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The UK government is bracing itself to face legal challenges when it implements controversial smut age check rules, and has said it could cost up to £10m in the first year alone. The plans to require online porn providers to check users are over 18 before granting them access to the site have been in the offing since 2017, …
Except one particular "parent" in question (who couldn't figure out how to enable age barring on her browser) started all this BS.
I'll leave the name of the Conservative MP who I'm thinking of as an exercise for other readers.
As much as I hate to propose the idea, could we not have an OS login level age ID optin service? I'd rather give android my ID rather than porn sites
Protip: my favourite porn method is just to use Google image search with a search like "hot sex .gif" usually the 4chan nerds have .gifed all the really good shots, plus you also get to watch 5-10 great GIFs at the same time, AND it won't be regulated by the above. I'm guessing the Google cached .gifs are less virus probe than darker smutwebs too.
Children start becoming sexually aware around the age of 10 and once that awareness has occurred, and the accompanying urges have started, there's no way of stopping it.
The real problem here is that parents can't cope with, and are in denial of, that little aspect of reality.
Rather than solving a problem, Age Verification just helps brush it further under the carpet.
Remember, this isn't about age controls to protect children from pornography, it is to appease the Traditional Tory Voters and Social Justice Warriors who want to ban pornography outright. Of course, it won't appease them at all, only move the ball a little closer to their goal posts ready for the next turn of the ratchet.
If the Government actually gave a damn about children, a third of British children wouldn't be living in poverty - up 100,000 on last year.1 Chronically not having enough food, or decent food, is a lot more damaging to a child's development than accidentally stumbling on some slap-and-tickle.
"Traditional Tory Voters" are the main consumers of porn - they just deny it of course like everything else, BREXIT? No problem, Age Verification? - that will be easy, Irish Border? Blame the EU ...
Every "problem" is either not a problem or someone else's problem.
This is just the classic TOTC softening up BS so beloved of the data fetishists who support this to help populate their what-sort-of-person-are-you database.
Check the categories.
You'll find they include "Anorexia advocacy" and "Esoterica"
BTW I'd say most fetishists are normally harmless and only indulge their thing with like minded people.
OTOH Data fetishists want to do their thing with (or rather to) everybody, all the time. Forever.
Given the membership of just one online paid-for forum (Alt - which had over half a million UK members at one point) and the number of votes that Labour lost at the general election after the 2008 law that they introduced, there is good reason that the conservatives don't want to repeat the same mistake by going too heavy.
Also, Erotica, at Olympia, at its height, had more visitors than the BBC Good food show at its peak. Nearly three times. So sex is almost three times more popular than good food, apparently.
And Labour know this, because I told them. Repeatedly. And I've given the figures to the conservatives. But they've still gone ahead with this. Political suicide IMHO.
You've been into every single sex shop? Wow, that's dedication.
Which reminds me of a joke I heard from a German friend, translated badly here for your pleasure. A Bavarian woman goes into a sex shop and starts openly admiring a 12-inch mains-powered vibrator. The proprietor comes over and says, "Impressive, isn't it?" "Yes", the woman replies, "it is a triumph of engineering!"
It seems there are so many loopholes that it isn't going to achieve anything worthwhile. The playground grapevine will soon promulgate evasions and leaky xxx content. The more difficult it is intended to become - then the more kids will go to greater lengths to find it. Education is the answer - so it is no longer seen as "forbidden fruit".
An 18+ threshold is not going to help 16+ kids who are legally allowed to have sex - with blindfolds? If they are old enough for the very adult responsibilities of marriage - then why can't they be considered responsible enough to handle xxx material if they wish?
You're missing the entire point of the legislation. It isn't supposed to stop children finding porn at all; it is supposed to appease the neo-Puritan nitwits who think that anything pleasurable is bad and seek to control everyone else's lives, presumably to make them as miserable as their own existences.
Said neoPuritans generally don't have much of a grasp of technology, so a gormlessly stupid law that is easily circumvented is all that is necessary to convince them that Something Has Been Done.
... content providers should keep logs of access for a period of six months to a year to guarantee the BBFC could trace “every age verification to its original source”. Of course, Ageify is developing such a solution and is "ready to showcase it whenever needed”.
I can just see the round-robin household letters where the BBFC demands to know who accessed www.kardashianswithdonkeys.com on such and such a date, just because they have a record of that IP in their access.log files.
Perhaps Capita might get the contract to enforce access ...
"...who accessed <a href="www.kardashianswithdonkeys.com">link</a> on such and such a date, just because ..."
FTFY. (At least, I almost did. At the last minute I had a change of heart for the benefit of those readers whose browsers have an aggressive pre-fetch. We wouldn't want anyone to end up in the wrong databases now, would we?)
