in our mobile application, helping us protect underage shoppers and continue to deliver value to our rewards members.”

 

 

Sunday times published the decision of the UK’s government about requiring age verification in dating apps such as tinder and grindr. The investigation made by the newspaper found that more than 30 cases of child rape sent to the police the last 3 years. One of them is the case of a 13-year-old boy with a profile on the Grindr app who was raped or abused by at least 21 men.

The investigation leads also to the assessment that 60 further instances of child sex offenses including grooming, kidnapping, and violent assault are related to the use of online dating apps. With the youngest victim being only 8 years old from the data that was gathered from UK police forces.

For these blames a Tinder spokesman answered and told that the BBC it uses automated and manual tools, and spends “millions of dollars annually”, to prevent and remove underage users and other inappropriate behaviors, saying it does not want minors on the platform. Gindr also answered and told that “Any account of sexual abuse or other illegal behavior is troubling to us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service. Our team is constantly working to improve our digital and human screening tools to prevent and remove improper underage use of our app.”

Jeremy Wright, UK’s secretary of state for digital, media, culture and sport (DCMS), found the investigation of Sunday times shocking and said that this was the evidence that “online tech firms must do more to protect children”.He also, suggested that UK government should place more age verification checks in dating apps and that he was going to ask the companies about the measures they take to keep underage children safe, if the response would not be satisfying, he would take further action.

Age verification checks about online porn are due to come into force in the UK in April, as part of the Digital Economy Act. Those checks, which had a lot of reactions from people whose personal data will be exposed, cause concern about children’s exposure to graphic content online. There, also, are more cases such as the case of a man who spent a night with a 12-year-old girl he thought was 19 and whom he had met on a popular adult dating app was jailed for two and a half years. Carl Hodgson, 28, who pleaded guilty to a number of charges, invited the child to his flat in Manchester city center a few days after they first made contact via an app. The victim used a different name on her dating app profile and falsely stated she was 19, Manchester crown court was told.

All of these lead in the conclusion that age verification should be in place in every dating or not app. Underage children should be restricted from inappropriate content and not only. Social media companies should also, take measures for the children explosion and the results that this has such as suicides and harms.

 

 

Vaping and e-cigarettes is the newest addiction to teens. Flavors like mango, vanilla, chocolate etc. make vaping more joyful and popular among minors although the legislation raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, e-cigarettes, and vaping products from 18 to 21. Because of that, local lawmakers are co-sponsoring several bills aimed at addressing a sharp increase of the use of these products by teenagers.

Vape product companies use social media and marketing campaigns through them to make their products more attractive among minors. Some companies though denied that and make a public statement. Sen. Mary Abrams, D-Meriden, who chairs the Senate’s Children’s and Public Health Committees said that “Tobacco companies have found a new way to make today’s youth tomorrow’s customers. Banning the sale of flavored vapor products will remove this strategy to hook customers at a young age.”

Specifically, a team of Stanford University researchers studied one of the biggest and famous vape product companies, Juuls. They actually, check their marketing strategy and their advertisements through social media posts and they concluded that their strategy was <<youth-oriented>>.JUUL spokesman Ted Kwong answered to that and he said that the company’s initial marketing campaign in 2015, which received criticism, was “short-lived” and “intended for adults,” adding the company’s current advertising campaign “features testimonials from former adult smokers who made the switch off combustible tobacco with the JUULdevice.”

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Abrams in a statement said that teen-vaping has been increased about 78% the last year and this can be called an epidemy. The only way to reverse this situation is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate e-cigarettes, including flavors. Abrams also signed an agreement that all vaping products and their purchase online would be strictly only for users not below 18 years old. Nevertheless, Liz Linehan, D-Cheshire, who chairs the House Committee on Children and has co-sponsored similar legislation is afraid that children under 18 will find a way such as using the drivers’ license of their parents to purchase these products.

Linehan has co-sponsored five bills concerning vaping in total, including bills that would tax liquid vaping products at the same rate as other tobacco products, raise fines for selling vape products to minors, and raise the statewide minimum age for tobacco product purchases from 18 to 21. She said that “It’s obviously becoming a public health hazard. The effects of nicotine on the developing body are well documented.We want to treat vaping just like tobacco.” Actually, a single JUUL POD contains the same nicotine as 20 cigarettes.

Kwong supported JUUL and said that it was not the company’s intention to make vaping more popular among minors.He also, said that the company took measures  to prevent teen use by suspending some  flavoured products ,strengthening the age verification of its website, and eliminating its Facebook and Instagram accounts.“JUUL Labs shares a common goal with policymakers, regulators, parents, school officials, and community stakeholders – preventing youth from initiating on nicotine,” Kwong said. “We are committed to preventing youth access of JUUL products, and no young person or non-nicotine user should ever try JUUL.”

