back to article UK ISPs may be handed cock-blocking powers

Internet providers in the UK could be given powers to block user access at their own discretion in an amendment to the controversial Digital Economy Bill. The Bill, currently being scrutinised by the House of Lords*, will introduce age verification checks for online porn. Under the proposed legislation, pornographic websites …

  1. Slx

    I really hate this kind of prudishness and puritanical nonsense.

    There are far, far, far worse things out there than sexual images of adult humans doing adult human things to other adult humans.

    Extreme violence, beheadings, radicalisation, abuse of all sorts of vulnerable people, vicious bullying etc etc but nope, it's all about cock blocking!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      You forgot the really horrible one

      Tory conferences - age verification definitely needed.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      You forgot trump

      1. alpine

        "You forgot trump"

        And Corbyn.

        1. itzman
          Paris Hilton

          Who is 'Corbyn'?

          I must have done. Who is 'Corbyn'?

          Is he on some reality show.? I never watch those.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Corbyn / Trump

          Actually Corbyn is an embarrasing throwback to the 1970s, but he is not obscene like Trump.

          Sad old man vs angry Orangutang immitator

      2. Chemical Bob

        "You forgot trump"

        We're trying to build a wall around him.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
        Unhappy

        "You forgot trump"

        Oh gods above, how I wish that were true, but I can't forget, not for a second. He's everywhere I turn. His face. His little pudgy hands. His sneer. His deep, deep stupidity. Please, if you HAVE forgotten Trump, tell us the secret? How do we erase him from our waking nightmares?

        Help me. Please.

    3. John Sanders
      Childcatcher

      you just wait

      Until this is in place and they begin to label other things under the classification of "adult content"

      Sliiiiipery slope.

      And no one, no one voted or asked for this. Our dear elites once again telling us what is best for us.

      1. James 139

        Re: you just wait

        I'm sure that Westminsters chief advisers on morality, Mumsnet, just slipped a note through No !0s door and policy was decided.

        Mumsnet, if it was run by men would already have been proscribed.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nature knows no indecencies, man invents them.

      Mark twain.

  2. imanidiot Silver badge
    Coat

    sigh...

    Are these people really THIS close minded...

    I've had it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore -->

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sigh...

      I don't want them to live on this planet anymore.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sigh...

      "I've had it. I don't want to live on this planet anymore -->"

      With my timer reaching its final grains I despair about the way the way UK policies on sex and nudity have regressed in many ways since 2000. Even a recent reasonable proposal on sex education was effectively filibustered by conservative MPs.

      Censorship isn't the answer to people seeking facts - they need education to help them make sense of all the alternative views.

      $deity$ help the younger generation when they have to try to unwind all this.

    3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: sigh...

      Are these people really THIS close minded...

      Yes. And immensely hypocritical as well - just look at one of the sources of this hate nonsense, the Daily Mail, and compare it to the celebrity drivel they contimually push about what swimwear some talentless nobody is wearing, or often even their children. In the next article they then instruct their "readers" on how the sexualisaton of society is the fault of <delete-as-applicable> (current bogeyman).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sigh...

        "[...] the Daily Mail,[...]"

        Like that other paragon of establishment support - The Sun. Prurient reports about the evils of under 16 sexuality - then signing girls up for Page3 on their 16th birthday.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: sigh...

          And advertising sex chat lines at the back of the rag.

      2. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: sigh...

        The Mail is at its most magnificently hypocritical when raging at a 'racy' or 'disgusting' scene in a post-watershed BBC programme, an article liberally illustrated by screen grabs of all the naughtiness - and which is available to anyone under the age of 16 if they open a copy of the Mail.

        Has the Mail stopped the 'all grown up' swimsuit features of various pubescent children yet? Or do their editorial staff still enjoy photos of teenage girls in bathing suits?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: sigh...

          The only redemeaning feature is that NOBODY under the age of 45 is going to open a copy of the Daily Mail

  3. Halfmad

    So for now it's just porn.

    Then another amendment and it's P2P traffic.

    Then another stating anything as instructed by whitehall.

