back to article Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

The Digital Economy Bill 2016-17 has received Royal Assent, and with Her Maj's rubberstamp it shall henceforth become a requirement for all pornography-serving websites to verify the ages (and thus identities) of all of their visitors in the UK. ISPs may be forced to block sites which fail to do so, and the fact that many such …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardly surprising

    Government suggests legislation. Consultation tells government idea is stupid.

    Government ignores consultation and pursues legislation into law anyway. Congratulations democracy!

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Hardly surprising

      Such a waste of time.

      1. tmTM

        Fire up the VPN

        We're going abroad

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @tmTM -- Re: Fire up the VPN

          "We're going abroad"

          Choose wisely. It would appear that you lot managed to get this "approved" before our "wisdom" here in the States.

        2. DropBear Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Fire up the VPN

          There is not going to BE an "abroad" for much longer. Yes, it is currently still nearly trivial to skip into some different jurisdiction to escape any one particular decision, but the walls are closing in from all sides and all governments around the world are queuing up to take hints from each other on how to regulate and restrict internet access further and further. All the restrictions enforced through China's firewall weren't "a big deal" as long as VPNs were an option - then they flat out forbade those too and now they kinda are.

          There is less and less time remaining for us to cryo-freeze someone so that in a hundred years he can say "back in my day we didn't need a special authorization to open up a blank browser page and another one to call up Google and another one to follow the result link" (and be promptly called a liar and get laughed at incredulously).

          When do you think the American Wild West is going to come around again? Barring WWIII happening - NEVER. You have witnessed its online equivalent first-hand - cherish that opportunity, because none of your descendants will get to experience the non-locked-down non-spoon-fed non-sanitized version ever again. For their own good, natch.

    2. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Hardly surprising

      Congratulations democracy!

      The worst form of government except for all the others.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Hardly surprising

        "The worst form of government except for all the others."

        Doesn't prevent democracy from being insufficient in and of itself, though.

      2. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        Re: Hardly surprising

        You guys are no more a democracy than we are.

    3. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Hardly surprising

      "Government ignores consultation and pursues legislation into law anyway. "

      And a short while later some MPs and civil servants involved all headed off to various dungeons for a spanking and domination.

      Bloody hypocrits the lot of them. What is the hang up people have with sex? So its no big deal for kids to watch a stallone/vin diesel/van damme/arnie film and see people get blown to pieces and murdered in various unpleasent ways, or those rather graphic crash videos on youtube or live feed, no problemo! But some adults engaging in consensual sex acts? Quick, wall off the web, its a moral crisis! And while you're at it cover those piano legs!

    4. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Hardly surprising

      Government suggests legislation. Consultation tells government idea is stupid.

      Government ignores consultation and pursues legislation into law anyway.

      Under the NZ National gubbermint it's more like "someone suggests legislation that hurts poorer people/increases wealth for the gubbermint's cronies/increases spying power/reduces rights, later that day it is passed under urgency".

      Democracy? Just another thing national thinks should be banned.

  2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Easy

    Username: johnsmith

    Password: password123

    1. Craig 2

      Re: Easy

      How'd you hack my details?

      1. Haku

        Re: Easy

        http://bugmenot.com/ - find & share logins, real useful for when you find that obscure/obselete driver file for that old bit of kit you have but the website you found it on requires signing up to access said file.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Easy

          "bugmenot"

          ...was never of much use frankly. All the websites that you cared enough not to sign up for did in turn care enough to "opt out" of Bugmenot and because they did honour such an option, you got zilch. Lately, it has become utterly useless even against the "mildest" sites - I guess it's just slowly becoming sufficiently unpopular for any targeted sites to notice and ban logins much faster than new ones become available...

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Easy

      Indeed.

      Maybe it isn't about the porn, but about getting another datapoint on people to help with mass surveillance.

      Or maybe its just morality theatre.

  3. corestore

    Oh how we laughed in NZ...

    I live in the capital within sight of the parliament building... 6Mb/s and no chance of improvement for another 3 years!

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Oh how we laughed in NZ...

      I live in the capital within sight of the parliament building... 6Mb/s and no chance of improvement for another 3 years!

