back to article Let 15 July forever be known as P-Day: When UK's smut fans started being asked for their age

Stick 15 July in your diary because the government has at last broken its silence over when the UK's age checks for online porn will come into force – thrusting legions of onanists a timeline for either their last hurrahs or how they intend to circumvent the system. Bunny costume Easter is approaching – and British pr0n …

  1. Matthew 3

    Opera?

    Will the Opera browser's VPN feature (proxy-a-like) neatly bypass all of the age-verification requirements by making the connection appear to be from another country?

    Asking for a friend...

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Opera?

      Yes, yes it does. I've been using it for some time. Mostly for US news sites that give the GDPR ~ this content is not available in your region... Some sites still refuse even with the VPN set to Americas. YMMV...

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: Opera?

        Why do you bother reading American news sites? They're useless. Why do you think I come *HERE* to get any real news? It says something when I have to get American news from a European reporter covering stateside issues because local sources can't be arsed to bother.

        ElReg FTW! =-D

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Opera?

          I thought you came here for our caustic wit, and afternoon tea!

          1. caffeine addict

            Re: Opera?

            Oh carp. I've been doing caustic tea and afternoon wit.

            Have... have I become an American?

          2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

            Re: Opera?

            No, I come for the caustic tea & afternoon wit. =-)P

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. toxicdragon

      Re: Opera?

      Did not know about that feature, thank you. Opera downloaded and installed.

      1. ds6

        Re: Opera?

        FYI: Opera is souped-up Chrome, just like every other fancy-pants browser (see: Vivaldi, Edge)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let 15 July forever be known as P-Day?

    Or W-Day.

  3. jasha

    Good morning Mr. Newsagent. I'd like to purchase one of your fine jazz vouchers please.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Will it be possible to duplicate / share these vouchers?

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        @Katrinab

        I'll wager whatever algorithm that checks the age verification code will get cracked in hours, and codes will be freely available, rendering all of this useless in the first week.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          I'll wager whatever algorithm that checks the age verification code will get cracked in hours, and codes will be freely available, rendering all of this useless in the first week.

          I'll wager than anyone who truly cares will bugger off elsewhere, rendering all of this useless before it even begins.

          It's not like it's hard to come across porn elsewhere in the world....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jizz ticket sounds better or you could have wank pass, hermit permit, sausage licence, ass pass, nut visa, hard card and onanism credential.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Swiss Anton

        I don't care what its called, just as long as it can be wiped clean with a moist cloth after use.

    3. NATTtrash Silver badge

      It being all digital and such may make it look all shiny, modern and new, but if you think about it, it's probably more a blast from the past:

      Something for the weekend sir?

  4. Alister Silver badge

    So is this going to work like the Pirate Bay block then, in that ISPs and DNS providers will redirect or block requests to pages which don't ask for age-verification?

    I can't see how this is going to be put into practice?

    1. Shardik
      FAIL

      It's obvious, they're going to solve it using 'technology' :)

      Frickin idiots. Which one of them has shares in a VPN provider?

      But they're not going to apply it to Twitter, cos nobody ever posts pr0n on twitter... and the kids wouldn't know how to get it from there...

      Untold levels of stupidity. But good job we're not letting un-elected representatives set our laws. Oh no. That would never do....

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        "But they're not going to apply it to Twitter, cos nobody ever posts pr0n on twitter" (or tumblr)

        They've said it will apply to websites where more than one third of the content is porn, so presumably if for every photo of someone with their kit off, you have two photos of them wearing clothes, everything is ok. I'm not sure how it's counted if one person is naked, but they're next to two people with their clothes on. Or perhaps you have two pictures of kittens for every bit of porn.

        Which is part of the problem. There's no definition of porn that works, which makes legislating against it tricky.

        Oh well, I know how to set up a VPN, so this is a moot point really.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Or you just have a url on your site which returns digits of pi.

          since the content of your site is (finite amount of porn / infinite digits of pi) you mathematically have zero proportion of porn on your site

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I'm not entirely sure that the amount of porn on the internet is actually finite?

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Or perhaps you have two pictures of kittens for every bit of porn.

          That combination is going to be like catnip to the furries.

          1. Valerion

            Or perhaps you have two pictures of kittens for every bit of porn.

            One site for all your pussy-related needs...

        3. defiler

          There's no definition of porn that works, which makes legislating against it tricky.

          Of course there is! I know it when I see it.

          Come on, guys - let's legislate!

        4. Joe Harrison

          Oh well, I know how to set up a VPN, so this is a moot point really.

          People in China knew how to setup a VPN and this worked for them... at first.

        5. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Proportion of non pr0n to pr0n

          ..if for every photo of someone with their kit off, you have two photos of them wearing clothes, everything is ok ..

