back to article More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans

A government-sponsored committee has rubberstamped the UK's online porn age verification plans despite poking holes in the China-style surveillance plan. Archetypal hacker in a hoodie (is this how we all must surf pron from now on?) El Reg deep dive: Everything you need to know about UK.gov's pr0n block READ MORE Under the …

  1. Steve McGuinness

    Is this the stupidest idea ever?

    Not yet.

    Not until Piers Morgan decides to support it on Twitter. THEN its the Stupidest Idea Ever.

    1. K Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

      Sure it is... All it will take is 1 kid to a certain browser has a built-in "VPN", the follow day, its the gossip of every school playground in the UK. Once again, a government wasting millions on a futile effort, that will be rendered useless the minute its launch!

      We still treat children as idiots when it comes to IT, they may be gullible and have no common sense, but most are more tech-savvy than all the government ministers and civil servants put together.

      But you want to know the scary thing.... they'll then use this as an excuse to ban VPNs (If we hadn't seen how stupid the government was in recent years, I'd have said that was the plan all along, they just needed to manufacture a reason for it).

      It's like the war on drugs, which was lost even before it started, governments feel the compulsion to control things, if they can't control it, they try to suppress it, but they can't comprehend there are things that are beyond even a States ability!

      Big brother is watching... as a not so wise man once said, "its ok, as long as there is no touching!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        Two words: Tor Browser

        1. K Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

          I was thinking Opera, but Tor will do!

        2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

          Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

          "Two words: Tor Browser"

          A third word: Watchlist

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        All it will take is 1 kid to a certain browser has a built-in "VPN"

        Then we will ban all VPNs*. Then we will jail anyone thinking of developing a VPN. If that doesn't work then we will ban the internet.

        * Except the House of Commons VPN of course.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        I think it's pretty obvious this is just a stepping stone and things are being driven that way, nobody does this just to ban between 1-50 sites per year.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

          nobody does this just to ban between 1-50 sites per year.

          I'm afraid you may be underestimating politicians trapped in a policy concocted by their own ignorance and rhetoric. Do you think anyone in government would now be willing to stand up in the Commons and say, "Nah, forget it. We realised it's daft and unworkable. You can keep your porn after all. Happy wanking, everyone"?

        2. SonOfDilbert
          Holmes

          Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

          Yeah, I mean, where did they come up with that number?

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

            It seems likely to have a rectal origin.

        3. ivan5

          Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

          You ar assuming that politicians have more than one brain cell between the lot of them. The civil servants aren't much better.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        "Sure it is... All it will take is 1 kid to a certain browser has a built-in "VPN", the follow day, its the gossip of every school playground in the UK. Once again, a government wasting millions on a futile effort, that will be rendered useless the minute its launch!

        We still treat children as idiots when it comes to IT, they may be gullible and have no common sense, but most are more tech-savvy than all the government ministers and civil servants put together."

        First time my daughter asked me "Dad, what is a VPN ?", she was 13 YO, before college actually.

        Turned out they had a filtering service in the school PCs ... that wouldn't prevents public VPN usage :)

        Oh dear.

      5. paulc

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        the Wifi at my grandson's school has lots of blocks in it against various social media sites etc. very soon bypassed by kids in the know.

      6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        It's not the children who are stupid, it's the politicians.

      7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Childcatcher

        "But you want to know the scary thing.... they'll then use this as an excuse to ban VPNs"

        Once again TOTC becomes the thin end of the wedge.

        Data fetishists know you just have to shout "But children must be protected from this filth" loud enough, and often enough, for them to get their way.

        What they really fear is not the corruption of kiddies.

        It's people saying things they don't know about subjects they don't know.

    2. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

      Not even close. Here in The Great Southern Land we do stupidity even better, by enacting encryption busting legislation. You Poms are amateurs.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        "Not even close. Here in The Great Southern Land we do stupidity even better, by enacting encryption busting legislation. You Poms are amateurs."

        Uk government: "Hold my beer!"

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        Brexit !

        Sorted !

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. IceC0ld Bronze badge

      Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

      bit worried that access to Pron Hub will be blocked, it's taught me SO much ...........

      for example, I now know that what Disney knows about Step Moms is just SO not the way that Pron Hub tells it ...... :o)

    4. technoise

      Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

      This is by no means a stupid idea.

      It is yet another precedent of the political class establishing more control over the Internet. Why would they wish to do so? Well some important institutions, like the BBC have already woken up to the Internet as being an existential threat, but also, the political class, in coordination with the established media, have until comparatively recently been able to control narratives, and act as a proxy for public opinion, and they now see their ability to do this slipping away as more and more of the population are talking to each other in forums that are beyond their control.

      So more control of, and monitoring of activity on the Internet, and maybe the ability to know when and where to shut it down, must be a step in the right direction as far as the political and power class see it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this the stupidest idea ever?

        .... and of course, waiting until brexit to implement it, so to avoid EU rules on individuals right to privacy.

        Welcome to our future. Thanks a bunch, brexiturds.

  2. Andy 97

    "I didn't get a Hurrumph out of that guy!"