      Not far away from you in Lower Hutt. Getting Fibre in my area now, another month or so. But I've known plenty of people on Fibre - use the Chorus/tele$cumSpark speedtest sites and WOW this is fast. Use anything else (other speedtest site, YouTube or other streaming), and it's a whole lot of expensive meh, probably faster on ADSL.

      Got mates in Porirua who have to wait till 2019 to get Fibre or VDSL speeds, though admittedly their ADSL speeds are at the top of the range.

      Funny. I remember not to many years ago (well, in the 80's/90's) how NZ had one of if not the best communications networks on the world. Amazing how much "privatisation" has advanced us! :(

      Actually, your problem might be a physical as well as virtual wind problem. All the blow coming from the politicians is sucking up all the bandwidth!

  4. Justicesays
    Devil

    Well, looking forward to the data breach

    That reveals which MP's and MP's family members are looking at pr0n.

    And I guess you could cross reference that with the ICR database leak to see exactly what sites they are looking at.

    In fact, maybe that legislation itself is some kind submissive/exhibitionist self abuse by conservative MP's!

    In which case we should ban that filth.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

      It is a nouvelle form of a 3 line whip.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

      "That reveals which MP's and MP's family members are looking at pr0n."

      Nope. MPs (and their families and staff) are exempt from the provisions of the DEB and their ICRs are "expunged".

      Perhaps there is some other way we can get at them? [Hack Icon Required]

      1. spacecadet66

        Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

        "Nope. MPs (and their families and staff) are exempt from the provisions of the DEB and their ICRs are 'expunged'."

        And were they able to explain, with a straight face, just why they should be exempt? (The cover reason: obviously there's going to be one rule for the elite and one for us plebes. Just unusual to have it written down explicitly.)

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @spacecadet66 -- Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

          And were they able to explain, with a straight face, just why they should be exempt? (The cover reason: obviously there's going to be one rule for the elite and one for us plebes. Just unusual to have it written down explicitly.)

          The old chestnut of "research"... That's the excuse given by political types here in the States for all sorts of similar exemptions from various laws for themselves.

          1. spacecadet66

            Re: @spacecadet66 -- Well, looking forward to the data breach

            I'll have to remember that for next time. "Yes, your honor, I did break into that car, but I was only doing research into what people keep in their cars."

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

        "MPs (and their families and staff) are exempt from the provisions of the DEB and their ICRs are "expunged"."

        I fail to see how that can be possible. Presumably *everyone* is protected against arbitrary publication of their internet habits and equally presumably MPs and their families are trawled just the same as everyone else in the big dragnet collecting the data in the first place. Since any data breach is, by definition, something that shouldn't have happened, it is hard to understand how MPs' records are any less likely than mine to be included in such a breach.

        1. Justicesays

          Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

          "I fail to see how that can be possible."

          It's as possible as every other fucking clueless desire that comes out of their empty heads.

          They decided it would happen, therefore it will.

          If we are lucky they will pass the "no gravity for MPs" bill in the next session...

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

        Nope. MPs (and their families and staff) are exempt from the provisions of the DEB and their ICRs are "expunged".

        Is that a lifetime exemption including grandchildren as they grow up or is it just while they are "on the job" (fnarr fnarr)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

      That reveals which MP's [...] are looking at pr0n.

      And I guess you could cross reference that with the ICR database leak to see exactly what sites they are looking at.

      Well, they're MPs, so I'll take a wild stab in the dark and say "child pornography" for $500, there, Alex.

    4. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: ban that filth.

      Tory MPs? Fantastic idea!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ban that filth.

        "In which case we should ban that filth."

        MPs ? Great idea. Not party specific - they're as bad as each other! Manifesto promise vs Daily Mail headine, both main party leaders chose the headlines over their own consituents' wishes, iirc.

    5. William 3 Bronze badge

      Re: Well, looking forward to the data breach

      Of course, Labour politicians would never be caught doing anything that can bring themselves into disrepute, being so pious and pure.

