back to article Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Age checks for online porn are expected to come into force around Easter 2019, as peers yesterday signed off on the final regulations and guidance despite acknowledging they will not be wholly efficient. The roll-out of the controversial rules is about a year later than the government had hoped, as it had to give the regulator …

  1. vir Silver badge

    Non-photographic Images

    What's objectionable about my collection of erotic Byzantine mosaics?

    1. Andy Non

      Re: Non-photographic Images

      I'll take a look and let you know but first you no doubt require my name, address and credit card details to verify I'm over 18? I totally trust you not to do anything untoward with that information.

      1. ridley

        Re: Non-photographic Images

        Do you mean an Adult Verification Service (AVS)?

        Last time that didn't end well for quite a number of innocent Brits #AVS #Operation Ore

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Non-photographic Images

      I wondered about Morph porn though I'm not going to search for it as it's now subject to Rule 34.

  2. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    FAIL

    Doh....

    Time to invest in VPN companies then as their user base is about to get ~60m new users.

    If the VPN use does explode in the UK I wonder how much that's going to screw up GCHQ's work.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Doh....

      Now, WE (the vaguely IT-literate Reg-commentardiate) know that VPNs are basically a good thing, so long as they aren't free! Paid for and used properly they can considerably increase security while browsing, and not just smut.

      Could someone explain this to the BBC and the Lottery? Who flatly refuse to let you use iPlayer or buy a ticket while you are using a VPN, even if it terminates in the UK.

      No, they want you to disconnect your VPN and use the highly questionable free WiFi in your local coffee shop without the safety of virtuality.

      But kids can still sit in Star*ucks watching movies showing grown-ups in a state of undress, so long as they use their VPN.

      Why do we bother with a Parliament of morons?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could someone explain this to the BBC and the Lottery?

        Let the beeb be, I stopped bothering with iplayer long time before they made it compulsory to watch you while you're watching it. All you need is tor browser and tixati. For now.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Doh....

        Why do we bother with a Parliament of morons?

        Ohh - I know this one!

        Because we elect people who haven't ever had a real job[1] in their lives? Who have spent all their 'working' life in a political/social bubble and never, ever have had to do something real?

        [1] IE - not politics/banking/legal.

      3. Phil W

        Re: Doh....

        "Paid for and used properly they can considerably increase security while browsing, and not just smut."

        The fact that you're paying for a VPN makes it neither secure or trustworthy. If you believe that's really the case I will happily take your money for the VPN service I'm about to set up.

        I pinky promise not to log all your activity and sell it to either the government or ne'er-do-wells on the dark web.

        1. bondyboy

          Re: Doh....

          You do know there are VPN providers where you can just send your VPN account number together with cash in post yes? No, names, addresses, bank accounts involved at all

    2. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Doh....

      If the VPN use does explode in the UK I wonder how much that's going to screw up GCHQ's work.

      Opera, with its built in VPN capability is suddenly looking very attractive. Yes, it all gets funnelled to China, but that's only a problem for those doing the sort of jobs that the PLA might have an interest in, or those who might have illegal interests?

    3. ridley

      Re: Doh....

      Nah watch out for the new super duper VPN offering really cheap and based in Cheltenham.

    4. Kane Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Doh....

      "If the VPN use does explode in the UK I wonder how much that's going to screw up GCHQ's work."

      Not much, they'll just set up their own private companies that run VPN services for offer in the UK.

      Remember kids, we own nothing.

    5. Gonzo wizard

      Re: Doh....

      "If the VPN use does explode in the UK I wonder how much that's going to screw up GCHQ's work."

      I suspect that depends on where the VPN terminates. If it terminates at an IP address in the UK - or any other five eyes country (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) I'd expect GCHQ to be able to access the traffic.

  3. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Stopping porn is like

    Trying to hold liquid helium in a string sieve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stopping porn is like

      there is no intention to stop porn, the intention is to show the plebs, aka the public, that their concerns are heard and acted on, thus making them "connect" with the Masters (deliver brexit for everybody, etc.). It works on most things, so why shouldn't it work in this case: the voice is being heard (tick) the show is being had (tick), the porn-lovers continue as before (tick), everybody goes nudge nudge wink wink (tick). All's well, for now.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] the Earl of Erroll also came up with the novel proposal that the government could perhaps require a pop-up on the front page of porn sites "about understanding the beginning of a relationship and how you can get excited and go forward without going to the harder aspects which involve penetrative sex".

