back to article Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

A spec for online age verification is due to be published on Monday, a decision backers hope will pacify opponents of the smut checks. The move comes as the pornography industry gets ready for a major overhaul of the way viewers can access web-based content, with everyone who wants to have a quick fiddle asked to verify they …

  1. Buzzword

    Shoved down our throats

    Dear Reg,

    I get that you’re trying to be all grown-up by dropping the innuendos, but couldn’t you have slipped one in for us loyal readers? Perhaps ask Dabbsy to write next week’s piece if & when the spec is actually released.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Shoved down our throats

      You clearly missed the references, inter-alia, to tools, boxes and rubber-stamping,...

    2. monty75

      Re: Shoved down our throats

      You asked for an innuendo? Allow me to give you one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shoved down our throats

        Nice, you certainly slipped that one in.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shoved down our throats

        >You asked for an innuendo? Allow me to give you one.

        Indeed, forced fellatio.

        Have an upvote.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Shoved down our throats

          >You asked for an innuendo? Allow me to give you one.

          Indeed, forced fellatio.

          Are teeth optional?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shoved down our throats

            Probably, just ask her to take them out.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait to see this though I'm unsure where they're going to get ground unicorn horn from?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      where they're going to get ground unicorn horn

      Shoreditch. Apparently, it's fairly common there..

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Ground Unicorn Horn?

      That comes from th Lesser Ground Unicorn - the one with No Legs...

      *badum tish*

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Ground Unicorn Horn?

        Ground Unicorn on a bun with a bit of mustard, mayonnaise, and maybe a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to wash it down. Rare or medium rare?????

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Over 18?

    Isn't the minimum age for settling down, getting married and having kids 16 in the UK?

    Do you have to then wait 2 years for a quick one off the wrist while she is out ?

    1. monty75

      Re: Over 18?

      Yes and yes.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Over 18?

      Apparently if you want to marry at 16 or 17 you need your parents' consent.

      Similarly if you want one off the wrist while watching internet porn under the age of 18, that's ok, but you can only do it while your mum's in the room, tutting.

      Sadly, I think that with government controlled age verification schemes in place, when having an on-line hand shandy it will feel like Theresa May's in the room tutting, whatever age you are.

      1. John H Woods Silver badge

        "Theresa May's in the room tutting"

        That's killed the mood stone dead. I might as well go and read up on DevOps now, instead.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: "Theresa May's in the room tutting"

          Here, have a mental picture of Jenny Agutter in Logan's Run from the Cyborg ticket article comments to cheer yourself up again.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Over 18?

        "Apparently if you want to marry at 16 or 17 you need your parents' consent."

        Not in Scotland. That's why Gretna Green was the destination for elopement marriages in the 1950s.

        Scotland has its own laws - but often come into line with the ones for England where they are intended to cover the whole UK.

  4. monty75
  5. djstardust Silver badge

    I'm assuming

    If you use a VPN masked as another region then it will bypass the age checks ... or is it not that simple?

    I have a BT router and there's no way to change the DNS. Does that affect anything?

    (Sorry, I'm not that technical really)

    1. rh587

      Re: I'm assuming

      I have a BT router and there's no way to change the DNS.

      You can manually set your DNS provider on your preferred device, instead of using the one provided by the router via DHCP.

      It'll be buried in your network settings somewhere - instead of accepting from DHCP simply set it to 8.8.8.8.

      Only thing you then need to be careful of is if you go to a hotel or are trying to get onto some other public wifi - they'll use their DNS server to direct you to their captive portal to sign in, which won't work if your device is insistent on connecting to 8.8.8.8 instead of the internal DNS they're offering.

      It took me longer than I care to admit to figure that one out...

      1. Mr Dogshit

        8.8.8.8

        Yeah, smart move using Google for your DNS. As if those bastards don't already know more than enough about you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm assuming

        "You can manually set your DNS provider on your preferred device" - not on BT routers, alas.

        1. Havin_it

          Re: I'm assuming

          Not on the router, but you can on your pc/slab/etc so what the router says is ignored by it.

          1. Mark 110 Silver badge

            Re: I'm assuming

            Changing your DNS doesn't change your address. You need a VPN service for that. And yes my girlfriends kids use them to access US Netflix content thats not available here. I'm quite sure it would get around this porn thingy as well.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'm assuming

            You are forgetting that the router could redirect DNS to wherever 'it' wants IF the correct ACL/Firewall Rules are setup.