      Whilst I realise it's heartening to live in an echo chamber where you and your kind have screamed vocally how righteous your opinion is so that only similar voices to yours can be heard, thus legitimising your idiocy and validating your bigotry. But if live outside that echo chamber, people like you just look and act like total pricks.

      The problem with just attacking the Tories on this issue is that you ignore the other parties policies, which, if you check, are just as fucked as the Tories.

      I always question the sanity and intelligence of those who scream abuse at one group, whilst ignoring their own is equally as repugnant.

      The words abject hypocrite and sanctimonious don't do it justice.

  5. 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. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Police state

      That is because we are increasingly living in a police state, also an increasingly undemocratic one.

      I refused to take part in that very same scheme for Spain, I told my company it was unethical, and my career stopped there.

      In case you are wondering, yes, they do match all kind of data.. including mobile phone location and who is near you.. so even if you dont speak to then using internet/telephone, as you hang arround them, they know they are your friends...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Police state

        Where's the age verification in Spain?

      2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: Police state

        You could always hang out with me, off-property, of course. No mobile spying devices here ;-).

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Police state

          "You could always hang out with me, off-property, of course"

          Remember that Bradbury novel where he's becoming suspicious for taking a walk on foot, without a car? I think he meant "(powered) phone", not "car". Why would "1984" be the only one that comes to pass...

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Police state

            That wasn't a novel. It was a short story called, "The Pedestrian." The man was taking a walk outside when everyone else was home watching TV. An automated police car happened upon him, questioned him, and demanded he climb inside to be taken for psychiatric evaluation.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'non-conventional'

    Two points.

    1. I'm sorry to be living in a place where the partially elected government thinks it can outlaw stuff (and I'm not just talking pron, anything) that's consentual but 'not conventional'. Who are they to say what's conventional or not? They only got 37% of the popular vote. Who do they think they are?

    2. I'm happy to be in a world where thanks to technology, it's simple to get around any pathetic, impotent, Helen Lovejoy inspired laws they want to pass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 'non-conventional'

      "They only got 37% of the popular vote."

      The FPTP system favours the two large parties. Even if Labour won - their authoritarian streak would be no different.

      Only the Lib-Dems have shown any concern about privacy issues. No matter how well they might poll this time - they aren't going to win anything like a proportional number of seats.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Who do they think they are?

      The Ruling Class. They're Tories, don't you know? Born to rule over us plebs etc...

      1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

        Re: Who do they think they are?

        --The Ruling Class. They're Tories, don't you know? Born to rule over us plebs etc...

        What a shame they are only capable of asset striping the country.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Who do they think they are?

        The Ruling Class. They're Tories, don't you know? Born to rule over us plebs etc...

        That was a good movie - one of finest Peter O'Toole performances. Any resemblance to some of the members of May's government is most likely purely coincidental.

        1. frank ly Silver badge

          Re: The Ruling Class

          Thank you for that. I'll fire up my VPN and go looking for it.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: The Ruling Class

            "I'll fire up my VPN and go looking for it."

            yeah, about that... ISP filtering doesn't work well when people have access to VPN or Tor. So as it is over here across the pond, a stupid law that tries to prevent people from doing things that fall under the blanket term "vice" ONLY punishes those who are willing to obey that law. And those who circumvent such things will simply laugh at it.

            The USA had an "experiment" early back in the 20th century called 'Prohibition'. The rise of organized crime and widespread DISREGARD of the law (and unofficial increase in Canadian and Mexican liquor imports) drove its repeal a decade or so later.

            A similar law was passed in the 1970s, restricting highway speeds to 55mph. It was widely violated as well. California highway speeds typically moved at 65-70mph while that law was in effect, and police knew that traffic moving along at the same speed was SAFER than randomly pulling people over and citing them for doing more than "the maximum speed". The 1990's power changeover in Congress, under Newt's leadership, REPEALED that [Reagan had orchestrated a partial-repeal in the 80's but couldn't pull off a full repeal - that took a majority in Congress].

            Anyway those are TWO examples of attempts to legislate against the will of the people, and the LAUGHABLE and widespread willful disobedience of the law that resulted.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: The Ruling Class

              Ah, but China has shown a way to deal with VPNs. Just restrict ALL encrypted traffic that can't be decoded by the State. And if your system is able to parse other formats, you can also put a pinch on steganography. Control the points of ingress and egress, and you can prevent "conspirator" routers from helping as well.

