back to article Age verification biz claims no-payment model for 40% of Brits ahead of July pr0n ban

A startup is claiming to have signed age verification contracts with a host of smut site operators – and is hoping 40 per cent of Britons will display their privates to it in July. 1Account, a business run by Ben Keirle and which was incorporated as One Account Mobile Ltd in August last year, claims to have inked deals with “ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    *eye roll*

    "they can comply with the Act and that their users are in safe hands"

    I bet they are!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *eye roll*

      There are some limits to the safety naturally. For instance, self abuse.

      But then there are those who say self-abuse is no abuse at all...

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: *eye roll*

      *fnarr*

  2. katrinab Silver badge
    Coat

    Business model

    The number of people who will verify their ID on free-to-view sites is approximately zero.

    The number of people who will buy subscriptions without first seeing a sample of what is on offer is approximately zero.

    And remember, you will have to verify your ID before you can have any clue whatsoever about what they are offering.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Not to mention that this is a company that states it will start making money later, with something that I very much doubt anyone is interested in.

      I mean, who is going to give a damn about 1Accounts' "pay service" when they're already paying for their porn ? is 1Account going to have an agreement with every single porn site out there ?

      Somehow, I doubt that.

      1. Christoph

        Are they going to pay using 1Account, thereby telling the company they are buying from that they view online porn (and have just given them their name and address for delivery)?

        Are the companies going to advertise that they are happy to use a porn-viewing service to accept payments?

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: Business model

      Tcch! Big Nothing!

    3. 's water music
      Trollface

      Re: Business model

      My business model is to spam out blackmail emails threatening to expose the receipient for registering for a pr0nz age verification service and claiming to also have a record of their browsing history.

      Sometimes a low-tech approach offers a better rate of return than actually going to the trouble of compromising a service and properly targeting your blackmail.

  3. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    What's that sound I hear?

    It's the sound of DNS settings being changed, of VPNs being installed and of open foreign proxy server details being entered into browsers, all over the land..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's that sound I hear?

      Opera mobile has a built in VPN...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's that sound I hear?

        "Opera mobile has a built in VPN..."

        I wonder how long that will remain free when it has to start coping with the volumes of video streaming...

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: What's that sound I hear?

          >I wonder how long that will remain free when it has to start coping with the volumes of video streaming...

          It doesn't necessarily have to.

          The url to sexy-anne-widecombe.com goes through the VPN but the video download from akamia can go direct to the user. Unless the UK's Gret British Firewall is intending to block all CDNs or do AI video inspection on all video streams to decide how naughty they are.

          1. 's water music

            Re: What's that sound I hear?

            ... sexy-anne-widecombe.com ...

            This is like one of those Teresa/Theresa May things right?

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: What's that sound I hear?

              Nah, it's "wide comb". Completely different. Probably some hair fetishists site.

              Nothing to do with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Widdecombe.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: What's that sound I hear?

          I wonder how long that will remain free when it has to start coping with the volumes of video streaming...

          Given who now owns Opera I don't think they're really that worried about that.

      2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

        Re: What's that sound I hear?

        Errr, no. Opera has a built in limited web proxy service. It will get you around geo-blocking on a limited basis but will not provide secure browsing or ehnanced privacy. You also need to be asking what Opera are doing with all that "free" browsing data that you are providing them with.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's that sound I hear?

      I doubt DNS settings being changed will make a difference - it'll be blocked using the IWF system that was originally designed to block illegal porn (kid stuff mainly) that got gradually expanded to cover "extreme" porn (you'd be surprised what counts as that) and torrent sites. It doesn't usually do this at the DNS level.

      I do recall at the time many people arguing that the IWF system would be exploited over time. Looks like that's becoming the case.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: What's that sound I hear?

        The IWF system is designed to block stuff for everyone, so it won't work here. They need a system that only blocks people who haven't proved that they are over 18.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: What's that sound I hear?

          I think the idea is IWF will block sites without age verification, and sites with AV will block users from the UK who haven't AV'd and logged in.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's that sound I hear?

          IWF to block the grumble-sites that don't comply. And for the ones that do comply, changing DNS settings won't make you suddenly seem like you're in Bulgaria.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's that sound I hear?

        The "extreme porn" laws have since been pretty much gutted, and there were almost zero convictions anyway.