    I wonder how carefully his lordship crafted that choice of words?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much..." though how that would work these days is questionable. Not in a bad way, each to their own.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much..."

        When my friends' and neighbours' teenagers asked me for advice on sex*** I told them that most of the pleasure was in the mind. The pleasure would depend on many things: learned technique; personal aesthetics; the degree of empathy with each other.

        When lust becomes love is always an interesting debate. Relationships can decline suddenly when lust is sated. It only takes one jarring of other expectations to shatter the whole edifice.

        In the 1990s it was interesting to hear snippets of athletic heterosexual experiences from one lad seeming destined for marriage. Then he broke off the relationship and came out as gay in his late twenties. He said "Now I have to make up for lost time" as he learned how to date men prior to Grindr.

        The current twenty-somethings seem to be going in for serial monogamous relationships. As they approach thirty they acknowledge the experience needed to make a relationship work with their latest partner.

        There is still the odd one - somewhat dangerously innocent - who has ended up in a rocky early marriage due to a pregnancy that should have been avoided.

        ***at that age they often need someone they trust outside the family in whom to confide their misdemeanours and fears. In days gone by that was the role of an official godparent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Kids have reddit these days to teach them everything they need to know plus its porn won't get banned. I speak as a man of experience and some of the advice I've seen given there is spot on. Godparents when I were a lad were just people they knocked about in the pub with.

      2. Jamesit

        "It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much...""

        I would word it as "When two people love each other very much..."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Or even more accurate....

          When two people are drunk and pass a bus shelter....

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          "I would word it as "When two people love each other very much...""

          Typical discrimination against Mormons and polyamorists.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Typical discrimination against Mormons

            Oh dear, I read it as "against Morons" and I felt deeply offended. Had to blink (thrice!) to clear the muck off my eyeses...

        3. IanTP
          Joke

          "I would word it as "When two people love each other very much..."

          Did you just assume my species...

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          'I would word it as "When two people love each other very much..."'

          But I don't identify as a person.

      3. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much..."

        When a man loves a woman ... a man loves a man ... a woman loves a woman ... a man that was a woman loves a man ... a man that was a woman loves a woman ... a man that was a woman loves a woman that was a man ...

        Oh sod it kids, find out for yourselves ...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re. "When a man loves a woman very much..."

        being of a different disposition I feel terribly offended by the above, narrow-minded and last-century sweeping and hurtful disregard for different dispositions, moreover, and much more importantly, I feel deeply discriminated against. Which, I would hope, qualifies for free legal assistance once I bring this matter to the court of law!

      5. katrinab Silver badge
        Flame

        Anonymous Coward says:

        'It should start off with "When a man loves a woman very much..."'

        See icon. I try to be as man-repellent as possible.

    2. cam

      What a lucky old Earl

      Most people have to browse a few pages to get a 'pop-up'.

    3. Tim Jenkins

      "....understanding the beginning of a relationship...."

      That's the bit where the guy(s) with the moustache arrives to deliver the pizza / fix the washing machine / mow the lawn, right?

    4. Lars Silver badge
      Joke

      So tell me Earl of Erroll, how do you "get excited and go forward without the hardon", does it come with age.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] it will only apply to those where porn makes up a third or more of the material available"

    So all a pr0n site has to do is add more than two thirds of cat pictures to their usual pussy ones.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
      Gimp

      How is "material available" measured or defined?

      There would seem to be numerous ways a porn site can get round that requirement. I wonder which is going to be the first to scrape and take public domain images from NASA and content from elsewhere?

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Or birds, of the avian type.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cat video explosion

    If a site's content theme is judged on the number of videos rather than the total length, then I predict a sudden increase in the number of cat videos (of which there is a seemingly inexhaustible supply) on these sites, each one no more than two seconds longs.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Inevitably

    "that included explaining what to do when they inevitably – regardless of the age checks – encounter porn online."