    I'm reminded of that scene during Blazing Saddles when the Governor receives a telegram from Rock Ridge:

    "We've got to do something to protect our phoney-baloney jobs..."

    https://youtu.be/NzbhbetwYFU?t=97

  3. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Easter you say?

    In the land-of-hard-Brexit, it'll be the least of anyone's worries.

    1. tip pc
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Easter you say?

      burying bad news

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easter you say?

      Incorrect. Once we have a Full English Brexit this kind of nonsense will no longer be imposed on hardworking english men by Brussels.

      Right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Easter you say?

        @AC

        Err, err, err are you being ironic or serious? I really can't tell!

        1. SonOfDilbert
          Coat

          Re: Easter you say?

          I think he was being seriously ironic.

          1. Swarthy Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: Easter you say?

            The intent of that comment, as I read it, is that "This authoritarian nonsense will not be pushed by Brussels; our government will be completely free to push their own authoritarian nonsense, that they currently blame on Brussels."

            1. SharpOB

              Re: Easter you say?

              At the very least, it'll be plainer to see.

              1. K Silver badge

                Re: Easter you say?

                Have an upvote.. spot on!

                I do believe nearly every gripe people have, is in fact down to decisions by the UK government.

                Benefit tourists? Well why don't most other countries in the EU suffer this problem.. It cause they have stricter rules about who receives what!

                Kill two birds with one stone, stop giving people automated rights to benefits, it'll get the benefit-liferd back to work and stop migrants have automatic access!

  4. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    More fuel if any is required...

    More fuel then, if any is required, to be using a decent VPN service.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: More fuel if any is required...

      It's often been noted that encrypting your network access marks you out as a possible terrorist. With every porn viewer using a VPN, Her Majesty's Spies will suddenly find themselves having to burn a lot more CPU to read our mail.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: More fuel if any is required...

        That's only if *all* your traffic is encrypted. After all, people do work from home and use company vpn's to log on to the company network.

        So, do your normal stuff in clear, and any porn via vpn...simples.

        1. Simple Si

          Re: More fuel if any is required...

          "So, do your normal stuff in clear, and any porn via vpn...simples."

          Make sure you use a personal VPN otherwise Karen from HR may want a to call you in for meeting regarding unusual browsing activity recorded over the weekend.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: More fuel if any is required...

            My work VPN only routes work traffic over it.

          2. JohnMurray

            Re: More fuel if any is required...

            Doubt it, she's called Jane at mine......although she used to be John a few years ago...

          3. 's water music Silver badge
            Paris Hilton

            Re: More fuel if any is required...

            otherwise Karen from HR may want a to call you in for meeting regarding unusual browsing activity recorded over the weekend

            Serendipitously I was watching a documentary film at the weekend on just this topic. I'm casting a hopeful eye over my desk diary even as we speak.

            Icon for one of the expert presenters-->

  5. Real Ale is Best

    So...

    Only adults and children with momentary access to their parents' wallet will be able to access porn?

    What about audio and text? Is written and audio smut ok?

    1. Steve Button

      Re: So...

      Well that's a bit of a straw man, don't you think?

      Are children being exposed to naughty audio on a regular basis? And as for text, if young children don't have the imagination or knowledge to work out what they are reading, it's probably not doing them much harm, is it? so, in general yeah, it's probably OK.

      Isn't that a bit like when someone complains about "knife crime", you come along and say "What about fork and spoon crime". Perhaps it's a thing, but it's a very small thing compared to the one we're actually talking about.

      1. The_Idiot

        Re: So...

        "Are children being exposed to naughty audio on a regular basis?"

        Only if they want to spend five (all numbers made up, as per Internet standards) minutes looking for it and like it when they find it. A bit like drugs, gambling, the lyrics to the latest single by some artist I'm probably far too old to ever want to know, the price of an iphone, the road to Fiddlers Green...

        Er, OK. Forget that last one. I'm showing my age. Or something... (blush)

        I'll go back to the beginning. Only if they want to spend five (all numbers made up, as per Intern et standards) minutes looking for it and like it when they find it. And so far, the world hasn't ended.

      2. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: So...

        I read all kinds of XXX rated filth when I was 11. My dad used to take me to the library every saturday morning before swimming to get my 4 books for the week. The fact I was working my way through the sifi section of the library from A-Z and diidn't actually realise some of that shit was much more graphic than his CofE princiiples might hhave recommendeed escaped him.

        And so I have lived my life as a sex obsesssed pervert. I blame my dad. Or the library. Or the scfi authors. Or someone. There has to be someone to blame!!!!!. The Daily Mail said so . . .

        1. Mark 110 Silver badge

          Re: So...

          As well as being a complete sex obsessed pervert, I am also scfi obsessed, it has to be said, which I don't consider a bad thing.

          And its always nice to be able to throw a bit of Ursula Le Guin into a discusssion on gender politics or socioeconomics.

          And never hard to drop a bit of Joe Haldeman into discussions around the futiility of military-indusstrial complex.