I think the spatulas would need a little context. if the site is clearly designed to let people get their rocks off, then it might be covered. If it's just a site to sell kitchen utensils, it'd be fine. If they just banned everything that might get people a little excited, that would mean Amazon is fucked. Literally, probably.
"If they just banned everything that might get people a little excited, that would mean Amazon is fucked."
Wikipedia, too, if anyone bothers to look. There are some very "not safe for school" pages there and some of the "external links" are perhaps too relevant.
But then, it's an encyclopedia. It also has some pretty gruesome stuff in some of the history articles. (Rightly so, IMHO, since there are definitely bits of history that we don't want to repeat.)
>Can someone tell me the difference between a pornographic image on social media and one on a porn site
The government would look mad if they censor that photo of that girl in vietnam with naplam / without clothes, or ban pictures of starving naked babies in an African famine.
The government doesn't want to look mad (allegedly)
Therefore they need an exception
>Can someone tell me the difference between a pornographic image on social media and one on a porn site
Letting the social end off the hook is hobbling the entire stupid endevour into complete pointlessness. i'd expect the underage to be more likely to be affected by the random amateur stuff on social media than more dedicated sites.
Encountering it on a dedicated site is more likely they've gone looking for it rather than just happened upon it. We're too much in danger of weeding out curiosity by making errant wanderings irrevocably life-changing on so many fronts.
Deviant Art is currently killing itself with excessive censorship driving talent away.
I'd up that indemnity if I were them, no matter what they intend to permit, they'll be bound to censure some educational or sexual helpline site at some point (which has happened before), same way they assured the underage would be treated as special cases over images, and that's gone wrong multiple times.
unless things like VPN's and the like are banned in the name of protecting the children.
Shhhh! Don't give away stage two!
EDIT: Seriously, that really is stage two. First, make porn illegal under the right circumstances (i.e. without verification of identity - the only way you can check someone's age). Then say "people are still able to access porn illegally. How can we stop this?" It's not that I'm pro-porn (though it's people's right if they wish). It's that I'm anti- Government having the tools to destroy privacy.
I'm afraid this is quite possible, if the VPN usage were to jump considerably. At the moment, it is a very much "niche" product (in terms of figures, i.e. number of VPN users v. number of all internet users). But if our benevolant masters feel those numbers suddenly surge, they will take action. And banning / supervising one by one, "extremist content", "pirated content", now "filthy content" might have this effect on people to reach out for VPN. Obviously, as it's a paid-for service, usually, current generation will find it hard to stomach to pay a couple of squid, so VPN might (MIGHT) be safe from "regulating" for a couple of years. But in general, yes, give "them" enough excuse, and it will go, in the name of democracy with "voluntary registration for VPN access". I don't know what they're going to do about those robot-roaches that carry miniature capsules to the recipient via sewage system but hey, let's not ban those yet until they become real...
"And banning / supervising one by one, "extremist content", "pirated content", now "filthy content" "
Don't forget the most damaging banned category of all; esoteric content.
It was under Camerons watch that the list of things-to-be-banned was first created and the contents of that list has not really changed much since. Esoteric is a very broad category of things, roughly defined as things that are not in the mainstream, but it allows for the blocking of websites of all kinds; alternative religions, conspiracy sites, BDSM discussion forums, and, perhaps most importantly, alternative political views. Pretty much its carte blanche to ban any website on the basis of "we don't like this because its not our version of 'normal'".
>“The focus of the legislation should be pornographic websites, rather than popular social media platforms on which pornographic material is only a small part of the overall content.”
Remember: "Focus" != "limit"
> the likes of Twitter and Facebook can be asked to remove their services from the non-compliant sites
Surely Twitter and Facebook are sites. I'm guessing this means they should block the accounts, in the UK at least. They won't do anything until they're compelled by law.
> the government’s purported aim of protecting children from stumbling across porn online
I doubt anyone "stumbles" over a dedicated porn site, they go in search of it. The kiddies might stumble across porn on sites they already use, like Twitter. So it won't even make a dent in the problem it claims to solve.
> This will be a welcome move for those who feared further creep of state control of the web, and the spectre of a regulator being able to require an ISP to block Twitter.
No it isn't welcome at all. This is the thin end of the wedge. When the govt find this doesn't work they'll go further and the social media sites will eventually be on the target list... as will any site where you can post anything, including El Reg. That annoying Disqus company will be running all the forums. And since age ID often means full ID that scope will creep too. It'll be well supported too because it's Jess Phillips and co's preferred solution to attempt to stop all online abuse.
So if I started Dave's Kitten Emporium (also featuring hardcore smut) and uploaded two videos of cute kittens to every one of sex I'd be exempt from the regulations?
Are reddit going to have to calculate just how much of its content is porn, and do comments count as not-porn?