    I think most teenage boys already know what to do when they encounter such material online. Something to do with making sure the bedroom door is shut and mum is not about to walk in....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Inevitably

      "I think most teenage boys [...]"

      That applies equally to teenage girls. Since the 1960s it has become permissible in English society for girls to know about the possible pleasures of their own body too.

      Not sure what pr0n they watch - in the past some of my women friends expressed a desire to watch gay male videos. Possibly because such videos only became generally available later and were therefore an unknown area for them.

      I wonder if women are the larger audience for mainstream gay relationship films eg Brokeback Mountain; Call Me By Your Name.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inevitably

        There are some smaller sites (such as Pandora Blake) that do pr0n that is more lady-friendly than the typical male sort money-shot style, but sadly they are going to be hit much worse than the pornhubs of this world by this stupid legislation.

        Also the BDSM world gets a fairly balanced interest from women, but their tastes are so wildly different you can't really put them in to male/female interest groups.

      2. xyz

        Re: Inevitably

        >I wonder if women are the larger audience for mainstream gay relationship films eg Brokeback Mountain

        .... never having seen the film (bloke), I understand that 2 blokes who haven't washed, changed underwear or used bog paper for months suddenly decide to stick their ***** up each other's ***** ( in a caring and nurturing way obviously)....Can't see that appealing to women unless to comment on how much the place needed a good polishing (not French).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Inevitably

          "Can't see that appealing to women unless to comment on how much the place needed a good polishing (not French)."

          Worldwide - anal intercourse is mainly a heterosexual practice. It provides contraception - and a tighter fit for a man after his wife has had several children. There is some doubt about how much, if any, physical pleasure is inherent in the act for the woman. However a man as the recipient has the potential for direct stimulation of his prostate - which apparently can be quite something.***

          ***having had my enlarged prostate prodded in various medical investigations - it was noted that nothing was felt at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Inevitably

      well, as a parent of a (soon to be) teenagers, I expect to have to knock on their doors anyway, just in case. Having shuffled towards the abovementioned doors in a protracted and clumsy manner, talking to myself louder than usual (and that applies to both, son and daughter's room).

      ...

      er... a thought has just struck me, but... I'll let it rest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Inevitably

        "I expect to have to knock on their doors anyway, just in case. "

        Very wise. A teenage friend had a tale of the day he was getting a BJ from his girlfriend. Then his mother and her mother walked into his room. Fortunately they left immediately - as they had been under no illusions about what the young couple probably did.

        Unlike a neighbour. One day her young teenage daughter and a boyfriend were "at it like rabbits" naked on their lounge floor. In that position they believed themselves shielded from external view by the frosted glass in the bottom section of the floor to ceiling windows. Unfortunately the room was brightly illuminated by the evening sun - which made them very visible outside even through that glass.

        A quick word to her later appraised her of the problem of that location. She didn't even blush - but went "Oops!".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just how...

    So its a URL blacklist of the entire internet of Pr0n which your site can only be removed from if it deploys age verification checks from a UK approved age verification check provider? The black list will be applied to all UK ISP's?

    And this applies to any adult educational *ahem* site anywhere in the world?

    Or have I got that wrong?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Just how...

      Seems they've given up on regulating the entire Internet (odd that) and I guess the same address lists that are used to block pirate sites will have UK porn sites which don't verify age added to them.

      Meaning you could probably get round this with a small ISP or changing your DNS settings.

      So Something Has Been Done, with enough loopholes to get the tabloids frothing meaning yet another law in two or three years.

    2. Mycho Silver badge

      your site can only be removed from if it deploys age verification checks

      ... or a ton of cat videos.

  9. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    There appears to be an assumption

    ... that watching porn will be highly likely to harm children. Is there any credible evidence to support that assumption? IME young kids are pretty much uninterested apart from its forbidden aspect, and older kids use it for the purpose for which it is intended. They also don't regard it as any more true-to-life than a James Bond movie.

    Meanwhile, there appears to not be the same amount of hand-wringing regarding the amount of violent content available to children. The message perhaps being, "Make war not love"?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: There appears to be an assumption

      Another assumption is that payment (in cash) is mandatory on porn sites (as Lord Paddick so astutely pointed out when referring that it would be hard to control Twitter content as "asking payment service providers to take action – as they are required to for porn sites –" was not possible)....