              Unlike with Prohibition, the borders CAN be patrolled pretty effectively if the State really got around to it.

              1. Suricou Raven

                Re: The Ruling Class

                It's getting too late for that now. It could have worked if it was put in place a few years ago, when almost everything on the internet was cleartext. But these days? Encryption is the default for a lot of things. Including this forum. Including all major websites, and most applications too. If you block everything that can't be read, you break the internet to a point that, even in a repressive state, the angry users are going to be a problem.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: 'non-conventional'

      I do wonder what constitutes "non-conventional". For some in the fruitcase fraternity this presumably includes anything other than the missionary position: no more blow jobs and even having a wank could land you in hot water; female orgasms can go back to being mere myths.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'non-conventional'

        "For some in the fruitcase fraternity this presumably includes anything other than the missionary position:"

        ...through a hole in their nightwear - with the lights out.

      2. handleoclast Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: 'non-conventional'

        'I do wonder what constitutes "non-conventional".'

        Sodomy, for starters. Which is insertion of the penis into any orifice other than a vagina. Yes, sodomy does legally include BJs.

        However, titty-fucks do not consist of penetration of an orifice, so do not constitute sodomy. That's why they're classed as gomorrahy (which is similar to sodomy but in a different place). Definitely non-conventional. Even if you're married to Dolly Parton.

        Since MPs created the law, their behaviour must define what is classed as conventional. So having sex with your own wife is also non-conventional.

        And, by anybody's standards, watching grumble flicks of Donald J Trump being pissed on by Russian hookers is non-conventional squared. Getting turned on by watching it is non-conventional cubed.

        Apropos of nothing at all, I had to laugh a year or two back when Tesco sold a yellow climbing rose called "Golden Showers." You can get them from the Royal Horticultural Society (amongst many other places) for only £14.99. I have no idea why I just thought of that.

      3. Havin_it

        Re: 'non-conventional'

        >even having a wank could land you in hot water

        Ugh, best avoid that. The lysis of the sperm cells in. pure water will render them extremely sticky and hard to remove. Soapy water is your friend. Er, so I'm told.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Gimp

    " and only a late addition to a fast-tracked piece of legislation. I"

    The classic tactic for slipping in something the slipper knows is pure BS. You can smell the greasy fingerprints of the cabal at the Home Office all over this.

    Age verification was the hobby horse of the woman MP CMD appointed Child Exploitation and Sexualization Tsar (not the current title but I found the original one far more amusing).

    Y'know, the one who could not be arsed/work out how to set adult filtering on her browser.

  8. Haku
    Facepalm

    No sex please, we're British.

    However you're allowed to watch all you want of the distressing footage of stabbings, murder, war etc. that the news channels show.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No sex please, we're British.

      The actual quote is from two books which most of us from the Continent had as a part of our English language study material. They were written by a Hungarian immigrant after the war and chapters on various English cultural topics. The shortest chapter was entitled "Sex". It consisted of one sentence: "They have sex on the continent. In England we have bed warmer bottles".

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: No sex please, we're British.

        That's TWO sentences.

    2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: No sex please, we're British.

      There's also that rather famous phrase "There's no sex in the Soviet Union!".

      russiapedia.rt.com/on-this-day/july-17/

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    William Wallace

    You can take our Pr0ns, but you'll never take our freedom!

    Oh. Wait.

    1. chris121254

      Re: William Wallace

      You will never take away our VPNS!

      1. Shades

        Re: William Wallace

        Until they finally convince themselves completely that banning encryption is the only way to save us all.

        1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

          Re: William Wallace

          Oh Amber Rudd and her party of Tory twats have “the necessary hashtags”, it's only a matter of repeating #StrongAndStableLeadership until the sheep come home.

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: William Wallace

            Amber Rudd sounds like it should be a porn name.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Childcatcher

              "Amber Rudd sounds like it should be a porn name."

              Actually it does.

              Old Victorian name for lady parts?