Technically if just the fleshy bits are porn, then as long as the image/video is not zoomed in too much then it's very unlikely that it will be 2/3 porn. For a video, is the measure per frame or overall? So would a 10 second blah, blah, blah, warning or advert at the beginning and/or end of an online video mean average out?
I've not tried Opera for a while, but doesn't that come with a free VPN? Even if it's a bit crap, at least grot will be freely available without ID. I have my own VPN solution - for research purposes - but for non-techies, it could make that browser quite popular.
I wonder how the security services feel about a mass take-up of VPNs in the general population.
Also I wonder when they are going to start advertising jobs at the BBFC for classifying websites. You could be fired for not browsing porn.
Firstly from times when I work with only "slightly" tech people it seems VPNs are a fairly well known solution for general piracy, so there's no reason why they wouldn't think to put them to use for porn. As this is rolled out I imagine the knowledge only spread; soon every child in the playground will be using their mates dad's VPN for their porn needs (because what 14 year old can afford a decent VPN?).
Combine this with the prevalence of Tor for the procurement of all ones black market pharmaceutical needs (again, even amongst by people who work far from the tech sector) and soon every last one of us will look like a terrorist as far as GCHQ is concerned. So many of their potential employees will have used one or both of these things it will be literally impossible for them to recruit enough people to do the spying.
Opera Mobile has or had a free VPN solution. Even if that has gone, plenty of new ones which can be used to surf porn (and which also serve up adverts in order to fund themselves) will spring up, along with a crop of malicious VPNs which infect your hardware with viruses.
The kids won't care, just so long as they can get their jollies.
Some VPNs allow one to select your "new" ip address as if from another nation.
So if in Spain, and using a VPN service allowing one to choose use of a spoofing UK ip address, can one reasonable expect to be able to access BBC iPlayer programs on the sunny Costa Blanca?
And whenever BBC iPlayer returns its ..... Not available in your foreign location ..... is the VPN a fraud?
solutions should confirm only that a person is aged 18 or over, rather than confirming their identity.
So, as already mentioned, that pretty much only leaves the "Are You 18 or over" checkbox as the solution of choice...
Anything else like Credit Card validation, AdultPass etc would require proof of identity as well.
Anything else like Credit Card validation, AdultPass etc would require proof of identity as well.
But that requires the separation of the age verification from the pr0n - which is clearly an issue in the Mindgeek setup.
It could work like this:
Age Verifier asks for proof of ID
Age Verifier sets up credentials
Age Verifier deletes ID
Then when you're up for a bit of grot browsing, the Age Verifier can issue a token which grants access. ID is not held at all after the initial setup - except maybe an email address for password resets.
Oh course, this means that one kid sets it up with his dad's credit card and then sends the credentials to all his mates.
So, yes, it's feasible but it's still a stupid idea.
Would I trust ID data to a 3rd party (even if they claimed to delete it) - NO.
.. It would not be age verification, they would want something that has all the data needed for identity theft, such as passport, driving licence.
Would a pr0n film from a reputable company with you involved be sufficient proof of age? Given the filmmakers vet ages of participants to ensure over 18 (21 in some jurisdictions) - hours of fun as lack of age proof stops you accessing the film that proves your age.
"[...] hours of fun as lack of age proof stops you accessing the film that proves your age."
The cast of the 1963 film "Lord of the Files" was lots of boys aged up to 12. One live adult gets a two minute role right at the end of the film. When the film was released the boys were all to young to see it in a cinema.
"Given the filmmakers vet ages of participants to ensure over 18 (21 in some jurisdictions) - hours of fun as lack of age proof stops you accessing the film that proves your age."
A man in the UK was prosecuted for having browsed a US gay pr0n site that had actors' age verification. He was convicted because the police said some of the people in the browser's cache "looked under 18". His conviction was only overturned in the appeal courts.
"The law in the UK is appears or is intended to appear < 18"
Completely kills St Trinians costumes for fancy dress parties if anyone should take any pictures. A Bristol club's licence was made conditional on not using that theme on their posters for fancy dress nights.
Kent University (UK) student committee have just laid down draft rules for what is not allowed as fancy dress at a student entertainment - for fear of causing offence or hurt. Among the many proscriptions are Priests or Nuns - so there goes the old Vicars and Tarts parties of the 1970s.
"Oh course, this means that one kid sets it up with his dad's credit card and then sends the credentials to all his mates.
In the supermarket today a very tall lad built like the proverbial brick building was buying a large bottle of spirits. He towered over the assistant asking him for ID to show he was 18+. He apparently hadn't any - so had to leave without it. The rule they apply is "looking under 25".
Doesn't Her Majesty's Government have something better to do than trying to interfere with people's viewing habits?
