Ottawa, ON — Today, Arnold Viersen, Conservative Member of Parliament for Peace River—Westlock, reintroduced his Private Member’s Bill, the Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation (SISE) Act.
Bill C-270 would implement Recommendation #2 of the 2021 Ethics Committee report on MindGeek by requiring those making or distributing pornographic material for a commercial purpose to verify the age and consent of each person depicted. The SISE Act would also prohibit the distribution of pornographic material when consent has been withdrawn. Those who fail to verify age and consent could face serious financial penalties or jail time.
“For years, pornographic platforms in Canada have published sexually explicit material without any requirement to verify the age or consent of those depicted in them,” said Viersen. “As a result, horrific videos of sex trafficking, child exploitation, and sexual assault have proliferated on Canadian pornography websites. Many of these videos have been monetized, bringing in massive profits.”
“Consent matters. If a website is going to profit from making or publishing pornographic content, the SISE Act ensures they must verify the age and consent of every individual in every video,” said Viersen. “Once a video of exploitation has been uploaded, it is virtually impossible to eliminate. We have heard testimony from survivors whose lives have been shattered by the reckless actions of companies like MindGeek. Countless survivors have also been forced to relive their trauma and track down their own abusers in order to have content depicting their abuse removed.”
“We must do more to prevent these videos from ever reaching the internet in the first place,” said Viersen. “It is time to place the burden of due diligence and corporate responsibility on companies rather than survivors and law enforcement.”