            (Assuming a router that has at least some facilities to setup Firewall rules etc)

            This can also be performed by your ISP, if they desire, so ALL DNS goes through the ISP's DNS Servers.

            (Was not uncommon in the past !!!)

            I have configured my Home Router to redirect all port 53 calls to 'My Filtering DNS Server', allows lots of crud to be filtered out before you transfer it across the internet to be filtered by browser addons etc.

            (I know it does not protect me from other ports being used but I am interested in the port 53 traffic that is trying to be 'hidden' in all the other DNS traffic but goes to its 'own' DNS Servers.)

            Any software that plays these games tends to be 'no longer used' !!!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm assuming

        > 8.8.8.8.

        9.9.9.9 also available, courtesy of IBM (/8(\.8){3}/ is Google's)

      4. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: I'm assuming

        There are plenty of other ways to direct your traffic to the captive portal, no matter what you set as your DNS server. (I work for a company that makes gear that can do this. I can think off the top of my head of at least four or five different ways to configure our boxes to do it...)

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I'm assuming

          Well, one basic way is to just hijack port 53 wholesale. That blocks custom DNS connections because they'll just redirect them all to their own server (it's a chokepoint, so unless you support nonstandard DNS standards or ports, you're stuck). Another basic way is to block all traffic wholesale until it spots the signature of an HTTP connection, which it then redirects to the portal.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I'm assuming

      "I have a BT router and there's no way to change the DNS. Does that affect anything?"

      No., it'll still be a very dodgy connection - and therefore, blocked.

  6. Gio Ciampa

    "should be completely separate"

    Meaning it won't be...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Questions

    How will UK law affect websites hosted outside the UK?

    Will this law enable the UK government to block websites without going via the UK Courts?

    How will this law work with VPN or IP spoofing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Questions

      How will UK law affect websites hosted outside the UK?

      A small number will respect it (presuming that their UK revenues are worth the downsides). Most will ignore it as the stupid mumblings of some sill old dear in a foreign place.

      Will this law enable the UK government to block websites without going via the UK Courts?

      Of course. They like that sort of thing, but there are precedents, eg IWF.

      How will this law work with VPN or IP spoofing?

      Politicians are so stupid and so technically pig-ignorant they haven't thought that through.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Questions

        "Politicians are so stupid and so technically pig-ignorant they haven't thought that through."

        Additionally the few that may understand the 'Shortfalls' are assuming that the majority of the PuntersVoters will vote for them because it all sounds very good and 'protects the Children' etc etc. :) :)

        Just as we think the Politicians are 'Stoopid' so they think the PuntersVoters are !!!

        [A relationship of 'mutual contempt'. !!! :) ]

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          Re: Questions

          The 'relationship' is actually NOTHING to do with voters and politicians. That is just a story put up to pretend there is some degree of democracy.

          The main driving force for policy is, and always has been, the Civil Service. In this case the Home Office want another central bureaucratic control they can administer. So they tell the journalists and activists that this is required.

          The journalists then tell the politicians that this is needed, and the Civil Service steps in with a pre-arranged policy.

          No need to involve the voters at all...

  8. Christoph Silver badge

    "We can't put rules about data protection into the PAS… That is in the Data Protection Bill," he said. "So we refer to them, but we can't mandate them inside this PAS – but it's in there as 'you must obey the law'... [perhaps] that's been too subtle for the organisations that have been trying to take a swing at it."

    So that's all right. Privacy will be protected because the law says it will be. Never mind if it turns out to be technically impossible to combine robust age verification with anonymity - the law obviously trumps technical impossibility.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      - the law obviously trumps technical impossibility.

      This reminds of the encryption arguments... The idiots in power are still running amok. Personally, I'd rather see government inaction as opposed to government in action.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Personally, I'd rather see government inaction as opposed to government in action."

        Which was once the government policy on many things - it was called "laissez faire". Which means "leave alone or "let it go".

        As always it usually meant libertarian attitudes to financial matters for the ruling classes - but tight control over ordinary people's private lives. A Jacob Rees-Mogg type of government.

