back to article UK.gov to press ahead with online smut checks (but expects £10m in legals in year 1)

The UK government is bracing itself to face legal challenges when it implements controversial smut age check rules, and has said it could cost up to £10m in the first year alone. The plans to require online porn providers to check users are over 18 before granting them access to the site have been in the offing since 2017, …

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  1. MiguelC Silver badge

    Are you 18 or older?

    Yes / No

    There. Done.

    1. Justin Case
      Boffin

      Re: Are you 18 or older?

      18 or Older? Yes / No? That's a bit binary. What about age fluidity?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Are you 18 or older?

        Did you search for this website? Yes/No

        And we already have a system for that, we are already doing it. The gov should not be dictating their way into our lives, the parents should be bringing up their children and leading them into the world.

        1. Martin Summers Silver badge

          Re: Are you 18 or older?

          "the parents should be bringing up their children and leading them into the world"

          Well if this plan goes ahead they won't be able to find out how until they're 18.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

          the parents should be bringing up their children and leading them into the world.

          Except one particular "parent" in question (who couldn't figure out how to enable age barring on her browser) started all this BS.

          I'll leave the name of the Conservative MP who I'm thinking of as an exercise for other readers.

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: Are you 18 or older?

      Absolutely, if you want to be old school about it then have the no button take them to the Disney website. Brings back memories...

    3. low_resolution_foxxes

      Re: Are you 18 or older?

      As much as I hate to propose the idea, could we not have an OS login level age ID optin service? I'd rather give android my ID rather than porn sites

      Protip: my favourite porn method is just to use Google image search with a search like "hot sex .gif" usually the 4chan nerds have .gifed all the really good shots, plus you also get to watch 5-10 great GIFs at the same time, AND it won't be regulated by the above. I'm guessing the Google cached .gifs are less virus probe than darker smutwebs too.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you 18 or older?

      Children start becoming sexually aware around the age of 10 and once that awareness has occurred, and the accompanying urges have started, there's no way of stopping it.

      The real problem here is that parents can't cope with, and are in denial of, that little aspect of reality.

      Rather than solving a problem, Age Verification just helps brush it further under the carpet.

  2. tmTM

    So what of all the sites hosted in another country?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They just block them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >They just block them.

        They poorly attempt to block them, easily circumvented by those under 18.

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: They just block them.

          Remember, this isn't about age controls to protect children from pornography, it is to appease the Traditional Tory Voters and Social Justice Warriors who want to ban pornography outright. Of course, it won't appease them at all, only move the ball a little closer to their goal posts ready for the next turn of the ratchet.

          If the Government actually gave a damn about children, a third of British children wouldn't be living in poverty - up 100,000 on last year.1 Chronically not having enough food, or decent food, is a lot more damaging to a child's development than accidentally stumbling on some slap-and-tickle.

          1https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-poverty-increase-children-family-benefit-households-a8268191.html

          1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

            Re: They just block them.

            "Traditional Tory Voters" are the main consumers of porn - they just deny it of course like everything else, BREXIT? No problem, Age Verification? - that will be easy, Irish Border? Blame the EU ...

            Every "problem" is either not a problem or someone else's problem.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: They just block them.

              @Version 1.0, that may be true, but remember that those same traditional Tory voters won't ever be *seen* to be main consumers of porn. They deny it. But they are perfectly fine to disadvantage everyone else purely based on 'I'm alright, Jack'.

      2. phuzz Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        "They just block them."

        Got a source for that?

        Also, how would they block them, put them on the same list as kiddie porn? Or the same block they try to use on file sharing sites?

        Enquiring minds want to know.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They give out block lists to all the schools to pass to the pupils so they know not to go on them. Foolproof.

          1. JohnMurray

            My Grandchildren (12/9/8yrs) know how to use the schools computers/ipads better than the teachers....this is not going to end well

            (sexually-frustrated adults being shown the way to access porn by their kids)

            1. John G Imrie Silver badge

              It was ever thus

              As a 16 y/o student at a college I knew more about computers/computing than the tutor supposedly teaching the course.

    2. Valeyard

      So what of all the sites hosted in another country?

      Oh god, imagine if we were all restricted to british porn. This is the worst-case scenario, and should be the rallying cry for the opposition

      1. Gordon861

        Non stop Ben Dover etc

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Gimp

      Not about porn really.

      This is just the classic TOTC softening up BS so beloved of the data fetishists who support this to help populate their what-sort-of-person-are-you database.

      Check the categories.

      You'll find they include "Anorexia advocacy" and "Esoterica"

      BTW I'd say most fetishists are normally harmless and only indulge their thing with like minded people.