    Then another and it's basically anything any ISP fancies blocking.

    It's laughable that the UK criticizes other countries for internet censorship whilst heading down this path., inevitable? No but let's face it with the current government it's highly likely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " No but let's face it with the current government it's highly likely."

      Labour or UKIP would be as bad. Only the Liberals have a recent track record on sensible approaches - although their new leader does not inspire confidence that he would continue that policy.

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "Then another and it's basically anything any ISP fancies blocking."

      Umm....

      But an amendment by the House of Lords published this week [PDF] appears to permit an ISP to engage in content filtering, provided that it is consistent with its terms of service.

      It's on page 15 of the PDF:

      A provider of an internet access service to an end-user may prevent or restrict access on the service to information, content, applications or services, for child protection or other purposes, if the action is in accordance with the terms on which the end-user uses the service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          That's a fantastic thing. removing the ability to completely censor information is always a good thing.

    3. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Doesn't need an amendment

      Watch out for the inclusion of statutory instruments which will let ministers redefine the scope of the act almost at will without recourse to Parliament. They're a big favourite of recent governments and so efficient at cutting back on unnecessary democracy.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Blocking P2P would be hard to do.

  4. Dwarf Silver badge

    I wonder if anyone has drawn any of these idiots a picture of how a home network connects to the Internet via a single IP address and NAT (possibly with CG NAT) and then extended that to dynamic IP addresses on mobile and fixed networks.

    So, what will they proposed to block on ?

    Perhaps they are suggesting logins to the sites, no risk here as nobody ever shares a password with something more important.

    Obviously handing any personal information to the people that run these sort of sites couldn't possibly lead to problems with identity theft, car fraud or other such little issues.

    What a bunch of muppets. Why can't the just let us get on and live our lives.

    Why don't they focus on the important stuff such as dealing with the issues of Trump, Europe China and Russia

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They will do it the way they do now.

      The IWF "block list" is loaded at the ISP level and looks for IP &/or URL - try to access one of those and "nope". Similar tech is used for the court order sites (torrent etc).

      The ISP level filters (currently opt in/out) are looking at URLs mostly - but once they start doing traffic identification and content inspection, it's a whole new ball game.

      HTTPS (assuming no MITM certificates) will prevent a lot of HTTP content inspection, however then domain/subnet level blocking can be enacted.

      VPN usage will go up, until that's blocked - "Sorry, we can't decrypt your traffic..."

      1. yossarianuk

        VPN usage will go up,

        Well China this week announced a crackdown on vpns (making them illegal) -> https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/23/china-vpn-illegal-internet-censorship-government-approval/

        Only a matter of time until Theresa copies the idea.

        I would say everyone should learn how to connect via Tor bridges/pluggable transports as soon as possible (so your ISP isn't aware you are using Tor and will also get around DPI)

        https://www.torproject.org/docs/pluggable-transports.html.en

      2. Dwarf Silver badge

        They will do it the way they do now.

        The IWF "block list" is loaded at the ISP level and looks for IP &/or URL - try to access one of those and "nope". Similar tech is used for the court order sites (torrent etc).

        The ISP level filters (currently opt in/out) are looking at URLs mostly - but once they start doing traffic identification and content inspection, it's a whole new ball game.

        HTTPS (assuming no MITM certificates) will prevent a lot of HTTP content inspection, however then domain/subnet level blocking can be enacted.

        VPN usage will go up, until that's blocked - "Sorry, we can't decrypt your traffic..."

        You missed the point. Assuming the "viewer" passes the "age verification" step. Who would go about unblocking what and where ??

        URL blocking of gov. defined "bad sites" is a constant, there is no opt in for things like mega*.* or whatever its called this week..

        Content inspection - good luck with that. One image where the algorithm detects some skin tone - is it just a picture of someone on their holls, some medical picture on the NHS web site, a person wearing a beard or one or more people having some fun. Now change the location, change the race of one or more people, now change the camera angle, light level etc.

        What if its just a picture of a crowd of people. The tech for "block porn" doesn't seem to exist just in the same way that the definition of "porn" doesn't seem to be too easy to define either. Its no different in many ways to the definition of virus or malware - none of those technologies are 100% accurate either.

