back to article UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Enforcing age verification checks for online porn sites could be detrimental to smaller ISPs and significantly increase online fraud, the government has admitted. The measures, which are due to come into force in May, will require UK residents to prove they are 18 or over in order to get access to porn sites. The plans have …

Fine, I'll start my own DNS provider. With BlackJack! And Hookers! In fact, forget the DNS provider and the BlackJack!

Aah, screw the whole thing.

*Wanders away dejectedly*

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Unless the law is horribly prescriptive and specifies that the ISP must use a transparent proxy for DNS so there's no getting out of it unless you use a VPN, a small ISP could provide a DNS server which blocks the government-designated naughty websites, everyone could set their own DNS server anyway, and life would go on.

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Not necessarily. It's not too hard for a choke point like an ISP to hijack all port 53 traffic wholesale. Many ISPS do, meaning you can't choose your own DNS in the normal way.

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Yes, but why would a small ISP go the extra mile if they're not compelled to by law?

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So people will be doing a VPN to the usa for DNS traffic? How long before somebody sets up DNS over SSL?

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Mushroom

DNS over TLS

There's already an RFC for DNS over TLS, so give it time.

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7858

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I demonstrated to a friend who was convinced that technology would protect her children from porn that she was wrong. I showed her what happened if you visited a pr0n site on my phone it came up with the mobile network adult block. I then showed her a website showing pr0n on my phone and said it doesn't seem to work on everything does it?

To say she was shocked is an understatement.

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Yes, but why would a small ISP go the extra mile if they're not compelled to by law?

Profit would be a great drive. Maybe run some "special" servers for extra money. The big ones get watched too closely so a little one might have a better chance of getting away with it.

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Re: DNS over TLS

"There's already an RFC for DNS over TLS, so give it time."

How would that help against an ISP who hijacks the DNS port wholesale (and would likely get a valid TLS certificate)?

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Re: DNS over TLS

"ISP who hijacks the DNS port wholesale"

You run a local DNS daemon on your own system and direct clients to use it (resolve.conf set to localhost). The local daemon forwards DNS requests out through a secure connection to an external service that uses something other than the standard port.

Anyway, that's the basic theory. I'd have to get my kid's help to actually set it up.

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Or just let the government build their own DNS server.

Point new customers to it by default - but maybe include their original DNS server in a FAQ.

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Anonymous Coward

"blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

Erm, did someone miss the word "million" out of that? Or have the government not been looking very hard for porn sites?

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Trollface

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

Looking at the action the government is taking I feel like I can say with some certainty that they haven't got a bloody clue what they are doing and this is entirely to grab headlines and allow them to say at their party conference that they are "thinking of the children"

Sadly that last line is probably a little too close to the bone for many of the older party members..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"Sadly that last line is probably a little too close to the bone for many of the older party members."

It has long seemed apparent that those who vociferously campaign against "pr0n" are those whose minds see sex in everything. St Jerome et al have a lot to answer for in conditioning people's thinking even in these supposedly enlightened times.

David Frost once did a satirical sketch where he interviewed a supposed Mary Whitehouse type campaigner. The man said he could identify "filthy" TV programmes just from their titles. He declared the "filthiest" programme to be - "Blue Peter"***.

***a wholesome children's programme famous for making things like Christmas decorations out of wire coat hangers and plastic bottles. A "Blue Peter" is the signal flag a ship hoists when it is about to set sail. "Peter" is an old euphemism for a penis.

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

I think Damian Green has been doing some research into this

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"It has long seemed apparent that those who vociferously campaign against "pr0n" are those whose minds see sex in everything."

Reminds me of the classic 'Not the Nine O'clock News' sketch where Rowan Atkinson describes London's skyline in similar terms:

- It is not Nelson's column, it is Nelson's Willy thrusting into the sky!

- It is not St. Paul's dome, it is an enormous titty!

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"I think Damian Green has been doing some research into this"

And also Toby Young - http://archive.spectator.co.uk/article/10th-november-2001/34/confessions-of-a-porn-addict

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

They have to start from scratch, Damian Green took the list with him...

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

Looking at the action the government is taking I feel like I can say with some certainty that they haven't got a bloody clue what they are doing and this is entirely to grab headlines and allow them to say at their party conference that they are "thinking of the children"

Dailly Mail politics take a subject that the DM have got their readers in a froth about. Introduce a law where you ban or encourage or restrict whatever the DM don't like/like. Get more votes as a result. Doesn't matter if the whole thing is dumb and unworkable.

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

Erm, did someone miss the word "million" out of that? Or have the government not been looking very hard for porn sites?

Those in charge of this will obviously leave their favorite sites alone since they will need access for "research purposes".

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"Sadly that last line is probably a little too close to the bone for many of the older party members.."

Well played sir! An exuberance of double entendres!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

Daily Mail politics take a subject that the DM have got their readers in a froth about. Introduce a law where you ban or encourage or restrict whatever the DM don't like/like. Get more votes as a result. Doesn't matter if the whole thing is dumb and unworkable.

That's how "The Will Of The People" works, isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"Doesn't matter if the whole thing is dumb and unworkable."

even better if it's dumb & unworkable, the Mail can then spew page after page about how bad the system is?