I'd point out that PM May's "Totally Brexit Folly" project is running full steam onto the rocks of a no-deal exist and they should be focusing on that surely?
Are they going to install a Great Firewall to block all non-complying foreign sites? Are they going to try to sue them? That might work against the ones that charge, since they'd be collecting revenue in the UK that could be attached by the government. But who the hell pays for porn? Certainly not those under 18 who'd have to use their parents' credit card!
Are they going to install a Great Firewall to block all non-complying foreign sites?
I hadn't thought about this before, but do the big porn sites use CDNs? The same CDNs that are hosting non-pr0n? I realise that I could check this with a "view source" but not at work I can't.
well, with BREXIT dividend (very soon, hurrah!), it'd take... lemmethink.... 350 million per week that's got to be... no more than a couple of hourse. Yeah, we can afford it! And the benefit is priceless: eternal bliss knowing that our children are safe. Fuck yeah!
DEVIL DOG Haddington man who had genitals ‘ripped off and eaten’ seen walking with bulldog just days earlier
"There were fears today the dog may have eaten the organs — making it impossible for them to be reattached."
It seems cruel to kill the dog over this when people who know it describe it as a little angel. I know plenty of women who would be happy to rehome it.
Require parents and guardians who provide internet service to their kids at home or via mobile to choose a provider who manages a publicly accessible blacklist. The provider switches on the block as managed by the parent via App/IP/MAC/Timestamp or subject to retinal scan. Pick some means of identification.
Let them pay for this imposed service via their ISP. Call it a parent tax. This will solve 2 problems.
1) The irritated parents will be more likely vote for someone who will repeal this monstrous law.
2) Those of us who don't have to pay the tax can feel slightly smug and less irritated by parent parking at the supermarket.
It's about controlling your internet access.
People doing stuff that the government can't control is something a centralized state like the UK finds hard to tolerate. If HMG had set up the internet, we would have licensed users with registered IPs paying a license tax every year, with all usage monitored.
As it is the govt. is playing catch-up. In incremental steps over the past decade, it has banned hate speech, extremist material, violent and other 'unacceptable' porn and now makes people in effect register for the rest. Monitoring and data retention systems ensure compliance. Because terrorists and protecting the children.
They are halfway there. Expect more, much more to come.
She said that it was impossible to accurately quantify the value of the risk, but had put it in the range of £1m to £10m in the first year. James added that due to the wide bracket the BBFC couldn’t get commercial insurance – and so will have to rely on the government to bail it out.
The fact that the ravenous and rapacious insurance market is steering well clear and not prepared to accept/underwrite any risk is surely a certain sign that the program is guaranteed to fail spectacularly. ‽
I'm assuming that this isn't actually a completely retarded policy that is technically impossible to implement, but there is in fact a cunning plan.
So far the coding boot camps, IT in all subjects and general ramming of computers into every educational orifice have yet to produce the wunder geeks so needed in these desperate times.
So how do we force the kids to learn some tech? Block their porn :)
Based on my experiences with school IT support, most 14 year olds can manage a fairly high level of technical attacks, and are surprisingly good at thinking their way around stuff.
The simplest trick I've seen to escape the filters is to use non-roman languages or non-roman websites. Never had to block Cyrillic, Arabic and Hebrew at an adults workplace, but those 14 year olds have a taste for the Russian sites.
I'd like to claim my mad tech skillz spotted this, but t was overhearing one of the young gentleman use a couple of choice Russian swear words that made me notice....
I'm sure that one of the adult performers moved on to selling their own range of kitchen equipment, or cooking, but googling for it is tending to produce misleading results..
Simply ramp up the number of recipes to 67% of the site, problem solved. No-one will believe you that you're reading it 'for the recipes' but at least it won't be blocked.
Facebook, with its huge resources cannot prevent determined children from joining the site.
UK Gov hasn't got a cat in hell chance of keeping prying children/teenagers away from porn.
While the intention has merit, its prosecution will be a calamity.
Every porn viewing adult, which is practically every adult, will now be open to many more vectors of attack, as they get forced to hand over details that will eventually be weaponised against them, whether that be the original site owners or those who hack it wide open. And all the while the very children who are supposed to be kept protected will be downloading ever more dodgy software to maintain their go anywhere ability, leaving them open to ever more invasive attacks as their gadgets get taken over to become another platform for kiddie porn content.
If our government was capable of planning beyond its myopic vision, then something workable could be expected, but oh no, our civil service is home to the most cretinous dimwits that crawled out of the sea, and their hierarchical structure specifically tuned to allow the very least in brain power to climb to stations reserved for them at birth.
They can just DNS block all pr0n like they do pirate sites in Australia. Then everyone can change their DNS and continue as normal.
Fogies in government feel good because they did something to mitigate a perceived threat, people don't care because nothing has changed.