        So, back to the original point, when there is opt-in, there can be multiple people behind the same home firewall or there can be the same person on different devices or someone checked into a hotel or a coffee shop. The ISP can only block on source or target address type rules. The remote site can do all sorts but I can't see every web site owner world-wide doing this given that it seems to be a UK initiative.

        1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

          > You missed the point. Assuming the "viewer" passes the "age verification" step. Who would go about unblocking what and where ??

          I think you've missed the point a little too.

          If pornhub refuse to implement age verification on their site, they'll be blocked at the network level (so by the ISP).

          However, if they agree to implement age-verification, they won't be blocked at the network level.

          The actual age-verification will happen on Pornhub's servers. So if you fail to verify your age, you won't be allowed to access the juicy stuff. No network blocks involved there.

          NAT and stuff isn't too hard to deal with either, they'll just make you sign into your account (which'll record whether you've verified or not).

          For sites that agree to implement age verification, it's not at all complex.

          For known sites that refuse to, it's still not complex.

          What is complex, is having any kind of effective system that can catch "non-compliant" pages/sites by looking at the content itself.

          > The remote site can do all sorts but I can't see every web site owner world-wide doing this given that it seems to be a UK initiative.

          The pols seem to think that either

          a) the world will kow-tow to their whims

          b) It's trivially easy to detect and block content

          Both of which, are clearly wrong. But things like that don't factor into politicians decisions, because it'd mean actually thinking about something.

          It does at least mean I'm putting more effort into my VPN setup to make it as inconvenient/difficult to detect and block as possible. It shouldn't be needed, but if it turns into an arms race, I at least have the advantage of enjoying fucking around with stuff like this.

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Why don't they focus on the important stuff such as dealing with the issues of Trump, Europe China and Russia

      Because most actual conservative values are sadly ones that require work to produce results. It is so much easier and more convenient to adopt liberal thinking and go all in on emotion- and feelings- issues.

      Keeps the eyes off the sorry results created by universally agreed-upon neo-liberalism too; LGBT toilets and Diversity Issues - it's like laser pointers and cats. Saves the catnip too.

  5. Amias
    Linux

    Contact your ISP

    A simple action you can take here is to contact your ISP and tell them you will move to another provider if they implement filtering on your account. I use AAISP who seem to be capable of resisting all these ludicrous requests from the government.

    1. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: Contact your ISP

      GuvMint will just tell ISP's: "You can run your business any way you like, Sir, you just have to take all of your traffic feeds off this here core network that we will provide for you."

      GuvMInt will certainly win that contest, because GuvMint has infinite resources (well, all of "yours") and also kinetic options, should it come to that. Only way to not lose is to change government into one which is on our side on this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Contact your ISP

        Unlikely that will happen

    2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Contact your ISP

      oh c'mon. As long as this proviso stands "... provided that it is consistent with its terms of service" there is no chance in hell AAISP would apply filtering. Because that would be flagrant violation of their own ToS .

      As for other ISPs? I can imagine some ISP might want to put an USP "child friendly, only manually handpicked websites will be available to you". Would that sell, I do not know, but the law being considered would allow an ISP to sell such a service. Apparently it is not allowed now?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Contact your ISP

        I can imagine some ISP might want to put an USP "child friendly, only manually handpicked websites will be available to you".

        Remember AOL?

        Would that sell, I do not know,

        Seems not, judging by history.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contact your ISP

      That will go down well in the call center you talk to. I can just imagine them following the script for your query.

      "So Amias you have a problem with the filter on your phone line. Is that correct? Have you tried using another phone?"

    4. Cameron Colley

      Re: Contact your ISP

      Why contact your ISP? Once these laws there will be two kinds of ISP -- those that implement it and those that will be shut down or face other legal issues.

