back to article Brit film board proposed as overlord of online pr0nz age checks

The British Board of Film Classification will be responsible for regulating age checks for UK users of online porn websites, if the government gets its way. The UK's Ministry of Fun* has proposed the BBFC as the regulator for ensuring sites are using age-verification controls. These checks were made mandatory by the Digital …

Silver badge

One to watch

There's an age verification system called AV Secure (or something like that, I've only heard it spoken) which uses blockchain to prevent websites seeing who is verifying their age.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: One to watch

Too late to edit, but I dug out a link.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: One to watch

But being anon would break the whole idea, this is, to know who is watching what.

4
0
kbb

Why not copy mobile?

As I recall when I signed up to my current mobile provider there was a defacto block on adult sites. To unblock I had to make a token payment of £1 which was then taken off the next bill, to allow me to choose to allow access.

Why can't the same simply be done with ISPs? Give the control to the bill payer.

7
13
Silver badge

Re: Why not copy mobile?

1) The government don't want you to have control.

2) This is all about the Great British Soverign Offical DNS Transparent Proxy, and the excuse is it's required to hit foreign sites without age verification with a ban hammer.

I didn't downvote you by the way, some people might find ISP level control useful, if it's optional.

40
0

Re: Why not copy mobile?

Don't you need to be 18 for a mobile phone contract? Therefore no block needed.

It's a scam to reduce their bandwidth bill.

The £1 is an upsell.

20
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Why not copy mobile?

>Don't you need to be 18 for a mobile phone contract? Therefore no block needed.

Many kids have phones on their parents contracts. Therefore, block all "adult" content until the person with the phone proves they are an adult.

4
5

Re: Why not copy mobile?

I think the plan is to make sure the worried parents feel like they did something since they are horribly misguided and want to block "bad things" rather than confront their own insecurities.

Same thinking that brings them to believe the comparison with for instance Netherlands youth who are taught early on about sex and similar has nothing to do with their pretty impressive lack of youth pregnancy and infections etc etc. No it must be that children go off and have sex at the earliest mention of it just like with math and all the other subjects. All that disturbing division and times tables they keep doing the moment they get a chance to be alone with a pen and paper.

Realistic I think that like the P2P stuff they are adding more lovely tools to block what they need blocked. Just like the IWF we don't get to ask what is blocked and you don't really get to appeal it when you inherit things on the list after whomever was blocked moves on from the IPs.

Remember this is the same people who are trying to put a master key to your encrypted communication because of .... terrorism/childporn/whateversoundsgood.

29
1
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Why not copy mobile?

The mobile porn ban is... interesting. On Three, my "I'm an adult" tickbox kept getting reset, requiring a call to CS. Even when it is set, it seems that I do still get blocked from some "adult" sites. I've put "adult" in quotes, since the main thing it was blocking was Tinder* - there is more nudity on instagram.. Even today, it is 50-50 as to whether I can log in to Tinder on mobile (switch to wifi and it works instantly).

Even when I had the "adult" option unticked, it didn't stop my favourite porn site, google.

* No, I don't want kids turning up on my Tinder, but it is just a dating site, it's hardly worth blocking

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Why not copy mobile?

When I see Three's "are you an adult?" page it just reminds me I forgot to turn on my VPN

16
0
Silver badge

Re: Why not copy mobile?

Yes, the mobile walled garden was the trial for a "kids internet by default" walled garden for the net as a whole. Of course you'll be free to phone up OffWank and register yourself as a disgusting weirdo pervert should you want "adult themes".

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Why not copy mobile?

On the plus side, there will be a renaissance in IT and infosec in the UK 5-10y after this comes in, as all those spotty 13 yos who heard at school that you can get porn with this "tor browser" thing emerge blinking into the light as guru-level hackers...

11
0

Re: Why not copy mobile?

Mobiles are generally single user but home broadband is generally multi-user.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Welcome to TLS encrypted DNS...

...oh dear - my ISP no longer sees my outgoing traffic destination. And it's all going into random AWS IP addresses...

28
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Welcome to TLS encrypted DNS...

I've been doing this a while with VPNs, my devices connect to my house, my house (atm) connects to a data centre where my Intenet access exits, currently bypassing all these silly ISP rules/blocks - the data centre isn't an ISP and not bound by them. If that changes, so will my data centre endpoint. :-)

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Welcome to TLS encrypted DNS...