The majority of smokers begin this addiction by the age of 21, so the banning of purchasing vaping products below this age maybe will be the cause to prevent young people from becoming addicted long term. Both state lawmakers and several area municipalities want to raise the tobacco-purchasing age to 21.“Don’t wait for us,” Linehan said. “There are those of us in the legislature that want this to happen, but state government is so much larger, so if they can pass an ordinance first, I support that.”

Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott, said he hasn’t had a chance to go through the recently proposed vaping bills, but said he is  “open to discussion about protections for minors.” he also said that he is against on putting high taxes on vaping products for adults who legally purchase them.“If something is harmful, then ban it. But if you’re going to say it’s harmful and then tax it more. I think that’s a little hypocritical,” Sampson said.

A new online casino in New Jersey ‘’PlaySugarHouse’’, was recently fined because it allowed gambling under the age of 18 years old. But the question is, will the fine cause issue in Pennsylvania as the brand looks to operate in another state?

The online gambling industry started in the State of Pennsylvania this year and approved in late 2017. Indeed, last year, regulations have been adopted and partnerships have been created to get started. One such operating entity in the region is to be Rush Street Interactive. Online gambling started in another state, in New Jersey, through PlaySugarHouse site. In addition to this, the online gaming site was punished as it allowed free access to minors and many are wondering if the brand might have trouble in Pennsylvania due to the incident.

It’s important to mention that the fine was imposed, as legislation in the USA stipulates that users can only play gambling if they are over 21. According to this, Rush Street Interactive was fined by the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey, because the law was violated and there was no age verification.

Specifically, the penalty for the company was $ 30,000 for underage gaming from November 2016 until January 2018. In a report by the DGE, thirteen individuals aged 18 to 20 had the opportunity to open bills and play bets. Three of the individuals made deposits while the remaining 10 used bonus cash for wagering.

In a response to the previous issue, Rush Street Interactive argued that it has taken the appropriate measures in order not to encourage young people to have access in such games again. Apart from that, the company supplemented that responsible gaming and the protection of minors is a top priority of them and for this reason, from now on any user connected to a live game will be closely monitored.

According to a survey, which conducted in Hawaii, it was found that high school teenagers use e-cigarettes far more than the national average, which means that the relevant legislation needs to be strengthened in order to provide more protection for young people.

It is very important to mention that about half the percentage of high school teens have tried e-cigarettes and 26 percent routinely use them, justifying why vaping is considered an epidemic among minors in Hawaii. Unfortunately, as it seems, these rates will increase because of Juul. “Currently, Juul holds 70 percent of the U.S. market share. So it’s certainly is dominating at present. And the reason that it is, is primarily regards to the shape, it’s discreet, it’s shaped like a USB flash drive and is particularly appealing to kids but it’s also available in flavors and it contains nicotine all the time and particularly high rates of nicotine at that.”

In addition to this, Professor, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, who is in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford University said: ‘’Juul is one-and-a-half to two packs of cigarettes worth of nicotine in one pod’’ and she continued: ‘’we don’t have very good data yet on how quickly a pod is being used by youth but anecdotally when I’ve talked to youth I’ve heard stories of them using one to four pods a day.”

The problem is that young people use e-cigarettes without knowing the serious health effects they have. Indeed, as Forrest Batz, a pharmacist and public health proponent on Hawai’i Island, supports, nicotine is one of the substances that have a major negative impact on the development of the brain of young people and their behavior in general.

In 2016, a new law was passed in Hawaii, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes to people under the age of 21. However, this decision did not completely remove young people from e-cigarettes, since they were able to buy them on the internet. Thus, Jessica Yamauchi, executive director of the Hawai’i Public Health Institute, argues that it is equally important to ban the shipment of online e-cigarette products to Hawaii.

‘’A lot of the internet sites only require you to be 18 and a lot of them, even with age verification, it’s not a foolproof age verification check, so it’s pretty easy to get your hands on them even if you’re 18 and our law’s 21. So, we do feel it’s kind of a big loophole in our Tobacco 21 Law.”

 

After several delays, the law about the age verification it has been completed and will come into effect during April. The legislation is implemented on the basis of the government’s plan to make the United Kingdom the safest place to have access to the Internet.

Specifically, the law is addressed to all the websites of which the largest content is pornographic in order to verify that visitors are over 18 years old. If they choose not to verify, then the government has the right to exclude specific websites and shut down the respective companies they represent. According to the law, government officials believe that the law will remove young people from sites with inappropriate content such as pornography. On the other hand, experts and government commission have another opinion. They support that there many ways to overcome age restrictions and conclude that it “is not guaranteed to succeed.”