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47069414

        The advice is now a much more sensible "so long as it's consenting adults that aren't causing serious harm".

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: What's that sound I hear?

          That's good to see, actual common sense being used in government.

          I wouldn't be surprised if there's a quite climb down on age-blocking in a year or two as well.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's that sound I hear?

      Somewhere in deepest darkest Whitehall..

      Mandarin: Naughty, naughty plebs, tsk tsk...ah, well, it wasn't as if we weren't expecting this sort of response (pulls out his copy of the already drafted more draconian legislation targeting circumvention technologies and services) in light of what GCHQ have reported back on how people have been bypassing this system, let's have a final look to see if we need to alter this to cover anything we'd missed...

      Best look at this nonsense as some sort of legal Trojan that the spooks(?) wanted through for future (ab)use, the whole thing is too bloody asinine on the surface to be anything else but....well, there's always good old incompetence, I suppose, as well, oh, and maybe someone, somewhere getting a nice future backhander out of it as well at some point for current services rendered to their friends..

      nah, I think I'll stick to my spookery-pokery theory...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's that sound I hear?

        I think they don't care whether it's effective. They care whether they can tell MumsNet that "we've solved the porn problem so you can carry on nattering on the Internet instead of parenting".

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wag the Dog?

    I have never understood the porn anti-porn battle, and all the hype surrounding it. What agenda is hidden under or behind all the rhetoric? I mean once you have seen one PM shagging a goat, you have seen them all. It can't be about all about a few blokes buggering a nun can it?

    1. Blockchain commentard
      Childcatcher

      Re: Wag the Dog?

      You have to protect the children from online porn so they don't understand the clergy and MP's are performing illegal acts on them as minors.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Wag the Dog?

      It was a pig, for the record. And his what-not was merely resting in it's mouth...

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Wag the Dog?

        A dead pig. Which is important because that makes it legal.

        Dead human - illegal

        Live animal - illegal

        Live human - potentially legal subject to other factors

        Dead animal - legal in all circumstances

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Wag the Dog?

          Dead animal - legal in all circumstances

          But you may be thrown out of the restaurant.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wag the Dog?

            >Dead animal - legal in all circumstances

            Unless the dead animal has been turned into oil and subsequently into your 'plastic pal whose fun to be with' in which case you are a Sex offender in Scotland

            1. MyffyW Silver badge

              Legal status

              ... glad we cleared that up.

              I wonder if he's more ashamed of those antics than the brexit chaos he bequeathed us?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wag the Dog?

              "[...] in which case you are a Sex offender in Scotland"

              In Scotland it is illegal to have sex with a bicycle - or at least it was in 2007.

              1. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Wag the Dog?

                It is also illegal to have sex with a shoe or a traffic cone (same article). Basically don't have sex with an object in Scotland, or very likely a dead animal. Go to England if you want to do that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wag the Dog?

          I would imagine it's important that it's a dead pig because a live one might bite

    3. WolfFan

      Re: Wag the Dog?

      Which one was the goat?

    4. Mark 85

      Re: Wag the Dog?

      It's all about control of the population. Hearts and minds and all that. Anytime "morals" are reason for laws it should be questioned as to why.

      Sidenote: If the system is hacked, I do wonder how many MP's will be found out and either exposed or blackmailed? Surely they all can't be as pure as the driven snow?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wag the Dog?

        All of them, of course.

        Also, it's "When" not "If". The answer to that being "less than 6 hours after the go-live date".

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Wag the Dog?

          "All of them, of course."

          Now *that* I doubt. For example, if we refer back to Miss Widdecombe, as mentioned in a previous message, on a whole range of issues I'd be *really* surprised if she turned out to be a hypocrite, rather than just wrong. Credit where it's due ... and all that.

  5. Velv
    Childcatcher

    schadenfreude

    Fake ID, VPNs, criminals, paedophiles, free or paid content - all irrelevant.

    The ONLY things that matters is that Theresa May (first as the then Home Secretary, now as PM) and the Tories can tell the Daily Mail "we put the protection in place you screamed for, please vote for us in the next election" That it can be circumvented, is impractical, and that it weakens security is not important to MPs today. Wait until they're personal details are breached (and MPs have a history of kinks being made public, so this is just another avenue).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: schadenfreude

      The DM are very keen on safeguarding things like phone answering services.