        1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

          ...it usually meant libertarian attitudes to financial matters for the ruling classes - but tight control over ordinary people's private lives. A Jacob Rees-Mogg type of government....

          I wonder where you got that smear from?

          In reality, of course, you are describing a 'Green' government. For the Greens, their financiers, like Soros, or Elon Musk, can do no wrong, and will be given large amounts of taxpayer money to spend as they wish. While the little people are forced to eat and dring the 'right' things, then put the right kind of plastics into the right boxes, and be fined for leaving the top of your recycling bin open...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Redirect to dodgy sites

    I still don't get how this is going to work. So all the safe, legit pr0n sites sign up to this blocking system leaving the porn hunting teens to access the dodgy scam filled temporary sites that are filled with malware.

    How is that safer?

    Can we please put a block on all MPs from ever making IT based decisions?

    1. Natalie Gritpants

      Re: Redirect to dodgy sites

      Yes, think of the children's computers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Redirect to dodgy sites

        Do we have to ask for them back off the MPs now?

  10. John H Woods Silver badge

    Robust age verification with anonymity...

    "Never mind if it turns out to be technically impossible to combine robust age verification with anonymity"

    ... presumably not technically impossible; surely it could be done with federated identity. You apply to the new UK government scheme for user ID / password combo, they verify your age and they "give you one"

    Then all you have to do is use OAuth etc: to prove to the porn provider that you can log into an account you couldn't possibly have if you are under 18, and "Bob's your uncle," or whatever your preferred genre.

    Of course, people will just steal or borrow IDs belonging to people over 18. But then they'd do that if the proofs were credit card details. And the government scheme would be prone to being tricked in the same manner. And it would have more holes than a colander. It's a stupid idea but, unlike good-guy-only-encryption-without-key-escrow it doesn't seem to me that the problem itself is technically impossible: it's just practically so.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Robust age verification with anonymity...

      The way to do it robustly and anonymously would be to have a "trusted" third party do the verification - like how you use PayPal because you don't trust a semi-random website with your credit card details.

      I could see PayPal being the ideal company to provide this, however I can see them not offering it for puritanical reasons.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Robust age verification with anonymity...

        The hassle is, plenty of people may not have credit cards, driving licence, passport or other "easy" ID for age verification.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Robust age verification with anonymity...

        "I could see PayPal being the ideal company to provide this"

        A good choice, but it will probably end up with Facebook doing it because thanks to all the personal data they have accumulated they will know who you are even when you don't use Facebook.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Robust age verification with anonymity...

      It is PHYSICALLY impossible to have BOTH anonymity AND attribution without resorting to some third party who can itself be subverted. It's just like with voting. You can either have a FREE (anonymous) vote or a TRUE (attribution) vote because security demands no third-party involvement.

  11. Arsey-grump
    FAIL

    I'm pretty sure a VPN will be all that's required. Just ask your average tech-savvy 12 year old boy! Doh..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just ask your average tech-savvy 12 year old boy! Doh..

      Just post on Craigslist:

      Wanted: 12year old boy to come round to my house to help me watch porn.

      1. m-k

        re: Wanted: 12year old boy to come round to my house to help me watch porn.

        these days even JOKING about it might get you in trouble, never mind the actual ad :/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: re: Wanted: 12year old boy to come round to my house to help me watch porn.

          That's why I got my parliamentary researcher to post anonymously

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look on the bright side ...

    ... if they implement this then at least we'll have an ID audit trial for who views what from Westminster computers.

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: Look on the bright side ...

      What on earth leads you to believe that these laws will apply to our lords and masters?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Look on the bright side ...

        What on earth leads you to believe that these laws will apply to our lords and masters?

        Didn't they exempt themselves for 'research' or some other weak excuse - or am I thinking of some other woefully ignorant, badly thought out piece of legislation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Look on the bright side ...

          Didn't they exempt themselves for 'research' or some other weak excuse

          Aka the "Chris Langham Defense"

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Look on the bright side ...

            Didn't they exempt themselves for 'research' or some other weak excuse

            Aka the "Chris Langham Defense"

            That guy from The Who offered the same reason I believe....

            If that's correct, that's two - maybe it's true...

  13. unwarranted triumphalism

    A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

    Maybe you should have a look at yourselves in the mirror. Ask yourselves some difficult questions before the police do.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Of course

      Because we know that this is going to force children's sexual exploration back behind the bike sheds.