          Problem there is that there's plenty of pretty explicit, undeniably hardcore porn out there where both (or often all) of the participants are fully clothed throughout.

          or so I've heard <ahem>

    2. iron Silver badge

      You mean the Pirate Bay I can still access from within the UK on my UK ISP? That block was only ever required for the big 5 ISPs, smaller ISPs were never required to implement it.

      I expect to still be able to read the articles on my favourite gentleman's sites on July 15th without need for workarounds.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "I expect to still be able to read the articles on my favourite gentleman's sites on July 15th without need for workarounds."

        Depends on whether they add it to CleanFeed or whether they apply for court orders for each one. I suspect they might go down the CleanFeed route, thus making CleanFeed a loss less clear-cut from a moral point of view.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        surely that just invites the accusation that all users of small isp's must be grumble flick addicts (and pirate bay users).

        see this is how they get you. they offer you the choice and make it seem like you have the freedom of choosing. when in fact, by choosing the ISP without restrictions just means they know where to go looking for the miscreants and delinquents. because why else would you use the smaller ISP if it wasnt for access to grumble flicks and pirate bay and episodes of that tv series you like to watch, is free to watch, but you cant because of reasons only the media conglomerates, and their political shills understand? surely you're a wrong'un.

        your use of ad and social garbage blockers has already flagged up your connection anyway. dont make it any worse for yourself sunshine.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "{...] why else would you use the smaller ISP [...]"

          Because they don't off-shore their help desk - and have techies on the phone? It's like an insurance policy - you don't mind paying a premium subscription for a good solution should you ever need it.

      3. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        > I expect to still be able to read the articles on my favourite gentleman's sites on July 15th without need for workarounds.

        Unlikely.

        It's not the ISPs who'll be implementing this but the sites themselves. Your ISP may not implement blocks against non-compliant sites (though those won't be coming for quite some time), but if the site identifies you as being in the UK, you'll be asked to but your name to your.... uh... viewings.

        The first 6 months or so are going to be prime hunting for scammers, putting fake "verify your age" systems onto honeytrap sites.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not quite. Sites need to add age verification to avoid isp's being forced to block them. If UK based they'll also be risking a trip to court.

    3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      I can't see how this is going to be put into practice?

      Well, the first thing that will have to happen is that some poor soul (!) at the ministry of fun is going to have to apply for the new job position; said job will require him[0] to spend his[1] days searching the interwebs for porn[2], and having found some, analysing every image and video there to calculate the ratio of porn to non-porn[3].

      Of course, before then, he has to persuade his IT department to unblock access to said sites, since I'm sure they're already blocked at his place of work. Oh, and he could be in for some interesting discussions with HR...

      [0] other sexes and orientations are available

      [1] as are other pronouns

      [2] definitions of porn may vary

      [3] 1/3 by content? By length duration? By (ahem) size?

      1. Drone Pilot

        Re: I can't see how this is going to be put into practice?

        I think you're onto something there.

        Keep the ratio teeting on the edge of the 1/3-2/3rds mark. That way they can keep appealing the categorisation which will force the guvment to constantly audit the ratio.

        Pretty sure you can find enough naturei̶s̶t̶ photos to make up the ratio. Easy for site to control, difficult to audit :)

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: I can't see how this is going to be put into practice?

          "..will force the guvment to constantly audit the ratio"

          Nah, enough appeals and they'll fall back on the tried & trusted method used by bluenoses throughout the ages:

          "There's a partial nipple on page 34,293. It's a porn site!"

  5. rmason

    P-Day?

    P-day? bloody P-day?

    This is " Sexit", surely?

    1. rmason

      Re: P-Day?

      obligatory apology for calling you Shirley.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: P-Day?

      p-for-porn

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: P-Day?

        w-for-whoosh...

    3. Avian

      Re: P-Day?

      Nah P-Day is correct, Pay-Day.

      There'll already be hundreds of scammers and similar low life working out how to take advantage of this nonsense.

      For those that have any level of technical literacy (including most of the kids) this means nothing and will be circumvented easily. For the naïve or plain lazy they'll get well and truly screwed in more than the way the idiots in parliament thought. I just hope that some of the politicians are among them.

  6. m0rt

    UKGOV...

    We Parent So You Don't Have To™

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Porn Identity

    Can't wait for the sequels, particularly "The Porn Ultimatum"

    1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

      Re: The Porn Identity

      Frankly I can well do without Jason Porn....

    2. Simon Harris

      Re: The Porn Identity

      The government will be throttling the bandwidth to naughty sites so we'll be restricted to

      One Porn Every Minute

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Porn Identity

        Throttling the bandwidth?

        Actually yes, it was a Tory MP who died of auto-asphyxiation, and I'm not even making a Brexit joke.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The Porn Identity

          Orange is not the only fruit ...

        2. AK565

          Re: The Porn Identity

          I thought you were joking. I got as far as "tory mp au...." tje the search bar auto completed.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Porn Identity

      However I highly doubt the Porn Legacy will leave you on the edge of your seat.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: The Porn Identity

        COnan the Destroyer

  8. Spider

    The State. Screwing up since day one.

