back to article Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

The UK government is to lay its digital bill before Parliament today, which, among other things, is intended to create a legal right for every household to access 10Mbps broadband. Age verification will also be required for people browsing pornographic websites, supposedly for the protection of children from online porn. The …

  1. nuked

    I'm guessing with enough money I would be able to get a 10Mbps line cabled into to nearly every household now. How does this 'right' convert to affordability for every household?

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      It does baffle me.

      10Mbps over 100m has been available since... well, 10BaseT. And there have been WAN technologies available to do such things for decades, over even the flakiest of copper.

      The core problems lies not with the end mile, surely, but with providing provision to the exchanges. And, let's be honest, are you really not going to need to upgrade every exchange at some point anyway? Surely it's now inevitable.

      1. Aggrajag

        I don't think it's the exchanges, I think it's the last mile or indeed miles. I live in a 500 house village near Sheffield and Rotherham and if it wasn't for a privately run business-standard village-wide wifi service we'd still be on 1 Mbps because our nearest exchange is approx 4 miles away. (And of course people who aren't signing up for this company and it's rates are still stuck at 1 Mbps.)

        1. h4rm0ny

          Well maybe if this law passes you'll have the "right" to 10Mbps in your village but there's nothing about cost still. So what does that mean? They're forced to offer it but can charge you thousands for a dedicated line? They're not allowed to offer packages less than 10Mbps? Those seem to be the only viable interpretations of this law and neither really makes much sense. Maybe if you're an ISP you're required to offer 10Mbps to anyone who wants it. Which is a great way to keep out new competition as only BT, TalkTalk, et al. could absorb such costs. Again, as a law this makes no sense?

          And what the Hell does this have to do with mandatory age checks, too? Another way of putting that is anyone visiting such sites legally must supply personally identifying information. Yes, that's exactly what you should not be putting into a porn site. Nor should the government be snooping on it.

          1. The Mole

            "Right to 10Mbps" means it will be written into the "universal service obligation". That is in order to get a license the operator (e.g. BT) has to agree to provide a minimum service to anybody who requests it for the same price. Exactly the same as the obligation to provide everybody with a phone line.

            So the condition is to offer it for the same price, the obligation also only applies to large national operators allowing smaller firms a chance to compete (probably by piggyback on BT Openreach anyway)

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      10Mbps is easy

      This is interesting. Bog-standard broadband has traditionally been 'up to 8Mbps' (YMMV). Since I complained about some problems and got the last 200m of my line replaced I've been getting about 7.5Mb, from an exchange about 1.5 miles away.

      We're still waiting for FTTP (yep, FTTP, not FTTC - they've promised), which has been promised for many months - but it looks as if it's very, very close now. The exchange was enabled last year, now we're just waiting for our cabinet to get sorted.

      Mysteriously though, a month or two back, I happened to check my connection speed on the hub, and it had gone up to 17.5Mbps down, and 1.25 Mb up (was 400k). No notice, no trumpeting of the change. Is this a side effect of enabling the exchange for fibre? Either way, it means that it looks like a fairly easy job to hit the 10Mbps target without much extra work. Having said that, other users on our cabinet are still only getting about 5Mbps or less.

      1. Fuzz

        Re: 10Mbps is easy

        This is a switch to ADSL2+ which supports speeds up to 24Mbps. I'd imagine that openreach are no longer offering products based on ADSL. As you live quite close to your exchange you get a decent boost on speed. For people further from the exchange the benefit of ADSL2+ is very small and won't take people over the magical 10Mbps boundary.

        1. CommanderGalaxian
          Headmaster

          Re: 10Mbps is easy

          For the avoidance of confusion, please note ADSL2+ and FTTC are different mechanisms.

        2. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

          Re: 10Mbps is easy

          Are common household data rates really that low over on the other side of the pond?

          Here in Canada we've been getting 50 megabits download and 35 megabits upload for at least 10 years now and our local comms provider Telus, have had their 150 megabits synchronous comms with the same upload and download speed package at a very reasonable $80 CAN per month with 600 Gigabytes of data allowed per month for almost two years now!