    2. vir

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      A friend of mine who used to work in a video store told me that there were two types of people who rented porn movies:

      The guy who slips the porn in with a stack of five or six nature documentaries, action movies, etc.

      The guy who proudly slaps "Anal Bum Blasters III: Blast From The Past" down on the counter and asks: "you got anything new back there?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

        > A friend of mine who used to work in a video store told me

        Back before the days of chains of video shops when most such places would have a box load of pirated hardcore tapes hidden below the counter the guy who ran our local such shop said that a lot of the customers were women who presumably had more time home alone than their husbands.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

        > Anal Bum Blasters III: Blast From The Past

        I understand many of the stars got shafted.

    3. Red Bren

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      Pornography is legal. Maybe you should ask yourself what business it is of your's to judge other people's legal activities, based on whatever intolerant, prudish moral compass you use.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

        > Pornography is legal

        I am under no obligation to accept that. And yes, it *is* my business what other people do especially when it affects public morals.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

          > Pornography is legal

          I am under no obligation to accept that. And yes, it *is* my business what other people do especially when it affects public morals.

          Dare I mention that homosexuality is also legal?

          Sorry, but you do have to accept others' sexual freedoms however intolerant you may be.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism

            Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

            > Dare I mention that homosexuality is also legal?

            Glad to hear it.

            Need any help with that strawman?

            1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

              Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

              Pro-gay, over the top anti-porn.

              That's a very unusual combination.

            2. Mycho Silver badge

              Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

              Need any help with that strawman?

              If you're going to recycle 1950s anti-legalisation rhetoric verbatim, expect to be called out on it.

              1. unwarranted triumphalism

                Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

                Bollocks.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

                  Bollocks

                  Sorry, I prefer my pornography without them.

                2. Teiwaz Silver badge

                  Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

                  Bollocks.

                  Shocking, children might see that....

                3. JimboSmith Silver badge

                  Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

                  Bollocks

                  Not unless you can prove you're over 18!

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

              you ARE being trolled, downvoters, spare yourselves that extra effort and electricity, all those downclicks turn trolls ON, rather than off :)

        2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

          Is this a very dry joke? Are you a troll? Or are you a puritanical moron?

          1. handleoclast Silver badge

            Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

            Are you a troll?

            Yes, he's a troll. Not a very good one, usually. This time he seems to have caught far more people than he should have. He even made a second post where it was blatantly obvious he was trolling, and people responded as though he were serious.

        3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: unwarranted triumphalism

          Pornography decreases rape.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: unwarranted triumphalism

            Every Society needs a release valve - if every society is three meals from anarchy, what'll it be if the small sexual light snack is denied or made difficult?

            Might not be revolution or anarchy, but I think certain portions of the population might get meaner.

            The late Sir Pterry mentions in 'Men at Arms' that humans are not naturally paid up members of the race - he suggests they need socialising to complete the subscription....

            I suggest that for many, porn delivers some of that in lieu of how people today are either no longer close to others, or cannot meet their needs without imposing* on others.

            * either aggressively or merely connecting.

            1. JimboSmith Silver badge

              Teiwaz

              Have an up vote for mentioning the great man and his works.

        4. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

          Ah... you are the final arbiter of good and evil then? Nice to know we have someone watching out for all of us mere mortals.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      Claire Perry - is that you?

      England's very own net nanny.

    5. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      More likely they are worried about credit card details or passport details or whatever being submitted to third parties .. given how data has a big tendency to leak.

      PII shoudl not be stored, but you can bet it will be - e.g. PCI DSS has strict rules, but audits often find companies breaking the rules & perm storing stuff they shouldn't or for longer than allowed.

      e.g. MindGeek (likely to be a big player on age verification) has form on having its data hacked

      Plus adding age Id verification is potentially a way to track people.

      So it is more about privacy, PII data leaking, than the content (though there is content hypocrisy - why not demand age verification on graphic violent content - that's something I find far more offensive than vanilla pr0n )

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      Most people probably are - only 1 % of the population is asexual and 70 % of them are apparently women.

      In today's world, I suspect restricting access would cause way more (real) problems for people - those people being predominantly women.