    It appears to compound the monumental levels of idiocy DCMS emailed every tech journo in the land to inform them of the impending day. Promptly CCing everyone in the email and revealing their contacts to everyone else.

    Guess which dept is responsible for GDPR...

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    FAIL

    It won't work

    See title.

    P.S. Kids are smarter than politicians

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: It won't work

      .. lumps of rock are smarter than most politicians

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It won't work - No, It's much worse than that!

      Not only will it not work, it'll also force kids off of legit sites, and towards the dark underbelly of the internet.

      I was personally affected by this - it influenced my life significantly, almost certainly for the worse.

      I first started looking at porn when I was 12. We had 56k dialup. For whatever reason, I didn't get into "commercial" porn - maybe it was because I didn't have a credit card, maybe it was because the commercial stuff just seemed fake and plasticky, (I prefer 'amateur' stuff, which itself risks annihilation thanks to new censorship laws)

      You can guess what happened next. At 13, I was finding porn on Kazaa/LimeWire/eDonkey etc. The kinds of porn I would find on there was some of the worst that the Internet had to offer. But, to my 13 year old self, this didn't seem wrong.

      Later in my teenage years I started to realise how wrong this stuff was, but I felt that I couldn't talk to anyone and I was already becoming hooked. ADSL speeds meant that I could download swaths of the stuff and pick out what I wanted later.

      To cut a long story short, I eventually got seriously mangled by the Criminal Justice system. I had never hurt anyone, paid for anything, etc. I had even turned off uploads in file-sharing software, because I felt bad about redistributing this stuff and potentially causing someone else to fall into the same hole that I had fallen into.

      I was jailed for what was essentially thought crime, but for a thought that was not my own. It was an infection, picked up in an online cess-pit.

      However, I really don't think censorship or forced identification will help this. People will always look at porn, but if you force people away from perfectly legal porn, then they are certain to find less-legal alternatives. I think the NSPCC is being completely counterproductive to childrens' wellbeing here, and actually risks creating not just porn addicts, but full blown perverts like me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It won't work - No, It's much worse than that!

        "I first started looking at porn when I was 12."

        You are not alone.

        My path wasn't exactly the same as yours, but still did damage, and still got me in trouble.

        Although it has caused me some issues with friends, I know I cannot ever judge anyone who gets done for kiddie porn as I myself could so easily have been infected with the same bug. It really was a matter of which file I randomly clicked on that took me into a different form of the same addiction. It is a very easy trap to be caught in.

        I fully agree with the rest of your message.

  10. Simon Ward

    I'll give it 24hrs, _absolute_ tops, after implementation before someone finds a way around it which doesn't involve Tor or a VPN.

    Also, given how many tits and arses seem to inhabit the place, I wonder if Parliamentary websites will be age-gated ...

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Also, given how many tits and arses seem to inhabit the place, I wonder if Parliamentary websites will be age-gated ...

      You mean they haven't blatantly excused themselves from the system, for , ehm, research purposes...?

      1. Ogi

        > You mean they haven't blatantly excused themselves from the system, for , ehm, research purposes...?

        Well, *someone* has to view all the material in order to decide whether it qualifies as porn or not.

        On the flip side, perhaps they will outsource it to private industry. I can imagine the job postings for "porn categorization officer" already....

      2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        They'll likely give it over to either mumsnet or some anti sex radical feminist / religious group (who oddly now have joined forces to ban prostitution in the Netherlands, using clickbait wording to persuade 40K youths of the "evils" of prostitution. Who'd guessed feminists and the religious would have such similar interests - telling women what to wear, what jobs they can and can't do, telling them that they are being unwittingly brainwashed and need saving from themselves, telling them to be afraid as they are surrounded by danger.

        The world of the handmaids tale will come and it'll be because the rad fems will again chuck their lot in with the relgious fanatics and then the whole thing will blow up in everyone's face....

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          rad fems will again chuck their lot in with the relgious fanatics and then the whole thing will blow up in everyone's face

          Think I've seen this scene on xhamster

        2. LucreLout Silver badge
          Joke

          They'll likely give it over to either mumsnet or some anti sex radical feminist group

          "Or" seems to be extraneous.....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Shurely by definition, (the vast majority of) Mumsnet users must have had sex at least once, and possibly even enjoyed it?

      3. Paul Shirley

        If all age ID providers guaranteed to out politicians I wonder how many days it would take to repeal the law?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It will make porn more visible

      Just like back in the day, you'd stumble on a mag left in the park, or in your mates locker, with it harder to go to porn, porn will come to us.

      Expect psople to start posting more stuff to "innocent" websites, or youtube, or facebook... censors will have a hard time (pun intended) whack-a-mole takes on a whole new meaning.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It will make porn more visible

        Or even sign up for the littlewoods catalogue for the women's lingerie section.... Or so I've heard.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Curious, is there a law against selling these shop bought porn passes on for a profit? I can see there being a market for people that don't want to buy one from a shop.