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

What we have here is an example of "Dimocracy" government by the dim, of the dim, for the dim!

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

"Daily Mail"

Daily Mail readers don't need porn sites - they have the sidebar of shame.

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Re: "blocking ... between 1 and 50 sites a year"

>Doesn't matter if the whole thing is dumb and unworkable.

Sadly I think the scheme is workable. As in, the plan is to turn the internet into a government-managed network.

It isn't hard to filter out all the video and audio providers and isp dns servers and then dpi remaining Udp for dns. I suspect those 30gbit nics with fpga's would be useful. You can do the dpi offline and once you've found the service, add in a redirect in an upstream isp network. Or don't do a redirect, just tag the source IP for "special attention."

Until we start building wholesale encrypted networks and/or manage to demand the removal of such features, the government control creep will continue.

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Anonymous Coward

Well well, the corruption does on and up

No this is a normal Gov tactic.

Distortion of the truth so that "The Minister(s)" makes the decision that Sir Humphrey wanted in the fist place.

Lets face it the Home Sec doesnt understand why encryption is important to computer security, in fact she thinks they are opposites, and given her wishes she would feck all and every online transaction.

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Anonymous Coward

Let's continue wondering down this slippery slope

Another grab at control of the internet, it looks clumsy and we laugh at how ineffective it will be, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case with the 'Won't someone think of the children' knee jerk policies.

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Re: Let's continue wondering down this slippery slope

And in the end they will never grab control of the internet.

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Re: Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case

They will never be able to criminalize web access or censor the internet but they will try sadly.

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Re: Let's continue wondering down this slippery slope

... all because Andrews&Arnold continue to opt out of the Great Firewall that once blocked wikipedia.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case

Oh yeah? All they have to do is ban any use of "unsanctioned" encryption as a terrorist tool. Once you have a Stateful Internet, attribution becomes much easier.

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Re: Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case

They been trying to ban encryption for years but have failed. they will never turn the internet into a Stateful Internet and attribution will not become much easier.

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Re: Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case

They will never be able to criminalize web access or censor the internet but they will try sadly.

They'll follow the Chinese/Russian methods. Stilll a few bugs to work out but they're getting close to imposing their will upon their people. Just need to maybe toughen the penalties a bit to something publically lethal.

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Re: Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case

They are not getting close to imposing their will upon their people.

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Gimp

"Another grab at control of the internet, but it has dark intentions as is usually the case "

Correct.

This is bu***r all to do with TOTC but everything to do with ciminalizing web access

More handiwork from Claire Perry I presume. A Conservative backbencher who couldn't set her browser, so wanted a law to require mandatory filtering.

And it seem she now has one. At the time she thought all those online gambling sites could be re-purposed for this task, as they'd like the revenue and they are completely trustworthy.

Beware of anyone offering "simple" solutions to very complex problems.

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Re: Let's continue wondering down this slippery slope

Not all the ISPs have a system to block stuff we don't like, we just need to add all the other stuff we don't like. Maybe add the stuff other people like too.

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Anonymous Coward

"[...] perhaps it's not surprising that the government also lists as a potential risk that people simply stop using online porn at all. But, hey, perhaps that's what the government wants..."

Except for MPs - especially ministers and their spouses of course.

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Prime minister's progress report for next year

"Thanks to our crack down on porn we have successfully pushed thousands of perverts and paedophiles off the internet. If they need to empty their sack, they will all just have to go back to school where they belong."

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Re: perhaps that's what the government wants...

Well given than "the government" in the shape of the Number10gov official site and Theresa May in her own name plus of course Jeremy Corbyn and probably every one else in parliament regularly post to one of the worlds premier porn distribution sites, I'd say that the government positively support porn.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: perhaps that's what the government wants...

They also appear regularly in the long running series Hans 'ard.

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Anonymous Coward

They'll run this for 6 months then claim they can't do it and swap to a white list. The Great British Firewall is born.

Personally I think TV is much worse than pr0n.

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Unlikely a white list will work and they wont be able to put a Great British Firewall in place (they try to put one in place many times before but failed)

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Anonymous Coward

At the other AC, re: sex on tv...

"I can't stand sex on the telly! ... ... ... I keep fallin' off!"

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Fantastic... so how is this going to work with small sites... like Twitter and Tumblr etc. which have lots of porn on it?

Does the site need to be *only* about porn like *tube? Making this, yet again, another bit of legislation we didn't ask for, want or need?

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I hear they are going to leave sites like Twitter and Tumblr alone.

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They have history of this. The Internet Witch Hunt Watch Foundation once caused major problems on the entire Wikipedia site over a single photo.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this only going to apply to UK hosted pr0n sites or worldwide?

Define "pr0n" in that worldwide context. No doubt some MPs will be thinking along the lines of the USA school that sacked a teacher recently - for letting an 11 year olds art class see pictures of famous works of art that contained nudity.

Last year my neighbours' son's UK school set their 7 year olds a homework project to research sculpture. His parents asked for him to borrow a reference book on the history of the subject. It probably included pictures of ancient fertility figures, a "David", and various other famous sculptures.

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When I was 6, I received from the school an official reference textbook, whose very first illustration was full frontal nudity of a man and a woman.

Is UK generally more prude than the rest of Europe, or is it just a small fraction of vocal prudes pushing this through?

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