      OTOH Data fetishists want to do their thing with (or rather to) everybody, all the time. Forever.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Somehow I'm confident that there are more CC licensed cat videos than twice the world's porn.

    Problem averted.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Trollface

      But what if they just declare your site's content "100% pussy" and shut you down anyway?!?

  4. Valerion

    Leisure Suit Larry

    I propose a verification system based on the Leisure Suit Larry implementation where people have to answer questions that only those over 18 would know the answers to.

    Would fit in with the porn theme, too.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Leisure Suit Larry

      LOL that's a blast from the past my father had that game it took me about an hour to brute force all of the answers!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Leisure Suit Larry

        Ken sent me!

    2. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      Re: Leisure Suit Larry

      If she doesn't know where the fresh prince spent most of his days, she's too young for you bro

    3. Suricou Raven

      Re: Leisure Suit Larry

      "If you wanna be my lover, you have to learn to ____?"

      "Name a children's costumed entertainer with yellow spots and googly eyes."

      "What do the letters 'LGPS' on a payslip stand for?"

  5. Waseem Alkurdi
    Trollface

    Ancillary service providers (ASPs)

    Losing much market share to Apache.

  6. Waseem Alkurdi

    Rather, search engine owners should “amend their algorithms to push non-compliant sites down the list, and give compliant sites a higher ranking”.

    Yeah. Good luck getting Google (the only search engine) to do that.

    1. Glen 1 Bronze badge

      >Good luck

      I know, right? Penalising search results that actually contain what is being searched for.

      I was going to make a sarcastic remark about being more like bing, but ironically bing is better than Google for porn.

  7. Mycho Silver badge

    Just to clarify,

    If we successfully sue the BBFC for 2bn will that mean they go out of business?

  8. msknight Silver badge

    Government doesn't want a repeat of the Labour vote loss

    Given the membership of just one online paid-for forum (Alt - which had over half a million UK members at one point) and the number of votes that Labour lost at the general election after the 2008 law that they introduced, there is good reason that the conservatives don't want to repeat the same mistake by going too heavy.

    Also, Erotica, at Olympia, at its height, had more visitors than the BBC Good food show at its peak. Nearly three times. So sex is almost three times more popular than good food, apparently.

    And Labour know this, because I told them. Repeatedly. And I've given the figures to the conservatives. But they've still gone ahead with this. Political suicide IMHO.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      "So sex is almost three times more popular than good food, apparently."

      Well, we are British after all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "So sex is almost three times more popular than good food, apparently."

        Why can't we have both?

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: "Why can't we have both?"

          It's unhygienic, and a right pain to get out of the bed sheets.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Why can't we have both?"

            Who mentioned beds?

          2. hmv

            Re: "Why can't we have both?"

            You're doing it wrong. Hint: What do you think the kitchen table is for?

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: "Why can't we have both?"

              >What do you think the kitchen table is for?

              Making me dinner

          3. Crisp Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: "It's unhygienic"

            Only if you do it right...

          4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

            Re: "Why can't we have both?"

            I hate crumbs in bed.

            1. RegGuy1

              I hate crumbs in bed.

              Well have crumbs on the kitchen table.

              She might like that.

          5. DropBear Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: "Why can't we have both?"

            "a right pain to get out of the bed sheets"

            I've been told that's what those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells are for.

            1. Jedit
              Coat

              "those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells "

              You've been into every single sex shop? Wow, that's dedication.

              Which reminds me of a joke I heard from a German friend, translated badly here for your pleasure. A Bavarian woman goes into a sex shop and starts openly admiring a 12-inch mains-powered vibrator. The proprietor comes over and says, "Impressive, isn't it?" "Yes", the woman replies, "it is a triumph of engineering!"

              1. anothercynic Silver badge

                Re: "those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells "

                Come on then. What's the real German version... Ein Deutschsprecher wants to know ;-)

                1. Jedit
                  FAIL

                  Re: "those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells "

                  I don't know, I don't speak German very well - they translated it for me!

              2. DropBear Silver badge

                Re: "those PVC sheets every single sex shop sells "

                You've been into every single sex shop? Wow, that's dedication.

                Naaaah, I'm not that thorough. On the other hand, every single sex shop I've ever been in (and rest assured, it's LOTS) _was_ selling them... :)))

        2. JohnMurray

          Re: "So sex is almost three times more popular than good food, apparently."

          Because good food costs....and we're British

    2. Handlebars

      Re: Government doesn't want a repeat of the Labour vote loss

      Both eclipsed by the Chelsea flower show though. We know what really matters.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Government doesn't want a repeat of the Labour vote loss

        >Both eclipsed by the Chelsea flower show though

        The biggest display of floral genitals and open air reproduction

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