    1. chas49

      From reading the ElReg stuff yesterday, I don't think resale is illegal though it might be impractical as the "porn passes" expire 24 hours after purchase.

      I suppose the business model could be to have teams of people outside newsagents offering to go in and buy said pass for (say) £1 extra.....

      1. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Facepalm

        Wait, what? The pass only last 24 hours? So my friend who doesn't want to register their details online needs to make a journey to the newsagent every day?

        Is there a charge for these passes? That's going to get expensive. And who makes the profit? There must be some profit for the shop otherwise they're not going to sell them. And we all know how good shops are at age checking yoofs buying alcohol...

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          IIRC the code lasts 24 hrs from issue to allow you to verify to the online service you are appropriatley aged to view the content requested. Once registered with said service, no further codes are required.

          1. Gordon861

            So in that case we will have a return of the old username/password list sites offering 'working' details to various sites, half of which never worked.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > IIRC the code lasts 24 hrs from issue to allow you to verify to the online service you are appropriatley aged to view the content requested. Once registered with said service, no further codes are required.

            Does the code last just 24 hours because the Government is worried that purchasers might get younger in the meantime?

          3. Simon Harris

            So presumably some algorithm that hashes expiry date, user ID, etc. into a passcode.

            I predict a surge in passcode generators, like the licence key generators we're already familiar with, which may or may not work and probably coming with a malware payload.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ElGov Fails again, headline shocker! :P

    So basically the UK gov has essentially just legislated to the effect that every person in the UK must register their sexual fetishes with elgov in order to access porn.

    Will Elgov ensure that once this data reaches the public domain (and you can bet it will, its not a matter of if but when) will Elgov ensure that Teachers, Police, Those whose jobs need SC wont be losing their jobs, houses, pensions as a result? Or will they wash their hand of it and say its all the purview of whatever 3rd party system was used, despite Elgov forcing this upon everyone through primary law? First they came for the smokers, drinkers and then the porn addicts.... (we all know where this will end)

    Bunch of ham-fisted wankers (yes it was intended) who are too stupid to listen to those who are literally screaming from the rooftops about what a bad idea this is and wont even take responsbility for their actions. remind me why do we have a government? Votes? So called democracy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: ElGov Fails again, headline shocker! :P

      As an example of how secure the new system will be

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47962405

    2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Re: ElGov Fails again, headline shocker! :P

      or retrospectively charge those with "deviant" interests, who previously had annoyingly "just stayed within the bounds of the law" aka committed no crime. That or within 2 days the cops will be demanding access to the logs to see who they can fit up, I mean narrow down their list of suspects.......

    3. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: ElGov Fails again, headline shocker! :P

      No, they've just demanded that all school children should learn how to evade government internet blockades from an early age and to teach them with a strong practical element. It's a great idea.

    4. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      FAIL

      Re: ElGov Fails again, headline shocker! :P

      As soon as this law gets implemented, then we'll see the usual mob of blackmailers jumping onto this wonderful new platform. Send a blackmail demand to enough people and sooner or later you'll hit a guilty conscience and get a pay-off, regardless of whether you can demonstrate that they bought a wanking licence, or can demonstrate which porn sites they visited.

      The safest way to obtain such material in future will therefore be not to play the Government's game, and to boycott the age verification system in favour of a VPN.

      The problem with all of this is that it is teaching the general population that laws don't apply to them unless they get caught, and that the government is spectacularly thick so even being minimally smarter means you won't get caught.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have three months left of unfettered self-love to enjoy

    Or fettered self-love, if that is your thing?

  14. Paul Johnson 1
    FAIL

    Pushing kids and ignorant adults towards dodgy VPNs

    There are a lot of free VPNs out there, but most of them are pretty scammy (big surprise there). If you are lucky you just get a bunch of adverts injected into your browsing experience. If you are unlucky you get your passwords stolen and malware delivered.

    The people most likely to fall for these outfits are:

    * Children (wow! think of the children!) because they don't have credit cards or spare money to pay for a reputable VPN.

    * Unsophisticated adults who don't know any better.

    * Poor people of all ages who don't have the spare money (see above).

    So measures that are ostensibly aimed at protecting children will actually put them even more at risk than they are now.

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: Pushing kids and ignorant adults towards dodgy VPNs

      Hmm. I think that Cloudflare will be offering a free VPN service called Warp Real Soon Now®. If so, and if they let you choose your 'origin' IP, why I suspect that lots and lots of idiots who rely on IP addresses for all kinds of checks may have a small problem. Cloudflare has a fairly good rep, they should be reliable. Cloudflare says that Warp+, the pay version of Warp, will be cheap and feature-filled, so depending on how cheap and which features it might be the way to go even if the base Warp VPN isn't good enough.