          In the downtown core flats that are all fibre optic connected, their Gigabit Ethernet package which is actually cheaper at only $65 per month is almost spot on synchronous with One Gigabit download and 0.8 Gigabits upload for superfast gaming and 4K video Netflix options. How hard can it be to wire up a country? My cousins in Munich, Germany have had inexpensive Three Gigabit IPV6 Video, Voice and Data for at least three years now and you can pay extra to get the full 10 Gigabit package although that price package is definitely much more expensive. If Germany and Canada can give the public high speed Internet, why can't the UK do it too?

      2. Ynox

        Re: 10Mbps is easy

        8Mbit was ADSL.

        (Up to) 20Mbit is ADSL2+ so they switched the exchange over to ADSL2+. Surprised that there's any ADSL exchanges left these days!

        Edit - beaten to this comment...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

    Will be pretty big if they decide to put all sites that don't verify age in it.

    1. corestore

      Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

      Ahh but there isn't one you see; the government left it to the IWF to maintain the blacklist. And of course since they're a private organization they're not covered by freedom of information laws so the blacklist stays secret...

      1. msknight

        Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

        So what about sites which don't charge?

        This smells like free speech and perverts be damned and using the children as hostages.

        Not that I happen to run such a site... *ahem*

        1. Crisp Silver badge

          Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

          Which site is this? A friend of mine wants to know for research purposes...

          1. msknight

            Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

            This friend of yours... wouldn't work for the government, by any chance ;-)

            1. Red Bren

              Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

              "This friend of yours... wouldn't work for the government, by any chance ;-)"

              That's a terrible thing to accuse an innocent pervert of being.

              1. msknight

                Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

                A certain conservative member comes to mind... only the orange wasn't in his christmas stocking.

                Ah! I see now! They're trying to save the children from perverted politicians!!! It all makes sense now.

                Joking aside, I don't use El Reg to promote my resources, even if they are free ;-)

                1. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

                  Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

                  Plus the stocking was over his head.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

        Oh goody

        The politician's favourite propaganda prorogation site "twatter" will have to ban everyone who isn't prepared / able to hand over a credit card number as proof of ID. While "twatter" might host lying stealing conniving cheating bastards like those penned up in parliament it is also used by many hard working ladies and gentlemen (and no doubt not so gentle if you pay enough) of negotiable affection. Plus more user generated content than you could ever shake your own stick at.

        1. ridley

          Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

          Perhaps they should talk to James Ready he ran a very popular Adult Verification Service (AVS) for many websites and their webmasters. Of course that went well for him and several thousand innocent Brits who used the service..

      3. CommanderGalaxian
        Boffin

        Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

        I think you will find they have left it to China Telecom and Huawei (those responsible for the Great Firewall of China) to do the filtering. http://www.kitguru.net/channel/jon-martindale/huawei-to-open-125-million-research-facility-in-uk/

  3. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    The Digital Economy Bill was first announced in the Queen's Speech earlier this year. It has the lofty aim of "mak[ing] the United Kingdom a world leader in the digital economy" via legislation.

    Coming up next: legislation to enforce better wether. Britain needs to become world leader in beach resorts too!

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Wether - castrated rams require legislation?

      If l may channel Kryten for a moment, I hardly think that castrated rams need any further legislation...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wether - castrated rams require legislation?

        You wouldn't be saying that if you were a ram!

      2. g e
        Pint

        Thank you, Sir

        For teaching me a word heretofore unknownst to me.

        :oD

        Next week, for avid learners of our colourful language... Poor, Pore, Paw, Pour followed by an afternoon studying Though, Thought, Through, Trough, Drought, Tough

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: Thank you, Sir

          and Cough

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Thank you, Sir

            and Slough

        2. Steve Foster
          Childcatcher

          Re: Thank you, Sir

          Let's not forget bow and bow [and beau], and row and row.

          (archery vs shipping or obsequience; argument vs Steve Redgrave).

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: Thank you, Sir

            And bough.

    2. Potemkine Silver badge

      It surely needs to revamp its advertising campaign ^^

  4. Queeg

    Tor,Tor,Tor,Tor....Tor,Tor,Tor,Tor......Tor wonderful Tor

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8huXkSaL7o

    You'll get the idea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Who would have guessed ten years ago that in Britain by 2016 a VPN would be an essential tool if you wanted to visit any non-government approved website. I certainly didn't. What a deeply depressing state of affairs...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tor, Tor, Tor

      Perhaps, but unfortunately Tor is very easy to profile. (This is why they haven't simply blocked it - it's so very useful!)