      I see a tiny point of failure there (in addition to all the others)

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: There appears to be an assumption

        "I see a tiny point of failure there"

        How dare you! I'm assured it's a perfectly reasonable size!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There appears to be an assumption

      "Meanwhile, there appears to not be the same amount of hand-wringing regarding the amount of violent content available to children."

      Churches still expose children to the gory sight of a bloodied naked man nailed to a cross. Before the 16th century the figures were totally naked - and some were created by the most talented people of their day.

      Then the Church decided that a loin cloth was needed for "moral" purposes - and some sculptures were irrevocably damaged in order to fit one. Pictures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were partially gouged down to the brickwork in order to then replaster and add briefs to male figures.

      It often seems to me that those who vociferously want to hide the human body from everyone - are often those who object to any criticism of their religions' public violent torture and death depictions in art.

    3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: There appears to be an assumption

      I really doubt it. If you look at the stats for under-age pregnancy in the UK, which one might think would be correlated to badly planned sexual behaviour, it has dropped slightly in the last 20 years while the availability of pr0n (and associated moral hand-wringing) has rocketed.

      So bugger-all in the way of evidence-based policies here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There appears to be an assumption

        "If you look at the stats for under-age pregnancy in the UK, which one might think would be correlated to badly planned sexual behaviour, it has dropped slightly in the last 20 years [...]"

        European countries that have had a fairly liberal attitude to pr0n in the last 50 years - are also those with low teenage pregnancy rates. They also had comprehensive and accurate sex education from an early age.

        In about 2002 the UK was investigating how to reduce teenage pregnancies. Instead of looking to the successful European strategies - they took the USA as "best practice". This ignored the fact that the rate of teenage pregnancies in the USA was generally higher than in the UK.

        Even in the USA the rates were quite variable - with the states that restricted sex education on religious grounds having the worst numbers.

        Until recently about half the US states had no minimum age for marriage. Children of both sexes as young as 10 were married to much older people. State legislatures allowed legal loopholes - often with religious tradition being the excuse.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Make war not love"

      defend your homeland, protect our values, in a a far-away, dusty lands, basically.

    6. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: There appears to be an assumption

      I think the main harm is that they look at porn actors and think that that is what normal people are supposed to look like, and get depressed because they don't look like that.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: There appears to be an assumption

        The reason most people don't look like mainstream porn stars is that so-called mainstream porn is tailored primarily to a specific body-type fetish. Look at porn tailored to any other fetish and you'll find people who look like you.

    7. goats in pajamas

      Re: There appears to be an assumption

      There appears to be an assumption

      ... that watching porn will be highly likely to harm children. Is there any credible evidence to support that assumption?

      Yes, there's a lot of evidence. Porn displays lust, not love, and the damage it's doing to young people is well known and well documented. A more interesting point is how come you don't know this?

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: There appears to be an assumption

        And yet as always the people who claim there is evidence of harm include no evidence and resort to personal attacks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong Headline shurely?

    Thanks to UK peers, coming to a faptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

    FTFY

  11. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    The title is no longer required

    The golden age of porn on demand is cumming to an end.

  12. Matthew Anderson

    Making it harder (bwahaha) has some unintended but useful consequences, in that it teaches our children that accessibility is sometimes about finding workarounds. Welcome to the new world of trading ID; VPN, & P2P will gain more popularity over streaming again, as will socks4.

    We live in a world of point and click and not enough people are getting under the hood, so let them get under the hood and figure things out...As they will when a teenager is faced with the prospect of the underwear section of the littlwoods catalogue.

    I do fondly remember the day I checked my internet history to find my 7 year old had Googled "Britny Spirs bewbs"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I do hope you corrected your child's spelling, then showed them how to translate the phrase into Latin... this is far more important than worrying about them seeing some naked norks.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "I do hope you corrected your child's spelling, then showed them how to translate the phrase into Latin"

        In the past the naughty bits in books, even textbooks, were often in Latin so the women and servants wouldn't be able to read them and be contaminated.