  15. J. R. Hartley

    Bollocks

    If you'll pardon the expression.

    As usual, it'll be the adults that suffer. Kids know how to circumvent this type of shit. Also, VPN sales set to skyrocket.

    1. AK565

      Re: Bollocks

      Well that's kind of what i mean. Im having serious difficulty with the concept that a bunch of middle aged adults can actually keep a 15 yr old from his porn.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Gimp

    More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

    OK, one gaping, gushing hairy, hole for websites to use to get around verification.

    I already know one site that will be safe, they sell a mix of pron and Japanese sweets & nicknaks !!!

    Selling gimp masks doesnt count as pron does it??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

      I think the <1/3rd content exemption also requires that the site is not promoting itself as a pron site. So it will be back to the early days of the web, and before that the archives with email based interfaces, where you could unexpectedly stumble across a hiden pron vault while looking for something quite different (e.g. back in the early days of the web when NCSA maintained a "new websites of the month" page that a Dutch university - Delft I think - announced that they were online with there research papers etc, a moderately large collection of F1 video clips ... and the "largest online collection of pron in Europe")

      1. defiler

        Re: More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

        It was indeed Delft - I remember it well. Was quite the eye-opener.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

        Yep, that was one of the better ones. From back when a 5-part gif would sometimes be missing a part...

      3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

        So:

        1) rename site to Prawn Hub

        2) upload millions of pictures and videos of happy crustaceae living happy crustacean lives

        3) Profit!

      4. jake Silver badge

        Re: More than 1/3rd of the website is pron ??

        "and the "largest online collection of pron in Europe""

        They claimed "in the world!" until I pointed out an unnamed, dotted quad accessible anonymous FTP site located in Berkeley IP space that was basically a USENET binaries archive.

  17. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

    More like vPn Day

    Right? Right?

  18. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Slippery slope

    "We want the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online"

    Who decides whats safe today?

    Who decides whats safe tomorrow?

    When pr0n is declared non-safe, what will take its place as the latest unsafe "protect the children" emergency?

    Knives and their use, dangerous sports like football, cheap Chinese li-ion batteries, civil disobedience, bacon?

    Thinking about how dangerous these things are to kids:

    1. Pr0n, makes kids learn how humans interact. Makes kids ask questions to parents who cant get over the embarrassment to teach them why its there, why it costs money, how its mostly exaggerated to increase exceitemnt of the viewer (just like in those toy and sweet ads kids).

    2. Knives, yes, dont carry one unless you are preparing meat for the dish and when doing so NEVER RUN WITH IT.

    3. Sports. Wear the safety equipment when told to. When not told to just dont be stupid. Accidents happen.

    4. Cheap li-ion batteries. Dont put them in your pockets.

    5. Civil disobedience. Its a bad idea to glue yourself to a DLR train.

    6. Bacon. Will ever so slightly increase your chances of getting cancer if you eat it all the time.

    Why cant my ISP just block access till I call them and enable it? My ISP knows a lot more about me than I generally would like but at least its limited to them and not some ageid bods employed in china who can see me access blahblah.com for my personal time then call me on my landline when they start work in the other call centre telling me they know that site has infected my PC and they were told by microsoft to log on and fix it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slippery slope

      I thought ISP's in the UK did that already

  19. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Has el Reg checked it's email from the Ministry of Fun? According to the Beeb at least some notifications went out without the benefit of BCC. Also according to the report they were trying to work out whether this had to be reported to the ICO. Nevertheless they take security seriously. You couldn't make it up. Unfortunately someone made them up.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Aaaarg. its!

      1. DJV Silver badge
  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next child protection emergency?

    Games

    When will they add age checks to playing a game?

    Surely to protect the kids everyone would love to have their age checked every single time they turn on the console?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next child protection emergency?

      Surely id checks on games would be used to block those OVER 18, who should grow up and get a life?

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

        Re: Next child protection emergency?

        You could try a game or two, and find out they're really quite fun, as valid forms of media as the more traditional offerings, and just as emotionally involving when you find a decent one.

        I do have a life, thanks, which is why I spent more time not gaming than gaming, but I still enjoy it.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Next child protection emergency?

      I will be getting my age id so I can continue using beer porn sites when the "are you 18 yes/no" popups start demanding proof. You know it's coming with the current war against drink.

      Pictures of gushing beer taps, frothing head (on pints) and mixed groups of Belgian beer bottles jostling in crates will continue to be mine!

      Very convenient...

  21. Simon Harris

    "It's perfectly safe"

    Says government that leaks addresses of 300 journalists when sending out press release about online porn restrictions.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47962405

    File under 'couldn't make it up'.

  22. quattroprorocked

    Next up "Harms"

    Once they get this sorted "for the kids", you'll have noticed them muttering about protecting us all from "harms" online and not wanting SM to enable some features for kids, but how will SM know they are kids (or not kids), and be able to show that they did their best to know?