    2. Chris Parsons

      Re: schadenfreude

      I wonder which dick downvoted. Theresa?

  6. iron Silver badge

    > it "does not and will not store any of our users’ browsing history, ever" - something no company could do unless it installed surveillanceware on the user's device

    Gareth how do you think Google and Facebook track everyone around the web? They certainly don't install 'surveillanceware' on every device (although google really tries with Chrome) yet they can follow your every move and report it to advertisers, Russian researchers, etc. All it would take is a tracking cookie as part of the AV process and Rab's yer faither's brother.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A tracking cookie is surveillanceware.

  7. Trollslayer
    Mushroom

    Is it a bird?

    Is it a plane?

    No - it's yet another government clusterf*ck!

    1. 0laf
      Mushroom

      Re: Is it a bird?

      From bean to cup, they fuck it up.

      Credit to Armando Iannucci

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Is it a bird?

      No - it's yet another government clusterf*ck!

      Channeling the spirit of the late Linda Smith: it's the only competence some politicians manage to achieve.

  8. Tim Jenkins

    There's pr0n you have to pay for?

    See ab0ve.

    1. Anonymous Custard
      Trollface

      Re: There's pr0n you have to pay for?

      When your missus sees your browser history?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's pr0n you have to pay for?

      There should be, somehow, if porn actors are going to get paid, which they should. There was an interesting series on this by ... ack, someone whose name I can't remember but he's done other interesting stuff.

      1. defiler

        Re: There's pr0n you have to pay for?

        Louis Theroux? He did a couple, but his second touched on the rise of free web porn.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There's pr0n you have to pay for?

          Yes that's him, thanks. It was mostly about the person who owns all of the porn tube sites I think.

          1. EnviableOne

            Re: There's pr0n you have to pay for?

            That would be MindGeek the owners of Pr0nHub and like most of the big brands

            coincidently they are also the operators of the AgeID AV system that said brands are going to use .....

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Funny...

    you never seem to hear anyone requesting this type of control to say 'I can't help myself, please block it to stop me'...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funny...

      Apparently it is often the people who impose such laws that are responding to their own dark thoughts. Knowing how they themselves behave - or would seriously like to - they assume that everyone else is even weaker in self-control. There's no one as extreme as a convert. By their loud utterances they hope to convince others - and themselves - of their impeccable conformity to their group.

      Remember the prayer one of the Church's moral crusaders St Augustine - "[God] grant me chastity and continence - but not yet".

  10. AbelSoul
    Trollface

    Who watches the watchers?

    Oll ur wanx r belong to us!

    1. Velv
      Headmaster

      Re: Who watches the watchers?

      (NSFW discussion but no images)

      Turns out 17,435,654 people and counting...

  11. ratfox
    Pint

    It is going to be very interesting to see how this is will be applied, enforced, and (inevitably) sidestepped by end users. I wonder how much attention this will get from the political class, though. They seem rather busy at the moment, no doubt being very productive on something more intelligent.

    No popcorn icon, so beer'll have to do...

  12. M. Poolman

    criminals, wrong'uns and law enforcement agencies

    I'm sure at least one item in that list is redundant!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: criminals, wrong'uns and law enforcement agencies

      ....just not sure which one...

      1. Anonymous Custard
        Big Brother

        Re: criminals, wrong'uns and law enforcement agencies

        I'd wonder in some cases that you can tell them apart...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Account

    I used to have a current account mortgage called the One Account, but the only thing obscene about that was the interest rate.

    1. Time Waster

      Re: One Account

      I thought it sounded familiar. RBS’s oneaccount.com still seems to be active. Hard to see how this is going to stand up to the inevitable Trademark / “passing off” litigation.

  14. TheProf
    Big Brother

    Totally legit

    I've just watched the 'how it works' video on the 1Account website and it has reassuring plinky-plonky music.

    Just like the music TV programme makers put on documentaries about puppies.

    So I have total faith in this upstart company and will be using their services to do all my puppy watching in future.