      Granted, some might go all AOL and block more but none can block less because it will be illegal thanks to Chairman May.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Contact your ISP

        You know that most small ISP wont have to implement it right? just check out AAISP who wont be doing any of that and they wont be shut down or face other legal issues because the law says they dont have to enforce blocks.

        http://aaisp.net/kb-broadband-realinternet.html

        And many ISP will block less even if Chairman May says they have to do it. the Gov can not shut down ISP if they try there would be a huge court case and its likely there will be one over this bill so this bill may be shot down like parts of the IPbill

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Save the kiddies - parents' job!

    This whole thing is wrong way up. Its proponents are presenting it as the same sort of age verification you have in shops to buy alcohol etc. But anyone can buy alcohol and give it to their children, or let them drink bleach, or play with matches - so there are social norms that you don't let your children have these things and if you do, it is your responsibility for any harm that ensues. I can't see why the internet access isn't the same: it has to be paid for by an adult, and that is the point at which age verification should happen. If you want to keep you children out of porn sites, you should be able to choose an ISP that filters your connections for all your family's devices. If you don't, then it's your job to arange filtering, and if you don't and your children end up at the psychiatrist, then you should be up in court for neglect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

      The problem here, its not about Porn at all, it's all about Public Control, showing who's boss and Theresa May is the epitome of that, she gets her kicks from having such control and getting even more control.

      If this was about Porn, we send all the Daily Mail hyperbolers on the equivalent of Speed Awareness courses, i.e. Porn awareness courses, showing the clueless - how to setup an OpenDNS account, and be done with it.

      The only way you stop Porn into a home, is if everyone in that home agrees to stop accessing Porn. Clueless Jackie Smyth* types take note.

      *Previous Home Secretary whose Son (sorry, Husband) accessed paid Porn channels via their Redditch home cable network and she expensed them, as part of her MP's parliamentary expenses, which bought it to the public's attention. It completely possible the husband took the blame to save her the embarassment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

        how to setup an OpenDNS account, and be done with it.

        That would be a great idea. They would then think everything is filtered, while those that want to view porn would spend less than 30 seconds getting around it. Everyone is happy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Save the kiddies - parents' job!

          I think you missed the bit where I said:

          The only way you stop Porn into a home, is if everyone in that home agrees to stop accessing Porn.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why?

    I think that the most important question is: What is the problem that this intended to solve and how will it solve it?

    Unless there's evidence that viewing pornography leads to crime then it suggests that simply viewing pornography is regarded as the 'problem'.

    One also has to wonder where this leaves any existing obscenity laws that proscribe what is legal and what is illegal, as this new legislation appears to be targeting legal pornography.

    1. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      "I think that the most important question is: What is the problem that this intended to solve and how will it solve it?"

      The problem is we think politicians are a bunch of useless wankers so they keep coming up with new things they think we will appreciate and consistently fail because we are right and they are a bunch of completely useless wankers.

      1. Nolveys Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Why?

        The problem is we think politicians are a bunch of useless wankers so they keep coming up with new things they think we will appreciate and consistently fail because we are right and they are a bunch of completely useless wankers.

        The ISPs should block access to all government sites, we don't need our children looking at all that wanking.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      "One also has to wonder where this leaves any existing obscenity laws that proscribe what is legal and what is illegal, as this new legislation appears to be targeting legal pornography."

      For a while now new laws have contained ill-drafted vagueness. The law enforcers have then pushed the boundaries with often ridiculous prosecutions. The result has been that the average person becomes confused about the demarcation line and starts to stay well clear even of that which is permitted.

      As Machiavelli advised his prince - fear gives the ultimate control over a society.

      1. Cameron Colley

        Re: Why?

        The point, as I think I raised before, is to make money for Chairman May. Whether she's being paid by the people who make "IP-blocking solutions" or the UK porn industry is anybody's guess but mark my words there's money in it for her somewhere. That and, as pointed out above, she gets to exercise power -- something amoral pond-scum like her like to do to make them feel more important than others who, unlike them, are worth more than the shit one scraps of one's shoe after a walk in the country.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baroness Benjamin?

    So, is this another of Jimmy Saville's old colleagues who feel they need to show off how much they wouldn't have let him if they knew?

    1. TitterYeNot
      Coat

      Re: Baroness Benjamin?