    Yep, AV for all soon enough UNLESS you want the child only version of the Net.

    1. defiler

      Re: Next up "Harms"

      child only version of the Net

      Some people would like that. And not the people you'd want in there. :-/

    2. brianpope

      Re: Next up "Harms"

      And you will need your "Real News ID" to avoid "Fake News" from The Mirror, Daily Mail, Telegraph...or be permitted to access international news and journal sites, research etc.

      Oh, yes, and opt out of mandatory Facebook advertising.

  23. Blockchain commentard
    Facepalm

    Can someone please think of the politicians - how will they view porn from their Westminster offices? Oh, they hadn't thought that they'd be included with the hoi polloi.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "how will they view porn from their Westminster offices?"

      They just subscribe to Adult Sat/Cable channels and put it on expenses under "research".

  24. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother

    So

    the children are 'protected' from accessing pr0n that may affect their young minds

    Lets all watch the latest call of duty/grand theft auto game and see people being shot, and blown up for fun.. then notice its the kids playing it.

    AgeID time

    Lets bring the nazis into this, its legal to read 'mein kampfh' * not any more : ageID , lets throw das kapital into that area too

    Little by little the restrictions that seem so reasonable at the time come in until you are left with an on-line record of what you want to access, when, and most likely a list of your friends from facebook too......

    *I am aware of the mis-spelling... its a dreadful book to read if you ever have the mis-fortune to have a read of a copy..

  25. jake Silver badge

    Couple questions.

    1) Do they have a definition of "pornography" that actually works?

    2) Enforcement ... What are they going to do, bust (oh, err ...) into one's abode in the hope of catching one red-handed (as it were)? How many of the Thin Blue Line are looking forward to becoming part of the Wank Squad? Bring a Child to Work Day just got interesting :-)

    3) What is the wording that exempts politicians and their sycophants/spouse/sprog from the law? (I don't know that this actually exists, but from past experience I'll bet they left themselves at least a loophole, if not an outright exception).

    4) If I were to put up a Gopher site with porn on it ... does the law only cover WWW? (Hint to kiddies of all ages: Usenet still exists.)

    5) If I'm a porn site located in Brazil targeting British tastes (whatever that means) and refuse to comply with British Law, what really happens? Are there any teeth in this law, or is it all blustering bullshit from politicians looking to get re-elected?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Couple questions.

      As for enforcement, the law affects publishers not viewers - you won't get plod at your door unless you're running a non-compliant porn site from home!

      And if a site doesn't comply, they'll be put on the ISP block list that already exists for pirate sites. Your gut will tell you how effective that is!

  26. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    No one in government expects this to work. It's a necessary prerequisite to a...

    ...white list. Entry to which will be inexpensive. At first...

  27. Generic_Killer_Robot

    Enter year of birth>>>>>>>>>>>>>1900>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Verified!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nocebo effect.

    If there's anything likely to cause your pencil to go from 2H to 4B, it'll be contemplating how old you actually are

  29. Ian Court

    Ugh.

    Another fine example of an Act of Parliament set out by those whom have little understanding of technology and the inherent privacy risks.

    It will be ineffective because tech-savvy people, regardless of age, will take their porn through the back door.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh.

      > tech-savvy people, regardless of age, will take their porn through the back door.

      Gay porn isn't being blocked? :-)

  30. mark l 2 Silver badge

    If it only applies to sites with two thirds of the content classified as porn, how are the BBFC supposed to check the ratio if all the content is behind a paywall?

    Will they demand free access to all pay sites to verify how much content they have?

    I will wait until july 16th and see how much porn you can access without requiring any ages checks, I bet it is a LOT! But at least the mumnet users can got back to not having to actually monitor what their kids are doing online, because the government has them covered.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Will they demand free access to all pay sites to verify how much content they have?

      Interesting question, but I suspect pointless. If it's a pay site (like the Daily Telegraph or the Financial Times) presumably one has had to use plastic to pay, and credit cards are only available to people over 18. Therefore age has been verified.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Uh, no, a telegraph subscription can be purchased with a prepaid credit card that was bought for cash from a UK supermarket. An amazon gift card would probably also work as the telegraph accepts Amazon Pay.

        I know of a certain private site that requires a small payment or an invite from a existing member and contains astounding amounts of porn which can be paid for by feeding a twenty pound note into one of the many bitcoin ATM's around the UK with no age verification.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      The kids will just use their mum's porn-pass

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Gimp

        Will it be an official Mumsnet branded porn pass?

  31. JoMe

    On the other hand, some 60 per cent thought it was a great idea.

    60% of what amount?

    Good luck getting people to hand over drivers licenses or other private data to get their tickle on. What an excellent way to provide ID thieves everything they need.

    Dumba--es.

    1. Tromos
      Joke

      Re: On the other hand, some 60 per cent thought it was a great idea.

      However, 72% thought it was a terrible idea and the other 85% were undecided.