        Then prosecuting counsel in the Lady Chatterley case waved a copy at the jury and asked "Would you let your servants read this book?" and the whole thing started to unravel.

        There are, however, I am sure, barristers living today who would think both of the above paragraphs totally appropriate. And that's why we get laws like this. If you tell the lower orders and women about sex, they'll be doing it all over the place. They just haven't yet worked out a way to identify on the Internet someone who is either female or in social classes B2CDE.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      I do fondly remember the day I checked my internet history to find my 7 year old had Googled "Britny Spirs bewbs"

      And now I have to explain to my office why I just spat my coffee all over two monitors and a keyboard. It's absolutely made my morning though.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That subeditor

    Did the subeditor even read the article? Because the headline contradicts it.

    According to the article, the Lords are passing the law basically because (in part courtesy of Anthony the Liar) they have no alternative, but they made clear that they are under no illusions concerning the appropriateness or effectiveness of this bill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That subeditor

      "According to the article, the Lords are passing the law basically because (in part courtesy of Anthony the Liar) they have no alternative [...]"

      That did surprise me. Had the Lords already used their power of delay for a previous introduction of this bill? As proscribed by the Parliament Act 1949.

  14. EveryTime Silver badge

    My main experience with "Age Verification" is unwanted pop-up ads already showing a "full spread" but wanting an age verification before showing more (were they going to put clothes on?). It was obvious that the age verification wasn't to keep minors from seeing smut (too late...) but solely to charge the credit card number.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge
      Pint

      unwanted pop-up ads already showing a "full spread"

      The last time I saw one of those was on the Guinness web site... I must get out more.

  15. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Reason for checks

    "Ostensibly, the reason for introducing the checks is to stop kids accessing porn that many believe is damaging or creates unrealistic views of sex and relationships."

    I thought it was to keep dirty old men like me from gazing at young nubiles and creating unrealistic views.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reason for checks

      Which brought to mind the TV interview in which 'Mrs Merton' asked Debbie [McGee]: “So what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”

  16. Dacarlo
    Thumb Down

    Idiocy

    Another prime example of a nanny state not putting children's welfare in the hands of those responsible, the parents. You wouldn't let a kid behind the wheel of a car anymore than you should allow a kid with a sophisticated computer in their pocket not have 'nanny' software blocking objectionables. You'd hide the damn keys.

    Perhaps this is another excuse to ban or regulate VPN use further down the road.

  17. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Focus group have bloodshot eyes

    How much research did they do into the topic, or were these peers all well versed in the matter at hand?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Focus group have bloodshot eyes

      or were these peers all well versed with the matter in hand?

      FTFY

  18. TheOldFellow

    Isn't TOR wonderful.

    of course, it's so difficult to use only people over 18 are able to understand it.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Isn't TOR wonderful.

      Like the childproof bottles that are too hard for under 18s to open?

  19. Flywheel Silver badge
    FAIL

    they do not deal with overseas providers

    Oh, well that's going to be really effective, no?

  20. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    This legislation is DESIGNED to fail. When it does, guess what?...

    ...a government regulated white list. Shockingly, there'll be a charge to get on. Initially it will be trivial so you can't object. You see where this is going... And yes, like down under, VPN and so on will be restricted to 'those with a legitimate use case', you'll have to apply for a license and pay the charge for one.

  21. Pat Att

    VPL, erm, I mean VPN

    Can anyone recommend a good VPN? Asking for a friend.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: VPL, erm, I mean VPN

      I use Proton VPN though I don't have the technical experience to validate how good their security is its run by the same people who manage Proton mail which has a well-earned reputation for privacy and security.

    2. Velv Silver badge

      Re: VPL, erm, I mean VPN

      VyprVPN recently announced that they no longer log user traffic, so even if someone does come along with a court order they don’t have the detail of where you went.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my solution:

    to continue downloading linux distros via tor. Just need a bigger hdd, 8TB WD desktop should do the job.

    p.s. Probably this has been the Famous UK Cunning [Brexit] Plan - to stimulate UK economy by increasing consumption of porn, I mean, linux.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should be careful that we do not lull ourselves into a false sense of security

    indeed! Remember, first they came for the porn (or was it the terrorists, and then the pirates?). Further down the poem you'll find space for "VPN", all in due time (ask Ms Rudd). Every little helps to protect the children, as the down underers are finding out. Once we get this pesky brexit out of the way, we will refocus on REAL issues :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We should be careful that we do not lull ourselves into a false sense of security

      Once we get this pesky brexit and ECHR out of the way

      FTFY

  24. Andy 97
    Devil

    Unfortunately...