      As a citizen of the UK who values my freedom and my security, I feel that we should trust our elected officials to provide excellent leadership on these complex topics. /Sarcasm off

      1. Mr Dogshit

        Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

        70% of women are asexual you say? I would have thought the percentage would be higher than that.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      Unwarranted triumphalism is a God fearin' right winger.

      Need you say more?

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

        > God fearin' right winger

        You could try not lying. I'm not religious.

    8. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      You're beginning to sound like a US Congresscritter from the deep south or the extreme right.

    9. Blitheringeejit
      Trollface

      @unwarranted triumphalism

      At the time of writing, 5 posts, lots of downvotes, and not a single solitary upvote. Is this a Reg record for sheer unpopularity (or olympic-class trolling, take your pick)..?

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: @unwarranted triumphalism

        Telling the truth is not a popularity contest. Doesn't help when you lot deliberately misquote me, but I guess it's just an occupational hazard.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: @unwarranted triumphalism

          Telling the truth is not a popularity contest. Doesn't help when you lot deliberately misquote me, but I guess it's just an occupational hazard.

          If your believe you are telling the truth, you are deluded.

          If your occupational therapy isn't helping....

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @unwarranted triumphalism

          unwarranted triumphalism: "Telling the truth is not a popularity contest. "

          Neither is spouting complete, total and utter shit. Which could explain your handsome crop of downvotes. Now piss off back to the Cabinet Office.

    10. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: A lot of you are *very* keen on protecting your access to smut

      have a look at yourselves in the mirror

      I'd suggest getting a tripod instead. And a remote release (ahem...). Pictures of genitalia framed by bathroom taps are rather passé.

  14. Red Bren
    Gimp

    FoI request

    Any chance El Reg could request a list of all domains or IP addresses accessed from devices on the networks at the Houses of Parliament?

    My employer would treat it as gross misconduct if I managed to access porn from a work device, especially as it would require me to deliberately circumvent the firewalls and proxies.

    I assume MPs would face the same challenges to access porn while connected to the parliament network, and would suffer similar sanctions if they succeeded.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FoI request

      re: "... and would suffer similar sanctions if they succeeded."

      Nah, MPs never do anything wrong, which is why they don't get prosecuted...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FoI request

        "Nah, MPs never do anything wrong, which is why they don't get prosecuted..."

        When caught they just change the law "for clarification". That's why Theresa May wants all these Henry VIII powers to push things through as "secondary legislation".

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: FoI request

          And at any point Parliament can abolish those Henry VIII powers.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: FoI request

            "And at any point Parliament can abolish those Henry VIII powers."

            If it gets to that extreme there will probably be a coup and all that agreement will be shoved aside. No gentleman's agreement stands for long against someone with enough raw power to ignore them.

    2. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: FoI request

      Any chance you could stay out of peoples' private business? Too much to ask?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: FoI request

        @unwarranted triumphalism

        Any chance you could stay out of peoples' private business? Too much to ask?

        Are you Damien Green by any chance?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FoI request

      unfortunately this is a matter for national security. No.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Paying for porn?

    With the amount of free porn on the net I'm surprised that anyone still pays for it.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Paying for porn?

      Little thing called Consent. Some people like it.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Paying for porn?

      And people pay for bottled water when it's freely available from the tap.

      I'm sure there are lots of things available for free that some people choose to pay for.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Paying for porn?

      With the amount of free porn on the net I'm surprised that anyone still pays for it.

      Free (beer-wise) Not for much longer, certainly not for citizens subjects of the United Puritanical.

      Free (speech-wise) Restricted availability is the first step toward a creeping ban.

    4. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: Paying for porn?

      The ease of access to free internet porn... has ruined my enjoyment of porn... So much that I deleted everything I'd download over the years. With a few clicks I can get anything I want legit and without any snooping... and anyone who judges me for it can 'feck orf and shove a didlo up either front or rear bottom depending on gender and personal preference of course... because I'm more than happy to insult everyone equally.' :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paying for porn?

        "The ease of access to free internet porn... has ruined my enjoyment of porn... So much that I deleted everything I'd download over the years. "

        Whaaaat! No way man I could never do that, I've spent the last 15 years carefully curating a personal collection of adult content by type and my personal rating.

        The idea of deleting over 24TB of curated adult content is just a sin!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Paying for porn?