      So High Chancellor Theresa May will have a nice handy list of all paedos/terrorists/dissidents in her country. It doesn't even matter what you were DOING with Tor, the fact you are using it makes you a threat, and you can expect a knock on the door (or at least a fingering) from the NCA i.e. May's SS.

      You won't even be able to claim that your Human Rights have been violated, because by the time we sign Article 50, you won't have any.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Tor, Tor, Tor

        Plus, as other people have said, this mandatory age-verification will presumably involve an ID check, i.e. scanning a biometric, swiping your government-issued ID card, or some other form of ID which can be linked to a central government pervs database.

        Not too long ago, Theresa May (or was it Jacqui Smith?) wanted ISPs to force people to opt-in to porn. Those who did are on the pervs database.

        But really it's not about porn, it's about controlling anonymity online in general. The only reason it's about porn right now is because people are more likely to accept a pervs database than a complete citizen/dissident database. Many shillspeople are now calling for mandatory ID checks on people using social networks and forums, ostensibly to make it easier for the plod to cuff anyone who says something naughty or otherwise offends somebody on The Internet.

        Shortly it will be illegal to try to post anything or even view anything anonymously on the Internet (or otherwise attempt to subvert citizen/dissident profiling). And using Tor will be a one-way ticket to the rehabilitation centre.

        Anon, while it's still legal!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tor, Tor, Tor

          "Not too long ago, Theresa May (or was it Jacqui Smith?) wanted ISPs to force people to opt-in to porn. Those who did are on the pervs database."

          And they sort of did. They managed to get all the major ISPs to make new customers choose on sign-up whether they wanted restricted or unrestricted access to the 'net - presumably they would just need to get existing customers to make an active choice. Given fixed line broadband (I think) needs to have an 18+ account holder, job's a good 'un.

          Of course, all this is ignoring the fact that the filters are terrible. My mobile blocker is still in place (vpn for most things on the road anyway as it gets rid of traffic shaping and the terrible DNS servers in the mobile world) and recently blocked my access to a video games forum as "adult content".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tor, Tor, Tor

            I signed that I wanted unrestricted access as:

            (a) my wife is a Pharmacist

            (b) my daughter is a Medical Student

            and both need access to pages containing text and images that would hit filtering.

            Me however, because I'm male and ticked the box, I'm labelled as a pervert!

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Give me a 'V'! Give me a 'P'! Give me an 'N'! What does it spell? 'Go fuck yourself, government'.

  5. BoldMan

    So how will they enforce Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

    Are there any porn sites hosted in the UK? If so, won't be for much longer...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      So how will they enforce mandatory age verification on porn sites inside the UK?

      Technically it seems impossible, unless there's a plan for everyone to get a Gov ID card with chip and a card reader. And then how would the sites operate with connections from outside the UK?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And then how would the sites operate with connections from outside the UK?

        Why would they care? All this age verification crap is coming from that patrician twerp Cameron, aided and abetted by Sturmbahnfuhrer May.

        May has a degree in geography, Cameron in philosophy, politics and economics. So between them they know the sum of f*** all in all matters of business, science or technology, and if they managed to mess up the UK's internet they would simply not understand why that mattered.

        1. moiety

          It'll probably be a pop-up box saying "Are you 18 or what?" with yes/no buttons.

          1. Cris E

            >It'll probably be a pop-up box saying "Are you 18 or what?" with yes/no buttons.

            That could be circumvented by simply lying. What you need is a second box asking "Are you sure?"

            1. Crisp Silver badge

              Re: That could be circumvented by simply lying.

              You really think someone would do that? Just go on the internet and tell lies?

              1. Thatguyfromthatforum

                Re: That could be circumvented by simply lying.

                This comment made my day.

                A 21 year old Brazilian stripper and a bottle of ky is in the mail .

            2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Are you 18?

              Asking a simple question won't work - they might lie. No, the question needs to be

              Do you PROMISE on Cameron's grave that you're 18, cross your heart, hope to die.

              That would be sure to get an honest answer.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: Are you 18?

                >>"Do you PROMISE on Cameron's grave that you're 18, cross your heart, hope to die."

                Maaaaybe.

                But show me Blair's grave and I'll promise pretty much anything you want!