              Hence "Tophat Charlie" icon.

            2. Aus Tech

              Re: William Wallace

              "Amber Rudd sounds like it should be a porn name."

              Maybe it is already.

    2. Havin_it

      Re: William Wallace

      They'll have to prise it from my cold, damp hand.

  10. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    So, you've seen Fred Smith's birth certificate and his application has been countersigned by a local JP, so you issue him with a log-on account. Now, how do you ensure that the person logging on as FredSmithI'mOver18Really is the Fred Smith that you've authenticated?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      You know fucking well that all those pr0n sites are going to charge you 10p via your credit card to make sure you are over 18.

      What...could...possibly...go...wrong???

      Drink Dr Pepper.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Get an additional credit card?

        With a limit of £1?

  11. TRT Silver badge

    I foresee a time...

    when paper magazines and books are once again are the go-to source for such adult titivations.

    1. chris121254

      Re: I foresee a time...

      Very unlikely when we have VPN and Tor to get round this

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I foresee a time...

        You're aware that the UK will most likely move onto having Tor and VPN blocked like they're doing in Russia, right?

        1. chris121254

          Re: I foresee a time...

          Unlikely they will at least anytime soon and even then it would be hard to block them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I foresee a time...

            >hard to block them.

            And how is that any different from this fucking farce against pornography they're doing now?

          2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: I foresee a time...

            And then we move up a ratchet - secure Teamviewer to desktop running on server in Iceland.

            I must admit I've been using VPNs on and off for years - mainly to be able to test how Google users in country X see some of my customer rankings. And getting past geo-blocking to watch local TV.

            Time to leave them permanently on I think. And is it being unfair to use different VPNs on different laptops and phones?

            1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

              Re: I foresee a time...

              I have multiple devices here, at home, and every one of them hangs a shingle out in the 'net at a different location around the world. Not that these devices actually go anywhere in the physical world; just that I really prefer both separating my traffic from the others that live here and I'm more than a bit paranoid (with cause).

              I also do other things to scramble things around but that's it in main.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I foresee a time...

      Maybe that's what the owners of the sexpress and sun are hoping for ....the less said about the owners of Mail Online's very thinly described sexists'r'us site ....

  12. Ochib
    FAIL

    How will this be implented, the same way that acohol and some game sites prevent the under 18 year olds from currently accessing their webside.

    Just have a fom that asked for your DOB. This will stop any teenager that cant take away 18 from the current year

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      This will stop any teenager that cant take away 18 from the current year

      This is where the reintroduction of grammar schools for those who can afford them and workhouses for the rest will help!

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        I have been known to occasionally amuse myself by selecting the very first item (usually "1900") on such lists - amazingly none of them seems to have been bothered, nor did they ever flash any "Congrats for being the oldest person alive!" cards at me...

  13. chris121254

    Its unlikely they will be able to stop people getting to porn sites imho but this is still worrying, there were amendments that were passed to make its less bad like making the definition of porn sites more clear and making sure sites like Reddit are not blocked at least to my knowledge.

    Even then there no no legal compulsion for them to stop porn and its very unlikely they will put AV on Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr or any other site as the ORG says.

    https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2016/is-the-government-misleading-the-lords-about-blocking-twitter

    This is still a bad bill turn into a bad law.

    Its unlikely blocking of sites or AV will begin anytime soon especially now that there a election. My guess we will see what happens after June 8th

    1. Jez Burns
      Pint

      Blanket criminalisation

      At risk of sounding tin foil hatted, I expect the government knows full well any new laws allowing internet censorship (not just restricted to pron but also covering libel, secrets and other areas unprotected by the UK's lack of provision for freedom of speech) would be hard to enforce effectively, but a sweet side effect (and what I suspect is the aim) is blanket criminalisation of swathes of the population.

      While in extremis, this erodes habeas corpus, broadening the opportunities for targeted silencing, persecution and imprisonment of individuals on any kind of 'shit list', on a mundane day to day level, it opens the door to more intrusive surveillance without effective protection. If it is too hard to spy on, cajole or intimidate individuals with a clean record, and too hard to expand state powers without attracting negative attention, just use 'think of the children' legislation to 'dirty up' as many records as possible - who would object if they have nothing to hide?..