          > The idea of deleting over 24TB of curated adult content is just a sin!

          Want me to safekeep it?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have not been involved in the world of running adult website for over 5 years now, but i know back then that the credit/debit card companies used to say that having one of their cards was NOT acceptable as proof of age. Since these new systems seem to be reliant on credit/debit cards as proof of age have the card companies changed their mind or will it also involve you scanning your ID and uploading that to the age verification service?

    Do these rules mean you will not longer get Babestation and similar channels on freeview without proving your over 18? If not then why should one service be exempt when others have to implement a 3rd party system at their own costs?

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Access to the babestation phone lines is (mandated) restricted by using a premium rate number range desegnated as adult ( eg: 0908 rather than 0906 ), which is restricted by the network.

    2. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Talking of other ways to get porn.

      How does this affect all those live video apps like periscope?

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Talking of other ways to get porn.

        @John G Imrie

        And needless to say if this works - which it won't - you'll still be able to torrent the wildest things in your 12 year old imagination anyway.

        Oh well. Poor kids :-(

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Credit card apparently not proof of age in other contexts

      If I use the self-scan checkout at the supermarket and buy booze (which for any non-UK readers, you have to be over 18 for), the fact that I'm paying by credit card is immaterial - and a member of staff still has to confirm my age (that I look over-18) to the machine.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Do these rules mean you will not longer get Babestation and similar channels on freeview without proving your over 18? If not then why should one service be exempt when others have to implement a 3rd party system at their own costs?

      Do you mean the softcore channels like Television X and Babestation that were/are broadcast unencrypted on DVB-T? It was laughable that the government allowed/allows that porn to be transmitted in the clear on our airwaves and yet are trying to ban it (and stronger stuff) on the net. All you need to watch without paying for a pin is a receiver that allows you to enter the PIDs for the channels or a computer and USB DVB-T Dongle + software.

  17. Pat 11

    Blackmail database

    There will be some very motivated blackmailers working 24/7 to get hold of this data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blackmail database

      We probably won't have to wait long.

      I'd give it six months to a year.

      Remember Ashley Madison?

      I'm going to try the VPN route first but I suspect part of the requirement will be to blacklist known VPN addresses as Netflix attempts to do

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Blackmail database

        "Remember Ashley Madison?"

        Damien Green certainly does!

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11818088/Ashley-Madison-Former-Tory-minister-Damian-Green-denies-involvement-in-adultery-website.html

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

    They could:

    1. Use a VPN with an exit node in some other country.

    2. With 1. or without, use torrents.

    3. Use Tor, with or without 1.

    It's totally inane to think it can be blocked at all, and this age-verification-by-national-insurance-number will simply drive it underground, legit websites will lose revenue. Plus all government departments will know what floats your boat, and so will everyone else (including present and prospective employers [most research Facef*ck accounts as part of the recruitment process these days, and some use it for monitoring purposes - but they also look at all sorts of other internet data sources, would you ever know if you were refused a job because of Ashley Madison leaks, for instance?]) when the database inevitably gets hacked; made available to all and sundry, or sold. Imagine being blackmailed after someone sold your smut history on the dark web...

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

      "Use Tor, with or without 1."

      Shouldn't we keep Tor for serious uses that require anonymity?

      Won't streaming high bandwidth porn through it just annoy the administrators of Tor relays and slow the network down?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

        Would puberty to pre-18 year olds care?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

        Wanking IS a serious matter which requires anonymity, generally speaking.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

        Shouldn't we keep Tor for serious uses that require anonymity?

        Most certainly not. Having a lot of non-serious traffic helps provide a distraction and additional cover for those who use Tor as a means of staying alive.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

          "Distraction and addition cover"

          Good point! I never thought of porn like that before.

        2. S4qFBxkFFg
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

          "I'm supporting those struggling against oppressive regimes."

        3. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

          "Most certainly not. Having a lot of non-serious traffic helps provide a distraction and additional cover for those who use Tor as a means of staying alive."

          Not when the bandwidth is limited. Then you're starving the revolutionaries.

          1. Havin_it

            Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

            >Then you're starving the revolutionaries

            And here I thought I'd heard every euphemism for wanking already...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: There has to be a better way to ensure children can't access porn.