          2. Shady

            I do hope so. Otherwise I'll wear out my numeric keypad :(

          3. TheProf
            Facepalm

            It'll probably be a pop-up box saying "Are you 18 or what?" with yes/no buttons.

            And a lot of adults will still get it wrong.

            1. M7S
              Coat

              And a lot of adults will still get it wrong.

              48% perhaps?

      2. John Sturdy
        FAIL

        That's easy

        Just make the login process take 18 years. By the time it completes, you're old enough.

    2. Smooth Newt
      Thumb Up

      Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

      So how will they enforce Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

      No problem. The referendum result abolished Abroad. The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        "No problem. The referendum result abolished Abroad. The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures".

        And that's a problem how??

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

          "No problem. The referendum result abolished Abroad. The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures".

          And that's a problem how??

          I refer you to the country known as the United States of America.

      2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
        Angel

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        > empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures.

        Here be grumpy dragons, wearing Pickelhauben and claiming stretches of land be placing towels. Can be soothed with a handful of Sauerkraut, though.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        Oh good, yet another way for the old guard to say we're going back to the good old days, this time by preventing Johnny Foreigner corrupting the youth.

        Still, there's about a 90% chance at the moment that anyone who proposes a change in the law will get their way and then fuck off before they have to deal with the consequences.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures

        Such as honest politicians?

        1. Potemkine Silver badge

          Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

          We have the politicians we deserve.

          1. rototype

            Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

            If they DO end up basically not permitting sites not UK hosted, will this (hopefully) mean the end for facebook etc...??

      5. Shady

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        Here be immigrants!

      6. rototype
        Coat

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        Does this mean that them animals known as 'Merkins' no longer exist?

      7. Andrew Meredith

        Re: Mandatory Age verification on porn sites that are not hosted in the UK?

        "No problem. The referendum result abolished Abroad. The World now consists of Blighty, and some empty spaces on the map filled with mythical creatures."

        No problem. The referendum result created Abroad. The World now consists of more than just the EU nations and now includes formerly mythical places like "Orstraylia, Carnida & NeoZelund".

        FTFY

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Politicians seldom worry about what is possible.

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Marc 25

    A the wench that put this legi-shit-tion into place is potentially going to be our next (unelected) PM...i weep for this island sometimes

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      A the wench. Are you a gerontophiliac or something?

      Ah, I get it, you are mistaking her for her namesake. Though I do not think that you may stand a chance to get any glimpse of Teresa (without h) May if Theresa May gets her way.

      1. Marc 25

        gerontophiliac.... Quite the opposite sir.

        (although, I've been called worse)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Conspiracy theory?

      I'm beginning to believe that, after several Home Secretaries have made the same fundamental error about what can be achieved by legislation w.r.t the Internet, that there must me an underlying reason for this degree of ineptitude.

      Maybe the Civil Service department for imparting "knowledge" to politicians of what is possible is incapable, uneducated, or likes seeing their charges laughed at by the technical community. It's got to be something like this, because they can't all get so far in politics without being moderately clever.

      Or maybe MI5, MI6 and the Police just keep lobbying successive Home Secretaries with the same unworkable policies, hoping that one of them is really a miracle worker and comes up with a way of actually doing it!

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Conspiracy theory?

        was said: "It's got to be something like this, because they can't all get so far in politics without being moderately clever."

        It all depends on the type of cleverness.

        There is a type of cleverness that involves having a vague clue about the interwebs

        There is a type of cleverness that involves mendacity, back stabbing, greasy pole climbing etc., etc. - i.e. the type of cleverness needed for political progress

        If you took a Venn diagram of the whole country then there would be some intersection between the 2 clevernesses, but no guarantee that many of the current shower of MPs have a foot in both camps

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Conspiracy theory?

        What do you think Parliamentary whips are all about?

        What the Whips know, the secret services know. They knew, without needing the inquiry started a few months ago, what Ted Heath got up to in his spare time (for example - Heath had 24x7 Special Branch cover even after he finished as PM). Same as these folk knew (in the same era) about Jeremy's activities (Thorpe, not Corbyn).

        All the whips/spooks have to do is convince enough of their target politicians that the politicians are vulnerable to being exposed (whether it's true or not), and that's it, the spooks get whatever legislation they want, however badly drafted. however much it infringes fundamental rights.