      "So, is this another of Jimmy Saville's old colleagues who feel they need to show off how much they wouldn't have let him if they knew?"

      Erm, I hope you're not suggesting that "Let's look through the Round Window" is some kind of euphemism?

      Please, not Playschool as well! The last of my happy childhood memories hideously shattered forever...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Baroness Benjamin?

        No, I'm saying that a hell of a lot of people tried to get the word out and were blocked, and it seems likely that some people who probably knew are now overcompensating lest we assume they were also involved.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Baroness Benjamin?

        The BBC Playschool probably wasn't much different from the Australian one.

  9. frank ly Silver badge

    I've jumped through the hoop once already

    Virgin Media (my ISP) have already caused me (by nagging with an injected browser tab) to visit their website and log in to tick a box to indicate that I don't want 'family protection content filtering' i.e. porn block. So why do they need to do any more?

    Also, on the very few occasions when I've accidentally clicked on a link to a well known torrenting site, they block access and show me a page that says I'm trying to be naughty and the courts have told them to stop me. Let the government put court orders on them and let us see exactly what has been denied to us.

  10. wolfetone Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Years ago the Manic Street Preachers released Journal For Plauge Lovers. On the cover was a painting of a boy. It's a nice piece of art to be honest. Asda stocked the album but put a white cover on it, as they said it was offensive as the boy looked like he had been beaten (he hadn't). James Dean Bradfield, the singer/awesome guitarist pointed out that they covered art yet on the same shelf they can show women in bikini's and guns etc. ISP's will be blocking access to PornHub* yet won't bat an eyelid to the awful content served daily by the Daily Fail?

    What is offensive to one, isn't offensive to all. What we will find later down the line that a joke site depicting Frau May as a gormless idiot who hates children riding side saddle on a Trident missle which has been sent to hit North Korea but has taken the wrong turn and will end up nuking Lichenstien as offensive. Not many people would find that offensive, but the ones with the keys would and they'll be the ones to enable it's block.

    Enough with 1984, we're in to 1985 now.

    *other porn sites are available, so I'm told.

    1. Sooty
      Joke

      Don't forget the sick filth that is Nirvana's Nevermind album cover.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        And we had the IWF and their nonsense with The Scorpions Virgin Killer album a few years ago too.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Watch_Foundation_and_Wikipedia

        It'll start off with porn, then it'll be torrent sites or pirated content, then it'll be any nudity at all (Page 3 does offend some after all, so no one will get the choice) and then it'll be anything that dissents from the party line, which effectively means that El Reg will need to shut their forums (amongst others).

        My current fear is that when Openreach is split from BT it's taken into public ownership, and at that point all traffic will be forced to be compliant. As things stand, the smaller ISPs aren't forced to comply with the High Court blocks etc, bot who knows for how much longer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] then it'll be any nudity at all [...]"

          Except paintings and sculptures depicting the torture raptures of Christian martyrs. They are apparently regarded as necessary for the education of young children - along with their Sunday School stories from that book of violence, misogyny, and sex.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            "Except paintings and sculptures depicting the torture raptures of Christian martyrs. They are apparently regarded as necessary for the education of young children - along with their Sunday School stories from that book of violence, misogyny, and sex."

            Lolita?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Lolita?"

              That was probably a story in the Bible Old Testament too. King David didn't mind who he had killed on his way to getting a woman he fancied.

              1. wolfetone Silver badge

                "That was probably a story in the Bible Old Testament too. King David didn't mind who he had killed on his way to getting a woman he fancied."

                I'm not sure. Lolita was underage. Youngest person in the Old Testament was 239 years old.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  " Lolita was underage."

                  Only for that state in the USA at that time. It was surprising only a few years ago to see the low ages legally permitted for marriage of a girl - especially if she was pregnant.

                  Wikipedia:

                  "In 1880, the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most [US] states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7." This was generally raised after 1920.

                  Many other countries were similar up to the mid 20th century - largely reflecting the harsh realities of early deaths in those times. The Vatican and Spain have only recently increased their age of consent from 12/13.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Do you really think El Rag will shut their forums? Seems very unlikely that will happen at all? Any proof that will happen?