          ... Having a lot of non-serious traffic helps provide a distraction and additional cover for those who use Tor as a means of staying alive.

          TOR is already quite heavily used for less serious stuff as people tend to NOT care about the more worthy uses/needs being addressed and are only focused on the apparent anonymity it provides.

          Probably the reason why TOR is so slow whenever I have tried it !!! :)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ID codes and hashes

    Surely the government should issue an ID code to everyone in the country over the age of 18 so that no one needs to be embarrassed about asking for their code. Then we could then have a hashing system using this code and a random value which would make it possible to workout that the viewer has a valid code but not exactly what it is. This way everyone could demonstrate they were old enough and the sites couldn't track you.

    This can't be any more difficult to come up with than the magic tree encryption systems with three keys where the third one can never be used or known by anyone apart from the those approved and in cases authorised by a judge who's seen the evidence.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ID codes and hashes

      The ID code could even go on a little card that we could carry around and the Police and council dog wardens could inspect

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: ID codes and hashes

        Not that tired old canard again. Only wrongdoers need fear correct identification.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: ID codes and hashes

          Not that tired old canard again. Only wrongdoers need fear correct identification.

          Not that tired old line again.

          It's not the access to wanton excess people are concerned about, nor fear of the practical and legitimate uses of identification.

          But the potential for scope creep these entail.

          Once these sorts of measures have been introduced and become the norm, even for the welfare of a part of the population, it is much easier to add other activities to the list of requiring valid id, and the use for which it was presented.

          Before you know it, you could be needing to present it for other activities the authorities think are unhealthy - alcohol purchases will be next, followed by salt or maybe even sugar - child obesity and all that - there could be kids hanging around corner stores in the future, interacting with strangers trying to get them to buy sweets for them, it's happened occasionally over alcohol after all.

          For those mature supposedly mature enough to make our own decisions, it's a short stop for the government being able to identify your ID being used for risky behaviour to being harassed about taking therapy or having your usage declined....

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: ID codes and hashes

          Only wrongdoers need fear correct identification.

          So only issue ID cards to wrongdoers

  20. The Dogs Meevonks

    this is why...

    And this is why I use a VPN, along with as many other privacy enhancing, anti tracking and snooping methods that I know of.

    It's not a case of doing anything wrong... it's simply a case of 'It's MY PRIVACY and anyone and everyone else can FUCK OFF'

    1. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: this is why...

      BUT MUH PRIVUHCY! - criminals everywhere

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: this is why...

        BUT MUH PRIVUHCY! - criminals everywhere

        "Privacy is for criminals!!" - rapists everywhere.

        Try not to sound like a rapist, dude. It's like the first rule of posting online.

      2. BostonEddie

        Re: this is why...

        BUH MY TELEPHONE NUMBER! BUH MY SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER! BUH MY KID'S PICTURES!

        Buh how stupid can you be?

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: this is why...

      Then what happens when they DUCK YOU BACK and start blocking VPN traffic wholesale a la Netflix? Pretty soon sites could be restricted to white lists and if you don't make the list, too damn bad. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Dead Zombies pre Watershed Ads

      meanwhile infants can look at generic gruesome horror zombie film ads on the YouTube homepage before searching for peperpig

      infants? Are you sure you don't mean the french 'enfant'

      Anyway, I can't tell the difference between a zombie and peppapig...both are fairly soulless looking,

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Dead Zombies pre Watershed Ads

        Wouldn't a dead zombie just be a dead person ?

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Dead Zombies pre Watershed Ads

        "Difference between a zombie and Peppa Pig."

        Peppa Pig would taste better in a sandwich.

      3. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Dead Zombies pre Watershed Ads

        Please don't remind me of the horror of half term and the Peppa Pig show I went to with my niece. I don't know what the attraction of the cartoon pig is but there were children in there who were going to rip the place apart if it didn't start on time.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Dead Zombies pre Watershed Ads

          And what of the parents of these malcontents? Was there reason to suspect they wouldn't stop their tantrums?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad the Conservative party are so concerned with the welfare of children. Then perhaps they could explain why the average time they wait for acute mental health treatment is 18 months, and why so many kids end up dying. Oh I forgot - its because they actually don't give a shit about children (they've just removed free school meals as well). Its because they want to keep a bunch of blue rinse senile old Daily Mail readers happy....

