Britain Porn Block

This photo taken in London on Monday July 8, 2019, shows a laptop screen displaying the website for AgeID, an age verification system for the British government’s planned online “porn block". The British government wants to require porn websites to verify their users are adults. The effort is being watched by other countries hoping to better regulate pornographic content but has raised concerns about privacy, censorship and competition. It has run into multiple delays that reflect the confusion surrounding it. (AP Photo/Kelvin Chan)

LONDON (AP) — The global push to more tightly regulate the internet and big tech firms is spreading to one of the web’s biggest and least visible corners: porn.

The British government wants to require porn websites to verify their users are adults. The effort is being watched by other countries hoping to better regulate pornographic content but has raised concerns about privacy, censorship and competition. It has run into multiple delays that reflect the confusion surrounding it.

“It’s a mess,” said Jim Killock, of the London-based Open Rights Group, a digital civil liberties group.

Killock says the government’s blueprints for its online “porn block” don’t do enough to protect personal data. Others believe the plan amounts to economic censorship. And many fear the rules would effectively give more power to a little known company that dominates the internet porn industry.

Under the plan, which is now expected to come into force late this year, British porn site visitors will be asked to prove they are 18 or older. Options to do so would include buying a card with an access code in a shop, where they will have to show photo ID, or going online to submit a copy of a passport or driver’s license or use a credit card.

The British government isn’t operating the system itself. Instead, it’s being outsourced to private companies, which can sell their own age verification technology to porn sites. Oversight, meanwhile, has been handed to the British Board of Film Classification, a film ratings and censorship body akin to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Privacy campaigners worry that handing over personal information to access adult sites means a person’s porn viewing habits can be tracked.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.