      A beer for Renate Samson anyway..

  14. Absent

    Age verification

    So they want porn sites to go back to "Enter your credit card details so we can verify your age. Promise we won't charge you for anything"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Age verification

      Use a pre-paid card with no money (or a pittance) on it?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Age verification

        Most of them aren't considered valid for online shopping and will be rejected. The credit card companies know which are which and don't want to get caught up in money laundering investigations.

    2. Suricou Raven

      Re: Age verification

      "To verify your age, please identify the following 90s cartoon characters."

      1. Havin_it

        Re: Age verification

        NGL, if they show me Ren & Stimpy I'll probably forget all about the porn objective.

  15. alain williams Silver badge

    Anything in there about religious sites ?

    Religion screws up far more young, impressionable minds than does porn.

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Anything in there about religious sites ?

      I'd say they are as bad as each other.

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Anything in there about religious sites ?

      They grow up, become MPs, and then pass legislation like this.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Anything in there about religious sites ?

        They grow up, become MPsPM, and then pass legislation like this.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prohibition of something that many people like - tends to lead to an increase in organised crime.

    When something is touted as "immoral" then you can often bet there is a religious ideology pushing the agenda. The Christian Churches often seem obsessed with what people do, or just think, in their sex lives - rather than helping people in need.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Organised crime? How? The legal porn industry can barely make any money off of it these days - no-one pays any more, and advertising money is hard to come by when all the big networks shun the industry. There's no way that organised crime can compete with free, and no reason they'd want to.

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        "The legal porn industry can barely make any money off of it these days"

        Source please.

        Hollywood still makes plenty of profit, and you can torrent it for "free".

        Porn is roughly 5 times the size of Hollywood, and is generally more profitable. Plus all they do is remake shit :)

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Hollywood has access to the cinemas, and cinemas are Hollywood's #1 revenue stream, which is why they get first cracks at movies. Plus they're torrent-resistant. The porn industry doesn't have something resembling that kind of revenue stream.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so - remind me

    why is there a problem with a vibrator supplier collecting usage data on an app, when this is basically extending the same issue to a huge part of the population? I assume this did not require a real name/credit card/address/social security number etc...

    Do what we say, not do what we do (not even in private).

    Who decides what isn't mainstream activity anyway? In my experience very few would think they are not mainstream (regardless of their proclivities, and regardless of my views)

    I can't see any realistic enforcement that is not trivial to bypass either.

    Goodbye M&S food porn too then

  18. Red Bren
    Gimp

    Conventional Sex

    Bearing in mind the predilections* of the Eton Old Boys club that is the Conservative Party, probably the only thing that will be banned is the heterosexual missionary position.

    * I've gone right off my bacon butty now...

  19. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Childcatcher

    Remeber folks, as usual it's all about "protecting" the impressionable yoof

    TOTC and all that.

    IE the usual excuse, along with catching paedos, terrorists, drug dealers and money launders of course.

  20. Velv Silver badge
    Facepalm

    OK, so it's a stupid unworkable idea. But that's not the point.

    The point is that the government can say "we've put in place legislation to block minors from viewing online pornography in the UK". The Sun and The Daily Fail can then get off their high horse.

    It's about perception, not about actually doing anything useful.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "The Sun and The Daily Fail can then get off their high horse."

      You're assuming that the Fun and the Fail don't get caught in the cross-fire. I could imagine a law like this being used as a stick to beat almost any large web-site with a lot of end-user-content in its comment pages.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      >It's about perception, not about actually doing anything useful.

      +1

      To paraphrase Bruce Schneider, "morality theater".

  21. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Hmmm

    "Are you over 18?"

    *click YES*

    Welcome!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Hmmm

      "*click YES*"

      NOW they're gonna want a naked picture to verify your age based on AI software analysis

  22. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Spokesperson says...

    so we will be working with our members

    Just don't post any photos of your work sessions else your site will be banned.

  23. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Democracy for the majority

    In this democratic people's monarchy of the UK, the non-techies vastly outnumber the techies.