  32. Christoph
    Flame

    Wouldn't it be nice if the Tories who are so worried about British children seeing smut were also worried about British children starving due to their austerity policies?

    1. P0l0nium

      You can buy a dozen eggs for 7 minutes of minimum wage !!

      There are a load of excuses for not feeding your kids but "Austerity" isn't one of them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Get sensible.

        Around these parts, the poor folks keep chickens. A baker's dozen will yield about a dozen eggs per day. Sometimes they'll also keep a hog or two and/or a milk-cow, which just so happens to need to be bred once a year to produce milk, so they have beef, too. Don't forget bunnies, there is nothing that produces meat faster than rabbit ... and strangely enough, the kids don't seem to grow up to have any hangups about sex. They also learn to share from an early age. Go figure.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

          Re: Get sensible.

          This does rather suppose you have land to put chickens or a cow on. You need a garden/yard for chickens. Very few UK houses have enough land to support anything larger than a chicken.

          If you're penniless in a flat a chicken is not an option.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Poverty and food is complex.

      Have a look through the Angry Chef's blog to where he recounts trying to deliver healthy cheap eating in a deprived area or listen to his TEDx talk at Manchester

  33. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Happy

    LegOvr

    ElGov? LegOv. or "LegOvr" Shirley?

  34. JohnMurray

    Next they'll designate the Labour party as a porn site....

  35. Lusty

    GDPR

    Thank goodness the GDPR exists. This means that since it's not necessary to store personal information to verify age it's illegal to require it. It'll be interesting to see how they implement the verification systems.

    Personally I can see the post office passes being shared online, making the whole system worthless. After all they can't posisbly be single use or this will just turn into a tax on pornography...oh wait...doh!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sinister thin end of the wedge

    It's nothing to do with "protecting the children" it's to do with censorship and government control. The biggest group of people it will affect are already consenting porn-viewing adults (oh wait, age of consent = 16, age to watch porn = 18) because it's OK to let the young find death and violence on the internet but, oh no! tits ,cocks and arses - BAN IT !

    Those under 18 will continue to access all types of dodgy content; violence, death, kittens, etc in the same unpredictable ways they currently do - by their friends sharing something they found <insert current fashionable apps here>

    Wait! can er, my friend, still call phone sex lines (do they still exist?) or read pornographic text? - So only visual porn is bad, audio and written word is OK? Riiiight

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sinister thin end of the wedge

      "[...] or read pornographic text?"

      There's always your local Public Library - if it hasn't been cut.

      Not sure at what age kids have to move from Junior to Adult section tickets - in the UK in the 1960s it was 14 years old. My 17/18 year old pal was doing "A" Level English. To widen his reading for his Oxford University application - he needed a note from his teacher to get "Peyton Place" from the local library.

    2. AK565

      Re: Sinister thin end of the wedge

      Just a random thought while waiting for clients to show.... Might some people start going out and having actual sex, once that becomes cheaper/easier than porn?

    3. AK565

      Re: Sinister thin end of the wedge

      High school english teachers have said forever that if you want to get teen boys to read just hand them porn with no pics. Problem solved. And there's even a built in comprehension test: -)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your sexual preferances tracked by a Tory Government...

    .. and enforced by a Police State.

  38. Augie
    FAIL

    So in other words, welcome to the great firewall of the United Kingdom.

    Give it 6 months and the only news you'll be able to get is either government spoon fed dribble (Aimed at the mental age of people in Westminster) or from Rupert Morons news conglomerate..

    Its never been about porn, just a convenient way of restricting freedoms.

    .

  39. Alan Johnson

    Lack of any evidence

    I don't think many people object to the obstensible goal of stopping youngsters seeing porn accidently but to the likely consequences of facilitating fraud and porn sights becoming less clearly porn and therefore increasing the possibility of accidental access. This shoudl be set against the evidence of actual harm from porn which is very thin to non-existent. A case can certainly be made that as access to pron has increased sexual violence of all sorts has decreased which is only correlational so not conclusive but why are we taking such measures with potential negative outcoems when there is no evidence of harm being caused?

    The ironic thing is that one of the real targets is reducing non-accidental access by teenage boys who will likely not be affected by this at all.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "No-one has the right to watch porn"

    Well that's what the presenter (don't know her name) said on Newsnight last night. Not "Some people think you shouldn't have the right..." or any indication that it was an opinion. Just: "No-one has the right to watch porn".

    I don't know where that came from, but it confirms my suspicion that BBC "journalists" are following the tabloids and taking it upon themselves to "lead" opinion rather than represent different viewpoints in any kind of unbiased way. So much for impartiality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "No-one has the right to watch porn"

      But the arguments against this are nothing to do with 'the big bad gov are taking away my porn rights'

      Instead the arguments are that law abiding adults shouldnt have to go through life having to identify and validate themselves to a government ad-infinitum. Thats not the point of government. Also why is the government legislating over what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom, assuming its not outright morally/socially or legally unacceptable (only things I can think of are all illegal like child porn, animal porn and incest) then there should be as little state interferance as possible with regards to you, or you and your partner enjoying a little blue entertainment.