“There are various proposals for obtaining your ‘porn license’,” Neil Brown, the MD told Sky News. “Some involve handing over details online, some may entail installing software on your phone or computer, and others require you to go into a store and prove your age (like buying alcohol). A credit card alone is unlikely to be sufficient.”

In addition to this, it is not clear if the age can be verified without the determination of a user’s identity, which means that if it can’t, there is a serious problem. If websites with pornographic content have databases of users who are aged verified then they will be hacked by people with political motives in order to gain the advantage of their opponents. Specifically, during 2017, approximately 160 access requests to blocked porn websites were made on parliament’s internet network every day.

“The big thing is we’re trying to educate kids not to get involved with alcohol, and be responsible.” This is the important message of the public awareness campaign ‘’Sticker Shock’’, which started to take place in Pittsfield and as Isaac Tardy, a Junior at Maine Central Institute said: ‘’Underage drinking is a serious issue with today’s society and Sticker Shock is the way that we’re promoting that.”

According to Sticker Shock, a group from Maine Central Institute applied stickers to many stores, which warn young people to get away from alcohol and not buy such products. “They’re bright orange, so it draws your attention to it” says Tardy, “So you’re like oh, maybe I should read that.’’ Mike Cray, an officer with the Pittsfield Police Department and the School Resource Officer for SAD 53, also says: “Makes people stop and look and think.”

Specifically, the purpose of this campaign with stickers is to discourage adults from selling alcoholic beverages to people, who are under 18 years old and to remind them that they must always confirm the age of customers by asking for their identity. “This gives an opportunity for us to work with the community, and it just raises awareness that there is the potential that minors could get access to alcohol.” says Ouellette.

The project leaders want to remind minors to be responsible, explaining that even if they are offered alcohol they should not be tempted. ‘’Do an alternative like a mocktail or just have a soda or just find an alternative activity.”

Obtaining a liquor license is not a simple process, and there are strict rules and regulations that need to be followed in every state once a license is secured. The rules and regulations can vary from state to state, even from city to city.

Most states punish the sale of alcohol to minors as a misdemeanor. Anyone convicted of selling or providing alcohol to a minor usually faces a range of penalties.

Fines→Jail→Probation→Liquor license revocation

  • Fines: Fines are a common penalty for anyone convicted of selling alcohol to a minor. The amount of the fine varies broadly but can be as much as several thousand dollars per violation.
  • Jail: Misdemeanor offenses are defined as those that have a potential penalty of up to one year in a local jail or state prison. Providing alcohol to an underage person may result in a jail sentence of up to a year, a much lighter sentence, or no jail at all. The circumstances of the case and state law will determine what sentences are appropriate.
  • Probation: In lieu of, or in addition to, a jail sentence, a court may impose a probation sentence for a conviction of selling alcohol to a minor. Probation terms typically last six to 12 months, though they can be longer. Someone on probation must usually regularly report to a probation officer and meet other specific requirements as imposed by the court. Failing to comply with any requirement may result in a court ordering the convicted person to jail.
  • Liquor license revocation: When licensed organizations sell alcohol to minors, either intentionally or unintentionally, they may lose their liquor license.

There several ways business, such a bar or restaurant, can lose its liquor license that is common to every state. Serving alcohol to minors is the most common reason for getting a liquor license revoked. A lost liquor license can mean the difference between success and failure of a business.

The most important strategy for preventing problems is rigorously checking IDs when selling alcoholic beverages. Some states may even encourage servers or bartenders to ask the individual questions if it is suspected that personal identification may be falsified or that the ID belongs to another person. Establishments that do not check the identification of individuals who appear to 30 or younger are at risk for losing their liquor license, but also the health and safety of young people.

 

From April, 2019 porn sites in U.K will require age proves for viewing the content. Specifically, sites will be less anonymous and more difficult for users who need to prove their true age. This act was taken from the House of Commons and is about to take place this April. There are different and understandable reactions from users. Some of them realise the need of this action because a lot of underage view porn easily in web but in the same time they are annoyed because they have to provide their personal data to prove they’re of legal porn-watching age.

In order to watch porn free or paid, people have to provide ID. This ID can be something like a driving license or a verification card that can be bought from shops. For the people who are of age the age verification system will work with the help of companies that provide such services. An example is AVSecure who will be one of them. Specifically, AVSecure CEO Stuart Lawley told the Metro that 60,000 shops in the UK will sell verification cards which will be available by April. He told them: “The British Board of Film Censors has been appointed as the regulator – and we expect they’ll give sites 90 days’ notice to comply, so it’ll probably be in place by mid-April. The BBFC will look at the methods age verification systems use to verify people are 18, so for instance, a name and address wouldn’t be enough – but a scan of a driving licence or a credit card and CVV number would be OK.”

The resume is that personal details are needed in order to have access to these sites. This may have an impact in reducing the underage watching porn movies but at the same time people have to make public their personal data.

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