          1. Franco Silver badge

            <quote>Do you really think El Rag will shut their forums? Seems very unlikely that will happen at all? Any proof that will happen?</quote>

            Of course I don't have proof, I was taking it to extremes. However, in our future notional totalitarian state free speech isn't allowed, therefore El Reg's forums would, if they were still in existence, be heavily censored

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] a joke site depicting Frau May as a gormless idiot who hates children riding side saddle on a Trident missle which has been sent to hit North Korea but has taken the wrong turn [...]"

      Funny you should say that...

      Look at the Dr Strangelove inspired Daily Cartoon for The Independent 24/1/2017

      http://www.independent.co.uk/#gallery

      Unfortunately they don't have a way of linking to the picture itself - you will have to scroll down the page.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        May in a Straight Jacket

        The picture of May in a straight jacket, surrounded by a brick wall and barbed wire and moat to represent the North Sea/channel, seemed a good representation of what this country can look forward too. I give 3 years before everyone is micro-managed, has to show i.d. to buy food at Tesco.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sneaky ?

    Please check the house of commons members register for MP's with shares in VPN suppliers

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    How are ISPs going to deal with websites like Youtube ? Lots of harmless cat videos but also many videos of tits,cocks and pussies if you know the right terminology for the search box. Youtube just says are you over 18? Er, yes gov.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How are ISPs going to deal with websites like Youtube ? "

      Apparently that mixed content caveat also applies to Flickr, Tumblr, and Pintrest too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It likely they wont go after big sites that can fight back

  13. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Think of the children..

    Think of the children, whom judging by what my 13 year old daughter tells me happens at school, the boys are pretty much watching hardcore on their phones on a daily basis and are now pretty much numbed to it's effects.

    "I'm bored with pornography.

    The acting lame, the action is tame.

    Explicitly dull, arousal annulled."

    - Steve Wilson

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Think of the children..

      When video tapes first circulated with explicit pr0n in the 1980s people soon found that it was boring after a few minutes. The classic ones that are fondly remembered are those that had a reasonable storyline.

      If you have a real storyline and a plot then a dash of sex can be in context.

      It is what you don't see, or the possibility that you might see, that titillates the human imagination. Hence the Dance of the Seven Veils. Nudity per se is quickly of no consequence.

      1. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Think of the children..

        " reasonable storyline."

        Wait, they had storylines?

  14. tiggity Silver badge

    underground

    Currently legitimate pr0n users (should) get no exposure to dodgy kiddie stuff.

    If some potentially identity theft related verification is introduced then lot's of people will not use it due to fraud risk.

    We have just seen articles on massive rise in IT related fraud (though whether that's because it's finally actually getting recorded is a separate issue)

    ... Currently nobody with an IQ above room temperature gives out genuine DOB, mothers maiden name etc. Only people with my genuine DOB info are places that require it for legit reasons where need to 100% prove I'm me e.g Doctor, bank & similar.

    Any random website with a "mandatory" DOB to use either gets surfed away from or fake DOB entered.

    So, assuming verification is fraud risk then lots of people might have to go "underground" to get their jiggly bits content, going into the murky depths where they may be unintentionally likely to find kiddie stuff, bestiality, snuff stuff - when all they want is inoffensive vanilla stuff which they can currently get from sites that verify the legal age of their performers.

    Seems a bad move if its likely to increase unwanted exposure to genuine nasty stuff - no idea what the "conversion" rates are (i.e. they get to like it) if people get occasional random exposure to nasty stuff, but if "conversion rates" above 0 then gov policy is implicitly fostering an increase in uptake of nasty stuff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: underground

      In the early days of the internet you were never quite sure what you might inadvertently stumble over. You soon decided what you had an aversion to. In the same way you also learned to discriminate and appreciate "quality" - as people had done when magazines became more open in the 1970s.

  15. robbie rob

    I wonder if things like BBC's iPlayer might get caught by this? Imagine trying to play something from the BBC and being asked for ID. How would you even do that if launching it from a smart TV?

    And if it was not possible to obtain the ID, would that mean that the BBC service would be forced to shut?