    The non-techies have been demanding for a long time that internet pawn be stopped, and the techies should stop whingeing and stop the pawn. The techies respond that it is like asking Newton's Laws to be repealed, but that is democracy for you.

    In real politics, of course, there would be a sensible compromise. E.g. if you really want to watch pawn, smoke cigarettes, or drive a car you pay extra tax and extra extra tax if you pay anonymously.

    Everything has its price.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Democracy for the majority

      But even non-techies love porn

    2. spacecadet66

      Re: Democracy for the majority

      "The non-techies have been demanding for a long time that internet pawn be stopped, and the techies should stop whingeing and stop the pawn. The techies respond that it is like asking Newton's Laws to be repealed, but that is democracy for you."

      Maybe instead, when they ask for prawns to be banned, the techies should just say "No." Don't try to reason, just stonewall.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: Democracy for the majority

        @spacadet66

        What kind of democracy is that? Why should techies, rather than (say) religious nutters, be allowed to impose their values and standards?

        Nobody should be allowed to impose. Even a democratic majority must accept some limits, but minorities should accept their minority position.

      2. DropBear Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Democracy for the majority

        Didn't you know that in today's PC-crazed culture it's inconceivable to not compromise...? I don't care how precisely you've determined the exact GMT and what instruments you used to do it, I say it's three hours over yonder, and we'll bloody well need to sit and argue until we find some middle ground, OR ELSE...

      3. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Democracy for the majority

        "Maybe instead, when they ask for prawns to be banned, the techies should just say "No." Don't try to reason, just stonewall."

        But the problem with recalcitrance is that, eventually, people go, "Sod this!" and go around you. Even a coast-to-coast stonewall can be bypassed by sea. The risk of stonewalling is that they simply ignore you and you get no input in the final solution.

    3. Roj Blake Silver badge

      "The non-techies have been demanding for a long time that internet pawn be stopped"

      They want to ban eBay as well?

  24. tiggity Silver badge

    Kids and pr0n

    Assuming their main idea is to stop kids getting at it - not going to happen.

    Plenty of tech savvy under 18's and the workarounds will be communicated around like wildfire.

    The ones at risk of getting their card details (or whatever valuable info is deemed needed for age verification) will be the tech clueless over 18s.

    Lots of under 18s will want to get at porn & a jumping through a few hoops wont stop them.

    Way before the web, the Dury track "Razzle in my pocket" summed up under 18s efforts to get at banned stuff rather well

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: Kids and pr0n

      It'll be worse than that.

      In the olden times, it was not unknown for teenagers at school to swap a few naughty magazines.

      Now imagine them swapping 64GB USB sticks.

      That's a lot of smut - and they can be copied, so the collection will be constantly growing.

  25. Potemkine Silver badge

    There's another way to deal with Royalty

    A hint: It involves pitchforks and flaming torches.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: There's another way to deal with Royalty

      The problem with pitchforks and flaming torches is what if you're countered with the likes of tanks? Think of the Chinese solution to uprisings.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was reading an article about the DEB on Ars the other day, when they removed the "30 Mbps for everyone" bit.

    Part of the article which caught my eye was this:

    But when pressed by Onwurah on whether "citizens own and control their own data," the minister responded: "Citizens elect the government and in many cases the government is responsible for the data, and having democratic legitimacy behind the control of data is critical to a functioning democracy."

  27. Swiss Anton
    Gimp

    Gimp mask because El Reg doesn't know how old I am.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      Joke

      ...however, we do know you're a dog.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How's the law which pays women extra child benefit if they make rape claims coming along?

    It's like someone's desperate to prove they're the worst government ever.

  29. Simon Harris Silver badge

    Age verification test...

    "Translate the following emojis into English..."

    If you can do this successfully you must be too young to watch porn.

  30. Mycho Silver badge

    That's Wifey banned then

    I understand marital sex is pretty unconventional these days.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    69 Comments, ahuh huh.

    Anyway, its sexism I tell you. We have to look at her back and his front. Either we look at the back of both of them or the front. Get with the times.