        See e.g. A Very British Coup (TV version, not Chris Mullin MP's original):

        http://www.channel4.com/programmes/a-very-british-coup

        And somewhere in the Independent, somewhere I can't find right now, is an article about what the whips know and what they use it for. A longer version of a story which BBC Newsnight cut short before it got to the most interesting bits.

        Still, corruption's a third world problem, innit.

      3. h4rm0ny

        Re: Conspiracy theory?

        >>"I'm beginning to believe that, after several Home Secretaries have made the same fundamental error about what can be achieved by legislation w.r.t the Internet, that there must me an underlying reason for this degree of ineptitude."

        There are actually four reasons.

        Firstly, it gets a slight vote boost from people who are anti-porn and ignorant of technology.

        Secondly, it provides the opportunity to funnel cash at mates in business and to lean on ISPs to make them do what you want because you can make things a real hassle for them.

        Thirdly and most importantly, it's not about pro-active enforcement, it's about being able to charge people with something when they become inconvenient or annoying. Can't nick them for anything you want to nick them for? That's okay, you can get them for "viewing illegal pornography" and "bypassing the protections that block foreign and often extreme porn". (note the weasel words in there).

        Fourth, and not much less important, it's one more backdoor through which intelligence agencies can force through surveillance and tracking of people. One of the (un)holy grails is to ban VPN usage by any non-business. I.e. the public.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Conspiracy theory?

          One of the (un)holy grails is to ban VPN usage by any non-business. I.e. the public.

          Yep. Which is exactly why I am finally caving in and registering a LTD this month. I would like to see her exulted highness try to enforce a VPN ban on companies for business use.

  7. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Fines for spammers?

    I'd be more impressed if there was an automatic fine for each spam message that was split with the recipient.

  8. paulc

    How the heck is the silly woman going to enforce this mandatory age verification when the vast majority of grumble sites are not in this country?

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      "How the heck is the silly woman going to enforce this mandatory age verification when the vast majority of grumble sites are not in this country?"

      That's the clever bit! If the "Snooper's Charter 2.0" gets approved, they'll already know how old you are from GCHQ's analysis of your IP traffic (e.g. which Facebook, email, Amazon etc. account was accessed from the same device in the same session context).

      Either that or access to porn will be via GCHQ's pay-per-view portal (this is part of the Great Leader's plan to pay off budget-deficit 2.0)...

    2. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Boffin

      > ...when the vast majority of grumble sites are not in this country?

      Hush! Don't tell them!

      The same has been tried in Krautistan, to no-one's surprise industry just relocated. We also had (have?) the rule that adult sites could only be usable between 8 pm and 5 am (IIRC). Apparently some people haven't quite grokked that this planet is of a certain non-disc shape.

  9. scrubber

    It's not porn

    It's all adult material.

    Then all potentially subversive material.

    Then all politically contentious material.

    Then anything critical of plod or our betters in Parliament.

    Then, wait - now! - anything politically incorrect.

    Then anything contrary to the official party line.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: It's not porn

      First they came for the porn, and I did not speak out because I was not a wanker.

      1. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        Re: It's not porn

        no comment

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not porn

        I did not speak out because I was not a wanker.

        If it's not an impolite question, how did you lose your hands?

      3. Lashd

        Re: It's not porn

        Created an account to upvote this. Don't disappoint me by saying it wasn't original.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not porn

          Yep. I just shoot from the hip.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not porn

      thing is there not blocking websites

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Erm, 'scuse moi

    Not so long ago, the gubbermint was banging on about making ISPs pose the question "Do you want porn filtering".

    Sure enough my ISP (Virgin (on the ridiculous)) popped up a question asking if i wanted their porn filter.

    Obviously, being male and almost 50 i told em to go 4th, as an adult with NO children it was none of their fucking business what i cover my screen in.

    But NOW the westminster fuck witt collective posse have decided that *their* porn list must go ahead.

    Because???

    To protect innocent children from the horrors of human flesh??

    Fuck right off.

    Simply put, you say you DONT want a porn filter, your name is on the kiddy fiddler, terrorist , £$€ launderer list. Oh, you watch porn, then you MUST be a miscreant...

  11. corestore

    This is nothing to do with porn or child protection...

    Remember when Cameron said that the police and security services needed - and would be given - the capability to know exactly which individual is using any internet-capable device at any given time?