  16. Egghead & Boffin

    Are

    All this will do is stop the people who aren't net savvy enough to download and use TOR.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are

      It likely not going to stop anyone

  17. Conrad Longmore
    Trollface

    What's the penalty for sharing your ID?

    What's the penalty for sharing your porn.gov.uk ID? You could really undermine the system if everyone used the same ones :)

  18. Bucky 2

    Nobody gives personal information to a porn site

    You can look at all the porn you want, as long as you agree to identity theft.

    Everybody raise your hand if you were stupid enough to take the "age verification" thing at face value.

  19. Jonathon Green
    Facepalm

    Just goes to show that some people never get over their own embarassment at being born in bed with a woman with her genitals exposed...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Just goes to show that some people never get over their own embarassment [...]"

      The Jo'burg Star gleefully reported a minister of the Church preaching "If God had intended us to walk around with no clothes - then we would have been born naked".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about using it to block malware?

    Why not use it to block IP addresses and URL's for known malware or attacks - there is enough threat intel feeds out there, if not their own, to drive this. Simply work on a 10day temporary block.

    That would be the most sensible form of it's use, rather than blocking Ann B. Lance checking out a male doctors stethoscope.

  21. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Flame

    I don't often resort to profanity in discussion fora, but...

    IT'S NONE OF ANYONE'S FUCKING BUSINESS.

    When the police have a suspicion that I am doing something illegal, they may take that suspicion to a judge along with any supporting evidence. The judge may decide that a case exists.

    Then, and only then, they may concern themselves with what I may or may not choose to watch, which sites I may or may not choose to visit, what comments I may or may not choose to make.

    This is nothing about pornography or sex or even prurience; it's all about making a citizenry control *itself* by making it feel more or less uncomfortable about its own activities. Today it's porn, because that's easy, and who would dare object? But tomorrow? What? You want to look at sites that support staying in the EU? Oh, no, sir - you won't even see them.

    Great walls round China, North Korea, soon half the US, and now the UK...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't often resort to profanity in discussion fora, but...

      Its unlikely they will block pro EU sites

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't often resort to profanity in discussion fora, but...

        "Its unlikely they will block pro EU sites"

        Do not underestimate the potential tyranny of people who will use the levers of power to cement their own vision of the world. It is a character trait that those who are over-zealous are rarely balanced in their judgements.

        Human nature often has problems holding conflicting views - and prefers to sweep the opposition case under the carpet as "Someone Else's Problem".

      2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: I don't often resort to profanity in discussion fora, but...

        Its unlikely they will block pro EU sites

        Why not? Many in the top levels of the current government openly backed and supported flagrant lies that were painted onto the sides of buses, only to downplay their support and the lies afterwards. Wanting to block websites is relatively trivial compared to this level of dishonesty.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    Sure go ahead, also make sure that IP's of public organisations are supplied and then when tracked back to access dates/times and the active logins from that machine are published, so we know which MP is exercising when they should be working !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] so we know which MP is exercising when they should be working !"

      The Snoopers' Charter was amended to specifically exclude MPs from the monitoring.

  24. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Header image

    I like that you were nice enough to use the pic of Alistair Dabbs as the header image...

    1. BossHobo
      Linux

      Re: Header image

      Yes, thanks for the new desktop image.

  25. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken
  26. WibbleMe

    When there is a will there is a way, torrents, illegal DVS's websites in iframes

    You might be able to stop a .p0rn website but not the human spirit

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      iframes won't help at all, because the content is still fetched by the same user agent (web browser) as would have been accessing the contained page in the first place. Access is gotten around where one website requests the content of another and embeds it within itself - very much a specialised VPN.

  27. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Unreasonable Expectations

    The real problem with porn is that it leaves children who watch it with unreasonable expectations.

    I watched some porn as a youngster and I was horrified last week when I called a plumber and it took him more than thirty seconds to appear.

  28. TheSkunkyMonk

    Erm, don't you need to be 18 to sign up to an ISP? Yes I know it is a lot to ask that parents pay attention to their kids activities.

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