      Then there's the problem of the many, many security experts telling the government how this is a bad idea, that it wont help, will be trivially defeated and make a mockery of the law. What do our 'politicians' do? Hide their heads in the sand and sing out the old ' we're only doing this for the children' as if anyone believes them anymore. If the Gov wanted to protect children they would make isolation booths in school illegal, what is done to children in those things we dont even to war criminals or terrorists, but we happily inflict that kind of mental torture on our own children.

      the whole situation is absurb, and worse than making a mockery of the law, it makes a mockery of the government & civil service which is an even bigger problem

  41. Simon Harris

    Exempt?

    Will a site be exempt from verification if it is 33% porn, 67% malware?

  42. NerryTutkins

    welcome to the middle east

    I lived in Dubai for 8 years. They implemented this kind of thing there to our internet after the first couple of years.

    I never thought I'd live to see the day when the UK implemented such nonsense.

    Maintaining a block list just doesn't work. Because VPNs bypass it. So then you have to start blocking any site with information about VPNs, or that sell VPN services, or that offer free VPN services and so on. It doesn't matter to them that there are perfectly good innocent reasons to use VPNs.

    You have to choose - you either make the internet unsafe and porn free, or safe with free porn. Sad to see the UK at this fork in the road has decided to join middle east despots and China.

  43. Simon Harris

    Technology solution?

    Every 'problem' these days seems to have the government demanding a technological solution - stopping kids watching porn, preventing on-line bullying, the Irish border issue...

    Is there an inverse correlation between the number of technological solutions demanded and the technical competence of a government?

  44. Pete4000uk

    So us Virgins...

    ...will have to go OUTSIDE and get laid?

    1. Simon Harris

      Re: So us Virgins...

      I don't believe doing it al fresco is compulsory.

    2. BOBSta
      Stop

      Re: So us Virgins...

      Might also land you in trouble with Plod

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Parental control...

    Shouldn't it be parents policing what their children get up to on the internet?

    Restrict device usage to places and times where it can be supervised. There, children protected without the massive risk of collection of private browsing habits of consenting adults and the inevitable hack/leak/scam/blackmail/career destruction that goes with it.

    Accidental stumbling across things on the internet isn't going to be fixed by the new restrictions but a parent on hand to explain why the nun is doing that to the donkey can help develop healthier more grown up attitudes to mature topics.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Parental control...

      So, you've seen that one too, eh?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Parental control...

        "Two Mules for Sister", shirley?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clarification

    Err... Please can we get clarification of what constitutes "Pr0n"?

    The individuals featured on the sites of dubious nature that I visit are usually fully clothed. Admittedly, that clothing is tight shiny rubber, but does that on its own count as Pr0n? Or is Pr0n only were individuals are involved in intimate personal relations with themselves and/or others? Does it also cover restraints, well-lubricated oscillating machinery, electrical vibrating devices, and animal masks/outfits?

    Be careful people, it's a minefield out there! ;)

    Anonymous, because I'm the one in the gimp mask.

    1. nijam

      Re: Clarification

      > Please can we get clarification of what constitutes "Pr0n"

      Short answer - no. The law is extremely unclear on this, and, I believe, deliberately so.

  47. brianpope

    I might set up a business selling TOR installations for noobs...

    And sell coupons for the service in local newsagents...

    Does the Government really want almost everyone to be running TOR / VPNs ?

    The upside is self-censorship may drop. Free speech may increase.

  48. Templogin

    Crapita

    There's absolutely no need to worry about data security as Capita will probably end up in charge of it.

  49. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Was just reading about this, although porn qua porn is kinda uninteresting once it begins to repeat itself. However 3 points:

    Porn becomes more vital to a younger generation as Guardianista finger-wagging feminism makes traditional women obsolete for relationships.

    Why did the Cameronians responsible for this puritan endeavour choose the world's greatest porn monopolist, Mindgeek, to run the scheme ? Seems contraindicated.

    Is this moneygrab a one-time payment for life, or does it need annual renewal ?

    .

    Still, it does seem to have been well thought through to protect the wee ones --- fortunately they will have no idea how to trade codes over the internet, nor how to examine their beloved gramps' wallet for that trusty old pass that lets him into his only pleasure, a world of secret amazing delights unavailable to his less tech-savvy peers swigging cans on a park bench in Cumbernauld.

  50. teebie

    "just over half of Brits surveyed knew nothing about the plans. On the other hand, some 60 per cent thought it was a great idea."

    So somewhere from 10 to 50% of those surveyed said "I have no idea what this is, but think it is a great idea"

    This is why we end up with shit politicians.

    "The introduction of mandatory age-verification is a world-first"

    There is a reason for this, Margot. It's a terrible idea.

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