    ..they forgot that children always find a way to defeat rules.

    Sometimes I wonder if it's more concerning that the people who make laws like this are utterly incompetent or that this will only make things worse.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Unfortunately...

      What those in charge are doing are pandering to the 'daily wail/the stun" reading sections of the population.

      Why?

      To get them to vote for the incompetent bastards under the guise of "we're protecting the kids" from all the evils of the internet, and with your kids protected , nothing harm them.

      Nothing at all... what? they cant access a sexual education/sexual health site? well they're 14 and shouldnt know about such stuff anyway......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Unfortunately...

        "well they're 14 and shouldnt know about such stuff anyway......"

        Owing to modern nutrition the start of puberty in the developed world has dropped over the last couple of centuries. Apparently as low as 9 for girls and 10 for boys.

        Even 60 years ago two acquaintances were coupled at 13 - and they are still married.

  25. Big_Boomer

    The problem with modern tech is that the kids mostly understand it, and the parents mostly don't, so the kids will run rings around any restrictions the parents try to impose. As for this porn check thing, it won't work, it'll end up being just another instance in the long line of "restrictive" measures introduced by governments. After all making Cannabis illegal worked just great didn't it, and the restrictions on under 18s getting fags and booze seem to be working,..... oh no they're not working either. For those worried about it, get a new Credit Card, use that for the AVS and for nothing else, so when you get charged on that card you will know EXACTLY who to sue. :-)

  26. Shady

    ...they do not deal with overseas providers...

    Forget about VPN's, differing methods of delivery or obfuscation - surely this statement alone, assuming that (finger in the air) 99.99% of all porn accessed in the UK is hosted overseas - renders this ridiculous 'thing' (it's barely meets the requirements to be called a plan) infeasible?

    Someone must have explained to some minister, at least one minister, that one can view webpages served from a computer in a different country?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...they do not deal with overseas providers...

      Even if there were UK hosted ones, they could easily move them somewhere else.

      Just another example of the government doing stupid things that make businesses relocate outside of the UK.... like we don't have enough of that already!

      It would though be interesting to see the blacklist of UK sites they plan to block... you know, for educational purposes.

  27. N2 Silver badge

    Think of the research...

    Can they now legitimately claim for their spanking expenses ?

  28. Matthew 3

    Serious question

    How many of the big porn sites are based in the UK?

    My *ahem* limited research in this area suggests that it may be 'none of them'.

  29. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Isn't this rather like having age verification in newsagents just in case a kiddie finds a grumble mag under a hedge?

  30. Gonzo wizard
    FAIL

    TL;DR - a complete and utter waste of time

    Not comprehensive, doesn't apply to foreign providers... and disabled entirely by using a VPN. About par for the course for anything tech related that the government gets involved in.

    I mean. How hard can it be :-)

  31. Toilet Duk

    Well this is pointless virtue-signalling from the Lords.

    On the subject of VPNs, are any of them actually trustworthy? Seems to me they would all be honeypots, at least if based in any Five Eyes country. Is Nord VPN trustworthy?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Well this is pointless virtue-signalling from the Lords."

      The Lords were telling the government it won't work in many ways. However the Lord's power to veto a bill has long been proscribed. At most they can delay it for about a year - which presumably they have done previously on this bill.

  32. Tom Paine Silver badge

    As no-one else has mentioned it...

    ...can I gently observe that late April 2019 is likely to be a really, /really/ interesting time to be surprising a lot of XY chromosomed people who don't keep up with IIT related legislation, digital rights and so on?

    There's a chance - estimates vary about how good a chance, but a chance - that the country will be in a somewhat febrile, over-stimulated state by then. Everyone who watches porn but doesn't keep up with digital rights and online legislation and suchlike topics is going to be surprised, and I bet they all blame it on Brexit.

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