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      If you don't like what the current government and lawmakers are doing, vote the ****rs out.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Out of the frying pan and into the fire. As bad as they are, the alternatives are worse. Politics practically requires sociopathy, but without it you end up with anarchy.

      2. scrubber

        Vote them out

        We can't vote them out since we never voted them in in the first place - when was the last time a government got 50% of the vote let alone a majority of the electorate? Tyranny of the minority enhanced by gerrymandering and an unelected second chamber and head of state. Vote? Don't make me laugh.

  23. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    It's Like a BW 12" TV

    Does not take too long to adjust.

    Widow Maker Futa Tentacle Docking 3D Sex orgy...

    http://www.marksandspencer.com/l/lingerie/shapewear

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Like a BW 12" TV

      That takes me back... the lingerie section of my mum's littlewoods catalogue was my early tease of choice.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: It's Like a BW 12" TV

        Littlewoods? You were lucky! I had to make do with Damart!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Like a BW 12" TV

      Of course lingerie sections should be filtered too. Credit card and full ID makes even sense in this case.

      And, as the pressure rises, table legs should be covered lest they inspire dirty thoughts...

      Sexual frustration is a powerful tool for crowd control, it has proven its efficiency all through history, and it is fairly cheap to implement too. Last but not least, you get to claim the moral high ground which is a big bonus in an "elected government" setting.

      (Of course it increases perversion and encourages crime (much like prohibition did), but that's not a problem as long as you've got a carpet big enough to sweep those little oopsies under.)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I for one...

    I for one cannot wait for these filters so that I can tell everyone that, I, in fact am a total masturbator (polite way of another word, often used as an insult)

    Let's get an app also that can check who has signed upto these websites for public safety!

    Once that's done the first thing I'm doing is publishing it all over facebook that I do this, and which websites will helpfully list you in the app, come on let's help create a big database of wankers.

    It's the perfect future, know at the tap of an app who is a masturbator and who is not!

    1. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: I for one...

      I-for-one?

      Ivor Biggun, is that you??

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Enjoy your new found censorship

    Having to provide ID repeatedly for "in private" browsing could get annoying. I think the internet should be unfiltered unless people opt in. Blocking porn could be politically risky, inspiring a new rival to the Pirate Party (I expect they'll both wear face masks at their public gatherings).

    Under this scheme, will some sites be blocked outright if they feature anything that's a legal grey area under UK law? Sites where users upload their own content might be impossible to police.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Enjoy your new found censorship

      So pick your poison: anarchy or the police state. Either way you're gonna get reamed without lube.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guys is this actually gonna happen?

    I'm not putting anything real or personally identifiable into a porn site.

    Is this actually gonna happen?

    Some are surely just a static htdocs directory serving html files, and most are probably not based in the UK, what are they gonna do?

    Should I prepare to use ssh -D or is this just going to be largely ignored?

  27. unwarranted triumphalism

    Thanks goodness the government is finally doing something

    Because something must be done. And this is something. Therefore it must be done.

    The logic is inescapable.

  28. Duffaboy
    Happy

    Asking for a friend

    Will they still be able to google Stormy Daniels

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To make this fair...

    If we (obviously not me, of course) have to provide our age, then 'executive stress relief' sites should be able to freely advertise on billboards, in newspapers, on TV and in kids' comics. Oh and on T-Shirts too. And get rid of those goddam Tiivago ads - 'the riiight hotel for the right praaaas' - f**k you to hell Trivago harridan! She should be banned. And don't get me started on chewing gum. And those people in little cars who drive too slowly. And bloody Imagine Dragons. Tools. Damn them.

  30. scrubber

    Protect the children

    If the government don't want the kids to see explicit material then they should stop producing legislation that fucks the public in the ass on a regular basis.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Protect the children

      Don't be silly.

      The government want to make sure that teenagers seeking erotic entertainment can only find it in the arms of their local MP.

      As a rule, the more puritannical somebody is, the more perverse they are. Google "gay homophobe" for a more mundane example.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keen interest

    It's heart-warming to see so many posts on the subject of fundamental human right of anonymous access to porn. Beats (hands down!) other vital issues, such as, MS are scumbags / Google are evil / Apple are shit

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Privacy?

    You will be tracked. Resistance is futile.

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