    Yeah. That.

    1. chris121254

      Re: This is nothing to do with porn or child protection...

      that next to impossible

  12. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "Along with the legal right for Brits to demand fast broadband services"

    And how do you enforce it?

    Government to BT.... we demand you put this in.

    BT to Government... why not Virgin?

    Government to Virgin...we demand you put this circuit in

    Virgin to Government...why not skiy?

    Government to Sky...

    and so on and so on and so on.

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Facepalm

      Re: "Along with the legal right for Brits to demand fast broadband services"

      The same way mail and transport services are provided to economically non-viable regions?

      You can make the operating license conditional to certain terms. You can also provide subsidies. I'm pretty sure government has other tools at its disposal.

      The world is an amazing place. All sorts of obvious and non-obvious things exist despite our skepticism.

  13. Banksy
    Paris Hilton

    New Puritans

    When did we elect a new Puritan Party? I can see why they thought this was a good idea, stop 'extreme' porn, child pornography, protect kids, etc. The reality however, is that anyone hosting that sort of material will not comply with any laws the UK enacts and will not ask for the age verification from 'viewers'.

    The capacity for scope creep with this is tremendous, do they want to draw up a 'deviants' list? What if I want to look at some 'teen' pr0n knowing full well that most of the models are in their twenties, not teenagers? Will I be on the sex offenders register?

    Additionally, kids these days are the most tech savvy for that age group created to date and future generations will probably be even more so. I'd not be surprised if many of them knew how to use VPNs, Tor, etc., etc. They'll find a way around it so it won't protect them either.

    What happened to the good old days of finding your pr0n in some bushes (no pun intended)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New Puritans

      The leaders of the nation have always been signed up from the bible brigade. So none of this is odd.

      Think we're half way down the wedge

    2. Grikath

      Re: New Puritans

      They're trying to legislate *because* even a toddler is more net-savvy than the set of Luddites in Whitehall...

      And what they don't understand must be forbidden...

    3. swampdog
      Joke

      Re: New Puritans

      "What happened to the good old days of finding your pr0n in some bushes (no pun intended)?"

      Now there's an idea! Just leave your unwanted hard disk in a bush in the woods.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New Puritans

      >I can see why they thought this was a good idea, stop 'extreme' porn, child pornography, protect kids, etc.

      It was never about that.

      The terms "children," "child pornography," "extremism" and "terroris(m/t)" have become weaponized over the last few years.

      >What if I want to look at some 'teen' pr0n knowing full well that most of the models are in their twenties, not teenagers? Will I be on the sex offenders register?

      From my understanding, under UK law, if it looks like a child, it's "child pornography."

      That said, UK law is always vague. For example:

      >Protection of Children Act 1978

      >[...] a photograph is an indecent photograph of a child if it is indecent, and if it shows a child.

      ...

      >The Act does not define the term 'indecent'.

      So I can't give you a more accurate answer, sorry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Puritans

        " UK law is always vague. "

        If you want to know what 'vague' means, see if you can find a useful definition of what an 'internet connection record' is in the recent legislation.

      2. Dazed and Confused

        Re: New Puritans

        > That said, UK law is always vague.

        Well there is a very obvious reason for this.

        The laws are drafted by lawyers.

        Vague laws are open to interpretation. They don't have any meaning until their is some case law to set the meaning and this all mean legal fees. Lot and lots of lovely fees.

        It's a job creation scheme.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't look, nekked peoples!

    Coming soon: A return to neck-to-knee bathing costumes!

    Partly like it's 1895!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Don't look, nekked peoples!

      Certain ethnic groups would certainly want that. Exactly the reason lots of people voted for Brexit. Not that it'll protect them though.

      Let the downvotes commence...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Don't look, nekked peoples!

        Boring troll is boring.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Don't look, nekked peoples!

        You do know that those you think about aren't really in the EU?

  15. Camilla Smythe

    It was my fault.

    I was demonstrating how communications systems worked to The Committee and one of them asked how they could achieve the higher speeds they had been promising without spending any money so I showed them how things got better if you put a bit of tension in the string.

    1. cosymart
      Happy

      Re: It was my fault.

      It also helps if the string is wet, given the current weather should not be an issue :-)

      1. Camilla Smythe

        Re: It was my fault.