You use ATM for your home network? That's a bit old-school isn't it?

* Suddenly realises there's a whole new generation out there who never had to know what 56 byte cells are. Er, were

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Welcome to TLS encrypted DNS...

Ok, 48 bytes. Am I mixing up ATM and BRI / PRI?

0
0
FAIL

Attempts by the Government to block porn will fail

Errrm.....I cant really add much to the title really. So.....okay then......carry on......

21
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Attempts by the Government to block porn will fail

Okay, I've thought of something else to say. This plan is so half witted, it might well have unintended consequences for the govt. Ways of circumventing the porn block will increase people's skills and knowledge of privacy, possibly without them even knowing it. The market will provide goods and services to help people stay private too. If people become more confident that their porn browsing is private, they may become more adventurous in their tastes in pr0n, and perhaps the internet generally. If more people become privacy capable, the spooks will have more trouble tracking illegal activity when they actually need to....

22
0
Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Attempts by the Government to block porn will fail

I could live without porn (wait! what am I saying?), but for me the biggest concern is that this is just a pretext to arbitrarily block anything our overlords don't approve of. Today it's porn, tomorrow it's an austerity protest site...

Will it fail? Well, partially. It'll fail for the typical El Reg reader, whose savvy enough to use VPN et al, but in the short term (at least) it'll probably succeed for the great unwashed masses, at which point you might as well rebrand the UK as North Korea 2.0.

21
1
Silver badge

Re: Attempts by the Government to block porn will fail

I was talking to a friend about whether this was a good thing when it was first proposed. She is a woman and yes I was talking about Porn (something someone once advised me not to do). I argued against the block saying that this meant that we had extended censorship to the internet. That it would effectively block people from viewing perfectly legal acts between two (or more) consenting adults. It would also build up a series of databases that list who has signed up to view this stuff and your 'tastes'. So if you're into the flying helmet and wet celery* then it will doubtless be recorded somewhere. She said the usual we need to protect the children, there's more disgusting stuff out there and it's easier to get hold of than it was when we were children etc.

I said would you be happy with softcore porn being transmitted unencrypted every evening on (terrestrial) tv? She said the 'babe on the bed' channels weren't really porn were they you saw as much in the Daily Mail? I said that Babestation and (back then) Television X were broadcast unencrypted everynight. Most televisions/set top boxes won't be able to view it without paying for a password but a USB tv stick would allow you to watch. Oh if you'd seen her face at this point. I then said that you had to age verify Twitter, Bing Google, Tumblr, various image upload sites etc. and showed her that even though I've never paid to take the adult block off my phone I could access smut. Explaining to a parent that using technology to try and regulate what your children see is almost always due to fail. Using your skills as a parent to educate them about this smutty stuff was far better and could be combined with technological methods too. Her current method for restricting her children's internet access to certain hours was to have two routers. One was in a connected 24/7 to the internet and her children did not have the wifi password. The other which they did have the password to was only connected/switched on during homework hours. Both were in a locked cupboard so that there weren't any illicit connections.

*RIP <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__nCqus8plY>David Croft</a>

5
0
Silver badge

Re: Attempts by the Government to block porn will fail

Or since May seems well chummy with Rajoy next IndyRef here in Scotland pretexts will be found to block access to lots of Indy supporting sites. Catalonia simply moved them out of Spain. We may have to do the same here in Scotland.

Having Wings Over Scotland based in Bath may prove to be a masterstroke.

0
0
Silver badge

"While BBFC say they will only block a few large sites that don't use age verification, there are tens of thousands of porn sites," said Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

I would wager that's off by several orders of magnitude.

33
0
Silver badge
Meh

'The government said the BBFC had "unparalleled expertise" in classifying content'

Why is that relevant? Does it mean that they are going to be classifying web content then?

If so, who is going to be paying for that? Let me guess, they will be saying to website owners "if you don't want your website blocked, then give us lots of money for classifying it".*

A bit like the traditional "if you don't want your windows broken, then give us lots of money for insurance".

