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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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
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. :-)
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....
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>
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.
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.
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
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
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."
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)
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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