        Uhm... I told them damp string was the pron filter, cough, and they seemed to accept that self regulation was the proper way forward for the industry.

        I also dropped in on The Climate Change Committee and cautioned about rising sea levels as a result of all this rain we have been having recently. They were a bit nonplussed until I pointed out that all of that water eventually finds its way back into the sea via those things called rivers.

        Anyway. I advised that they raise the Thames Barrier to stop the rain entering the sea and implement a hose pipe ban until it had all evaporated. They seemed much happier after I had provided them with a solution they understood rather than the problems other expert witnesses come up with.

  16. derek burns

    Without porn what use is there for 10Mbps?

    Oh yeh... Linux dists of course :)

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Coat

      > Oh yeh... Linux dists of course

      You are such a kinky person.

      1. Circadian
        Windows

        These days, need minimum download bandwidth just for Windows 10. Govt missed a chance to specify minimum guaranteed upload, a common weakness in many packages. This is again needed just for Windows 10...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the detail

    "yes we want a nice handle to go in your hand", "easy to hold and apply enough force".

    What? the blade thing? oh that is just there to balance the handle, no the handle is what we talking about here.

    Age is the distraction, full identity end to end is the goal, oh and they will know your age too I suppose.

  18. d3vy Silver badge

    Two points.

    First, if the blocks are implemented in the same way as they block torrent sites then I suspect google will see an uptick in usage of their DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

    Second, theres no point promising 10Mb/s broadband AND blocking porn.. If it wasnt for porn we'd still be happy with 56k modems!

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      "First, if the blocks are implemented in the same way as they block torrent sites then I suspect google will see an uptick in usage of their DNS servers 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4"

      Pssst ... I can do you two ounces of BIND for fifty quid and I'll throw in root hints for free

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      from what I am reading they are not blocking websites but giving the sites fines

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I have three questions

    1. Is the age check for the customers or the 'actors'?

    2. Is this check an upper or a lower bound?

    3. Wouldn't it be better to have a qualifications check instead? If the two scantily clad friends really need the air conditioning fixing in their hot apartment, I'd like to know that the person who comes to fix the unit has all the necessary electrical and air conditioner qualifications required to get the job done safely and won't just spray fluid everywhere by accident.

  20. FlamingDeath

    Democracy

    Don't peek behind the curtain, you may discover continuity

  21. Haku

    At least when I was young there was nobody tracking the movement of magazines in hedges...

  22. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I imagine one can avoid these "age checks" by only browsing European> porn in the post-Brexit UK.

  23. Baldy50

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/news/story/some_spam_deserves_a_big_laugh_(video).html

  24. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Beware unintended consequences

    Banning recreational drugs created a black market where dangerous unregulated products flood the market. The same happened when alcohol prohibition was in force.

    Make it too difficult for teenagers to access "normal" porn sites and they are quite likely to gravitate to P2P, newsgroups and Tor sites where they are more likely to come across the more extreme and illegal material. Not to mention the circulation of DIY porn made by the teens themselves,

    I'm also concerned about exactly how the age of the user is going to be checked. Requiring the user to give CC details to every porn site is highly likely to result in an increase in the amount of fraud.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beware unintended consequences

      "Make it too difficult for teenagers to access "normal" porn sites"

      There is normal porn? I better let my wife know!

  25. Delbert Grady

    Optional

    does this apply to pig fellatio websites too ?

  26. Thatguyfromthatforum

    I'm not a fan of porn myself, but if you like a knuckle tussle over some that's your business.

    With that out of the way, imagine if there's a freephone number for when the filter doesn't work and it's potentially one of those hideous make a selection with your voice services.

    "Did you say "just give me some of that Bangkok anal glory? To confirm say: glory, category:Asian"

    A

    Side note: I'd believe they were trying to protect kids if half of the establishment weren't elbow deep in them in places like dolphin square.

  27. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Coat

    No sex please, we're British.

  28. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    FAIL

    Age verification?

    How?

    "Are you at least 18?" Lie. "In what year were you born?" So kids can't do math(s)?

    This will end up with schemes that collect data that kiddies are not expected to have access to. Like a credit card number. I don't know how many web sites I've turned my back on that promised to use such data only for age/identity verification.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Age verification?

      I always wondered why there was a lot of people born on the 1st of January 1900 roaming about...