    I feel warm and fuzzy already.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    content blocking

    first they came for the terrorists

    and I said nothing, because 7/11 and all that

    then they came for the bin-dodgers and other terrorists

    and I said nothing, because it wasn't my council

    then they came for the pirates financing terrorism

    and I said nothing, because who wants to be seen defending thieves and terrorists

    now they've come for the wankers

    and I say nothing, because who wants to be seen as a wanker

    wankers

    Watch this space, wankers are only some way down the list, and the list never ends, like that facebook or google feed you scroll. Look to our partners in China and Russia for future developments.

    1. Brangdon

      Re: content blocking

      Pornography is the canary of censorship.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This will apply to 3rd party sites such as cinemas, gambling and other e-commerce sites

    great! so they want people not only to flag themselves, voluntarily, as wankers, but also as gamblers (adult), cinema goer and buyers of whatever-other-filth (other e-commerce sites). And they think people will happily give their details to all the 2nd tier users of that data, e.g. government agencies and "carefully selected business partners". Who knows, maybe the post-millenial generation will happily submit all their details to anybody who asks. If so, they're fucked.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This will apply to 3rd party sites such as cinemas, gambling and other e-commerce sites

      Twitter is exempt. So is Tumblr - which may soon be in a fire sale since it banned all its NSFW user profiles.

      Come to that exemption - so is any site with only 33% NSFW content. They just need to get the mix of pussies and farmyard animals right.

  17. mark l 2 Silver badge

    It will be interesting to see how easy it will be to get around the 1account age verification using fake info once they start asking for proof of age.

    Or whether it will be as simple as viewing the source code for a page to find the code to get around the age checks.

    But on another note how long before the scammers set up fake age verification pages to collect peoples details for ID theft. Such a poorly thought out law, I hope whoever gets in power next decides to can it as it such as waste of money.

    1. Mark 85

      I don't remember where I stumbled across it but one site's registration has you upload a picture of yourself holding a sign that has your name, username, and the date the picture was taken. Mindboggling to say the least.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    It would be interesting to know

    what the sign-up rate for these schemes will be. Given that this is giving people almost the most useful data they could have if they want to blackmail you and given that organisations are not famously good at preventing sensitive data like this leaking I'd assume really, really low. (OK, there's more useful data for blackmailers, but probably not more useful data that does not require the blackmailee to have broken the law.) But then, people sign up for Facebook, don't vaccinate their children, believe the Earth is flat &c, so what do I know?

  19. button pusher
    Thumb Down

    Complete in precis...

    "With the British government seemingly hellbent on forcing Britons to compromise their privacy and personal data"

  20. aks

    Television

    Seeing as how much of this content is delivered by televison, including the BBC, will this policy apply to watching TV through a browser or iPlayer?

    If not, would an iPlayer equivalent be exempt?

    1. VonDutch

      Re: Television

      iPlayer content is neither BBFC rated R18 nor contains the percentage of material to make any of this law apply to it.

      Likewise All4 and the Channel5 streaming services with their occasional titillating documentaries about the adult industry, wouldn't make up the required amount of content to have an impact.

  21. cb7

    "Xhamster, beeg, txxx and others with URLs that are too explicit for a, er, family-friendly website"

    I can't believe I've been pr0n surfing for over a dozen years and have only come across two of those three today! How is one supposed to find these darn things? Google clearly isn't the best search engine in the world

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Because they did the research, and how that we're hidden in the comments, perhaps the author would like to expand this short list.?.?.?

      btw, thanks in advance. (and that's not really a thumb)

  22. Long John Brass
    Pirate

    I suppose it's one way to...

    Teach the general public about the joys of VPNs :)

  23. Frumious Bandersnatch

    "There are plans afoot to ..."

    https://www.xkcd.com/305/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "There are plans afoot to ..."

      As has been said in the past - if it is physically possible then someone has done it. Nowadays - it is then posted on the web.

  24. Tom Paine

    " URLs that are too explicit"

    Well, the fix is obvious! Simply add age verification to DNS, what could be simpler?

  25. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    * Sigh... *

    It's just another in a long line of badly thought through reactive policy that I'll very easily sidestep.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: * Sigh... *

      Then there will be media exposes and political storms of people saying they are "shocked, truly shocked" that such by-passes are allowed to exist.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF?

    Am I being astonishingly naive, or does't this whole initiative fall flat on its face with the letters 'VPN'?

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