  32. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Well i guess everyones Internet costs are going to start to increase since they law requires that the ISPs block none compliant websites and this is going to cost the ISPs more which they will ultimately pass onto the customers. With the number of pron websites that appear everyday and are picked up by the filtering companies it won't take long for the Russian and Eastern European website to get around any blocks. Plus you can still go to Google images and get all the pron you want without every needing to visit another site

    1. Suricou Raven

      It won't cost them much. ISPs already have censorship systems in place - they are required for the voluntary* child abuse imagery blocks (BT calls it 'cleanfeed') and to block websites which are subject to a court blocking order. It would not be difficult to just add another set of entries to the list. They can group together to establish an industry body that processes complaints and generates the block list collectively.

      *Parliament made it quite clear that if any major ISP doesn't voluntary comply, legislation will be introduced make it no-so-voluntary.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Unhappy

      "Plus you can still go to Google images and get all the pron you want without every needing to visit another site"

      Until Google are required to do age verification before they allow you switch Safe Search off.

  33. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Legal adult content

    Despite repeated warnings, parliament has failed to listen to concerns about the privacy and security of people who want to watch legal adult content.

    There's the rub, then. A good portion of the populace (Trump voters, Brexit voters, Le Pen voters, other associated Neanderthals) want nothing more to make the phrase "legal adult content" an oxymoron.

  34. ShelLuser
    FAIL

    It never stops to amaze me...

    Website involved around horror shows plenty of gore, dismembered bodies, blood flowing and dripping everywhere and yeah, that's just life for you buddy.

    Website shows a female's boob and then all the alarm bells go off. Because heaven forbid, how on earth can you show something so upsetting and distasteful!?!?!

    I think some people should seriously sort out their priorities here.

    I don't have children myself, but honestly... I'd be more bothered if my little dipper would be confronted with the first website than the second.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It never stops to amaze me...

      But death is a fact of life. Nudity is not.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: It never stops to amaze me...

        I can't think of a day when I haven't been nude at some point.

        Probably looks better nude than me ----->

      2. Aus Tech

        Re: It never stops to amaze me...

        "Nudity is not."

        Since when? I was thoroughly used to seeing it by my mid teens, and that was many years ago.

  35. smartypants

    Strong and stable leadership!

    The stench of Theresa May is everywhere.

    And the people are dutifully marching to vote in more of this shit.

    1. Miss Lincolnshire

      Re: Strong and stable leadership!

      Not in this house. The Poundshop Thatcher can stick her peurile personal attacks and evasive answers up her autocratic banshee arse.

  36. The Mighty Spang

    whats the point?

    when teens are sexting each other anyway?

    when back in the pre-internet days we all had access to shared wank mags from older brothers and pirated our own grumble flicks by heaving VHS decks to each others houses?

    when in the early internet days popular was the man who knew USENET and had a CD burner? (I think my first one cost £400 IIRC) (and popular now will be the man who uses a VPN and megaupload)

    when enough people get their rocks off on softcore wank fodder like the tudors, game of thrones etc (if people didn't, they wouldn't put it in)

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Childcatcher

      "when teens are sexting each other anyway?"

      Or in Tory NewSpeak manufacturing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

      Because under the relevant law that's what it is.

      Context is irrelevant and society "Must be protected from this evil filth" (C Rabid Xenophobia Publications T/A The Daily Heil)

      Authoritarian governments (and in the UK I'd count everyone from Thatcher onward) want more and more vaguely defined laws so there's always something anyone can be arrested for. Authoritarian govts believe in the KGB view that everyone is guilty of something. It's just a question of finding out what. And if we can't find out what, locking them up on general principles.

      And that's how you do police "work" in a police state.

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: whats the point?

      The point is that sexts can be intercepted by the government, so this law allows the government to gain access to more naked teen pix.

      You didn't think it was intended for good, did you?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid decision

    Not that I would expect a 91-year-old to be particularly tech-savvy.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As time goes on, I think to myself... "The only place British people will ever be able to see a woman naked is in a museum."

    ...but considering how braindead and stupid the public are becoming, I'm starting to doubt even that.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      The Tories are cutting funding to museums, so even that option won't be around for much longer.

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