  29. Wils

    If government(s) really cared about Internet porn the would have pressed the ICANN and other authorities into moving these sites to their own space their-by making it easy for ISP's to offer filters.

    Clamping down on Internet porn is about 20 years too late. But of course it's not so much about porn.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      > Clamping down on Internet porn is about 20 years too late.

      Errrr

      How old are you?

      It's been around for a lot longer than 20years and certainly pre-dates what you'd recognise as the Internet these days.

      I remember reading an interesting article, in the Torygraph I think, about 20 years ago talking about how every major step in communication technology seems to have been driven by "porn"

      Some of the earliest know statues are of naked women or gentleman sausages

      Painting nudes drove the improvement of realistic paintings

      As soon as the printing press was invented they printed dirty books

      As soon as they worked out how to cheaply print pictures, they printed dirty pictures.

      No sooner had photography been invented, then they were taking porn pictures.

      the list goes on, 8mm projectors, Polaroid cameras, VHS ...

      A) sex sells (and before any comments about "Men" how many women bought Kindle's to read 50 shades)

      B) like with illegal drugs, porn consumers will buy even when the quality is shit and the service is difficult or dangerous to use. So porn consumers acted as the bleeding edge of Internet as a business. just like they did for printing, video players etc....

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Age Verification' vs privacy in the age of hackers

    Future Headline:

    Porn Site Hacked

    12 million Age Verification IDs leaked

    Details include search terms and videos viewed

    It's a 'pig headed' idea...

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Facepalm

      Re: 'Age Verification' vs privacy in the age of hackers

      Because that's how identity checks work: provide the details of every individual to every dodgy site operator. If only there were a better way ...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VPN

    Whenever I read articles like this I just lean back with a smug smile safe in the knowledge that my VPN is protecting my privacy and allowing me access to any and all sites.

    Citizenvpn.com is based in Denmark and delivers from Bahamas so no EU or US governments can force them to do a damn thing. This is the way to go!

    1. Afernie

      Re: VPN

      And have you worked for citizenvpn.com long?

      As they always say on the BBC "Other VPN providers are also available".

  32. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Age Verification?

    So basically, they want to take the net back to the 90's?

    I shouldn't be surprised, clearly the government can see little difference between the net and cable TV.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Age check already in place - Twice

    You need to be 18 to purchase broadband. Check one.

    You need to ask your ISP to turn off their adult filter. Check two.

  34. Craig Cockburn

    Censorship trial

    Having to check every site before it goes live? Unworkable.

    However, we could trial it on MPs sites and policital sites and remove all sites with lies on them to see if this is scalable.

    Are you up for it, Conservative party?

  35. David Harper 1

    Bad news for anyone seeking a quick Farage

    This is a sad day for anyone who enjoys a quick Farage.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Farage

  36. Thomas Chippendale

    Leisure Suit Larry

    I propose a return to the use of 'Leisure Suit Larry' adult verification questions. Even the keenest of porn-consumers is likely to be put off when asked five questions like this:

    Who was not Vice-President of the United States in 1973-74?

    a. Gerald Ford

    b. Nelson Rockefeller

    c. Thomas Hayden

    d. Spiro Agnew

    More serious answer - completely agree with the sensible commenter who points out that the most likely result of this is going to be that young people simply leave the web and its relatively regulated content, and obtain less mainstream porn through less mainstream methods such as BitTorrent. Or possibly be more inclined to sexting, which again is not necessarily a great outcome.

  37. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    It's less about age verification and more about pushing all that naked content to where the search engines cannot find it. It's about grabbing control of the Internet for wholesome commercial purposes by weeding out anything which doesn't fit into the business model.

  38. BuckeyeB

    The usual way to "prove" you're a legal adult is to provide a credit card number. They already try to get you with the provide your credit card number for a free week and cancel if you want and they hope you forget to. They can now combine the two. Quit trying to legislate stuff. I can keep my kids from pr0n sites myself. Maybe some parents can't, but there are products out there that can insure that most sites remain difficult to reach. I don't need government telling me what to do.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Small WIndow

    Here in Tennessee there are signs posted in the grocery stores: Must be 18 to buy beer.

    Enjoy that year while you can.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Small WIndow

      You could argue that if you are 19, or 50+, you are 18 and more.

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