* Current rate varies between £2.91 and £7.16 per minute of video. Plus VAT of course, since the Treasury wants its cut too. http://www.bbfc.co.uk/industry-services/additional-information/fee-tariff

13
0
Silver badge

Re: 'The government said the BBFC had "unparalleled expertise" in classifying content'

Yes that's exactly what they're going to do, regulate the websites who have content that doesn't fit with English/Welsh law. Such as BDSM sites which show videos/photos where marks are left on the submissive. Obviously this won't apply in Scotland where they have a different law

Scotland bans smut. What smut? Won't say" just don't tell anyone:

A spokesman told us: "We do not publicly disclose our prosecution policy in relation to specific offences as to do so may allow offenders to adapt or restrict their behaviour to conduct which falls short of our prosecution threshold."

They added that any such information would also be exempt from any attempt to tease it out by using Freedom of Information legislation.

Jennie Kermode, a Glasgow-based campaigner and writer for film review site Eye for Film told us: "The problem with the Crown Office's position in this instance is that, with the best will in the world, people cannot be expected to adhere to a law they do not understand. In the case of a crime like murder, it's pretty simple – don't kill people."

She added: "In this case, what the law says is that people may possess some images but not others; how are they to know which ones are okay?

"This kind of law has a chilling effect on activity not actually considered criminal, much as the infamous Section 2A (clause 28 in England) restricted discussion of homosexuality far beyond its original mandate due to its lack of clarity. Such intentional obfuscation goes against the spirit of our legal system."

5
0
Silver badge

Re: 'The government said the BBFC had "unparalleled expertise" in classifying content'

Didn't expect to learn anything or be shocked, but this qualifies for both:

"A spokesman told us: "We do not publicly disclose our prosecution policy in relation to specific offences as to do so may allow offenders to adapt or restrict their behaviour to conduct which falls short of our prosecution threshold."

Isn't there some sort of legal principle with a Latin name that you can't prosecute secret laws, in all justice / law enforcement systems worthy of the name? (Yes, even the wacky French investigative magistrates system)

3
0
Silver badge

Re: 'The government said the BBFC had "unparalleled expertise" in classifying content'

Not if you're in Scotland it seems. They're saying it's okay for you to view certain smutty things just not what would constitute breaking the law. So basically the someone might have an image that they believe is perfectly legal. They are unable to verify this though as the definition of what's legal is missing. They could be unwittingly breaking the law in that case. I find it amazing that they're getting away with this although I suspect it hasn't been challenged in court yet. Now that would be interesting to see.

Dunno about any latin named anything but I suspect there will be a criminal barrister at a party I'm going to before Christmas and I'll ask them.

1
0
Silver badge

"Are you 18?"

"Yes"

"Here you go".

11
0
Anonymous Coward

Let me correct that for you -

> Are you 18? Enter your credit card details here for verification purposes.

> Thank you for subscribing. Have a nice day.

14
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

"Are you 18? Enter your credit card details here for verification purposes."

....blank page....

...30 secs later....

*buzz buzz* "Barclays Bank Fraud Alert SMS! Your card has been trying to run 3000 transactions a minute to www.buy-drugs.com and has been blocked. Have a nice day!"

23
0
Silver badge

Suitable alternatives

The first question that should be asked is "Why" the under 18s want to look at porn or other illicit content.. Answer that question first and then proceed to determine if any action should be taken...

Quite possibly the under 18s need their minds nourished with something other than what is currently on offer but do we truly have better suitable alternatives for them ? If we don't offer them something better then I can easily understand why they are doing what they are doing.. Porn and illicit content are a means of escaping the trials tribulations of contemporary society, just like drugs and alcohol, which when taken in moderation are perfectly fine, it's the over-indulgence that creates problems.

And what about the other powerful elements that are in play; subliminal advertising, junk TV, junk food, the dream of instantly becoming rich without making any effort all being pushed endlessly 24 hours a day etc,etc. Shouldn't we also consider the negative impacts that they undoubtedly bring ?

Society in general has a role to play we cant just blame the governments. It really does appear as though we are sliding down towards a very dark place...

16
4
Silver badge

Re: Suitable alternatives

In my day a 'suitable alternative' was the Lingerie section of the Littlewoods catalogue.

36
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Suitable alternatives

Or even some Picasso or Dali.

1
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Suitable alternatives

In my day, I don't remember government age restricting access to hedgerows, which is how we used to get porn when under 18.

24
0
Silver badge

Re: Suitable alternatives

Either than or wait for your older brother to go out for the evening and raid his stash!

4
0

Re: Suitable alternatives

Only down voting "Or even some Picasso or Dali." because if my only alternative to porn was a Dali or Picasso, then I shudder to think how I would have turned out. That stuff is definitely not normal.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: Suitable alternatives

Society in general has a role to play we cant just blame the governments

No we can't blame the governments specifically for the shortfalls in the human condition.

We can blame them when their solutions just feed into the same old misapprehensions of the human condition with doctored statistics from flawed research to push an agenda totally biased to some (mostly) minority puritan religious mindset.

10
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Suitable alternatives

if my only alternative to porn was a Dali or Picasso, then I shudder to think how I would have turned out. That stuff is definitely not normal.

You don't find elephants with 40-foot long spider legs, melting pocket-watches, or screaming horses, sensual and erotic? You weirdo. Now if you'll excuse me I need to take a cold shower.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Suitable alternatives

It seems a long time ago now, but the Sun used to print pics of "topless lovelies" every day. ISTR their minimum age for models was 17, which would make those editions child porn today I believe. Heh. Kelvin McFilth would now be on the sex offenders register for life if he wasn't still banged up on the segregation wing...

6
1
Holmes

Re: Suitable alternatives

See Samantha Fox - she was 16.

============================================

3. Raising the legal age

Previously, printing images of women aged 16 or 17 on Page 3 was deemed acceptable. In 1983, Sam Fox was the youngest at only 16 when she first featured topless in the paper with the headline 'Sam, 16, Quits A-Levels for Ooh-Levels'.

However, the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 2003 resulted in the minimum age for women posing on Page 3 being raised to 18. This now means that all former images featuring women under 18 are now potentially illegal.

===================================

http://www.digitalspy.com/showbiz/feature/a622891/8-startling-facts-about-the-suns-page-3-from-16-year-old-models-to-the-dungeon-of-drax/

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Suitable alternatives

Retrospective law - right up there with secret laws and censorship as things the British public* are crying out for.

/sarcasm off.

*as opposed to the control freak Claire Perry.

2
0

Re: Suitable alternatives

What I said at the time was "someone's going to have to go through each library's newspaper back catalogue and remove loads of page 3s".

1
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Suitable alternatives

As kids we found porn under a railway bridge.

Not that unusual you might think, but this particular bridge was on a (then) closed line, in the middle of the countryside (at least a mile from the nearest village).

So some heroic smut peddler must have walked at least half a mile, in order to make sure us kids got a sex education. Thank you sir/madam!

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Suitable alternatives

'Round my way it was both the hedgerow and , the occasional "jackpot" left in skips by builders.

1
0
Silver badge

Oh, wow...

And there was I mistakenly thinking it was the parents role to educate the children, both morally and intellectually.

40
0
Silver badge
Happy

Re: Oh, wow...

And there was I mistakenly thinking it was the parents role to educate the children, both morally and intellectually.

This isn't about parenting. Most parents are competent enough to look after their children properly, including dealing with this sort of issue.

It's about retaining the votes of both the "something must be done" blue rinse brigade and the ardent feminists who believe that even gay porn objectifies women (except when they are watching it themselves). Neither group can get it banned outright, but "think of the children" is an obvious lever to restrict it as much as they can. The endpoint is making age verification so costly and inconvenient that it has much the same effect as a ban.

25
4
Silver badge

Re: Oh, wow...

They *might* be competent, but many choose not to address this, derogating responsibility to schools, only to lambast teachers about the lack of standards and attention to make sure little Suzy and little Johnny never learn about the actual act of their creation, nevermind the fact that they learn this from their fellow little friends on the playground...

4
2
Silver badge

Re: Oh, wow...

I really don't think many "ardent feminists" vote Tory.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, wow...

@Tom Paine

Which reminds me of a joke I heard recently.

Q: If misogynist is the name given to people who hate women, what's the equivalent for those who hate men?

A: There isn't one. Feminist will do.

On a serious note, that's exactly how most men regard feminists. Even if they don't admit it.

2
4
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Oh, wow...

Misandrist.

Someone who hates men is a misandrist.

4
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018