          I can even drop a bit of Arthur C into peoples Sri Lanka holiday stories.

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: So...

          There has to be someone to blame!!!!!. The Daily Mail said so . . .

          Forget the Daily Mail... go talk to a lawyer and sue someone because it's their fault.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: So...

            To which Sue do you refer to (Known a few over the years).

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So...

        Two people have been seriously wounded in a deliberate spooning incident today, please show some respect.

        1. dbtx Bronze badge
    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: So...

      Will internet porn be available to wives and servants?

      </Mervyn Griffith-Jones>

    3. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: So...

      I am told that there is even Victorian age porn out there of quite unsurpassed filthiness, which probably counts as a historical document these days...

  6. Steve Button

    Just like buying a magazine.

    I think the idea behind this, is that you have to be 18 to buy a porn magazine from a shop, and therefore you should have the same protection for children.

    I know there are many problems having to submit age verification, but it's also not right that children are exposed to this kind of stuff so easily. The Reg seem to be pretty one-sided on this, and I can see it's a tough one, but there is another side.

    1. The First Dave

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      So, at age 17 you don't think a child should be able to see pictures of an act that has been completely legal for them to replicate since age 16?

      1. Steve Button

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        That's a different argument. Make the age for viewing porn, the same a for sex.

        But what about a 10 year old child, who gets to see stuff that just wasn't readily available when I was growing up. I guess by all the thumbs down, people think that children of any age should be allowed to watch anything they happen to stumble across? So, there's not a problem to be solved so just move along?

        1. DontFeedTheTrolls
          Headmaster

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "So, there's not a problem to be solved so just move along?"

          I don't think anyone claims there is no problem to be solved.

          What most people are saying is that this is not a good solution to the problem.

          There are ~2,000 children killed or seriously injured on UK roads every year. This is a problem we could almost solve instantly if we ban all cars. Just think of all those children's lives we saved. Good solution?

        2. Augie

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          No, they are likely to be people who think that the parents of the children should be responsible and not every other bugger

        3. and I

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          So the government has to deal with this by applying rules demanding full oversight of the internet in the UK and the parents do nothing. How about those with children taking responsibility? Why not have a system that stops anyone under age limit from logging on with out ID? If you have a 10 year old, you fix it but keep me out of it.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            Whats wrong with picking the magazines up in train carriages like what I was kid & smuggling home like wot I didn't do or for that matter finding my fathers porn stash while I was hunting for Christmas presents which I never did of course.

        4. Not an Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          But what about a 10 year old child, who gets to see stuff that just wasn't readily available when I was growing up.

          Isn't that what parents are for.?

        5. dbtx Bronze badge

          Make the age for viewing porn, the same a for sex.

          Yes! Of course! Now how do you verify the age and maintain privacy? It's got to be simple enough. Come on, we put people on the moon! We can DO THIS THING!!

          I know, let's integrate a DNA sampling device on all network-connected consumer information-processing devices that takes a blood droplet from a button like a fingerprint reader and then analyses it --but dutifully ignores all the personally identifiable, severely private genetic information-- and just looks at whether your telomeres are sufficiently truncated for you to be "old enough". That'd work great!

          I bet we can get Google and Microsoft Research to race each other for the first consumer-available implementation for Windows and Android respectively-- and it'll be OK, those guys are all about privacy! They even said so!

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        It's daft, but that is basically what the law currently says. You can (legally) have sex with someone at the age of 16, but you can't take pictures or video of yourself doing it, nor can you buy pictures or videos of other people having sex.

        (Of course, this is before we even get into the 'what is porn anyway, and why are statues of nuddy women ok?' argument.)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "You can (legally) have sex with someone at the age of 16, but you can't take pictures or video of yourself doing it, [...]"

          IIRC you can in Northern Ireland - if the couple are married.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            I believe that applies throughout the UK if the couple is either married or cohabiting.

      3. DontFeedTheTrolls
        Childcatcher

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        The law is also fairly pragmatic when it comes to the legal age of 16 for sex.

        If two consenting 15 year olds have sex there is rarely any prosecution, recognising that a 16th Birthday is an arbitrary point in place to bring general order rather than a fixed letter to the legality.

        Humans become sexually aware during puberty, something that occurs at differing ages for each individual. This legislation is purely pandering the vocal Christians and Daily Fail readers who think everyone should live according to their ideology.

        1. Suricou Raven

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          It's not law. It's policy. Legally, if a fifteen-year-old and their sixteen-year-old partner have sex, then it's an act of statutory rape and punishable by a very, very long time in prison. In practice, there is a longstanding Home Office policy regarding such situations: That prosecution should not be considered in the public interest.

          So it's still illegal, it's just not enforced.

          1. Mark 110 Silver badge

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            True. And in accordance wiith that law it would appear that 33 years ago I raped my girlfriend. She was approaching 16. I had already 'become a man' (though my perfomance left sometihng, oh ok everything, to be desired. When she said "Is that it"? I nearly died.

            Theres nothing llike losing your virginity :--(

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            "So it's still illegal, it's just not enforced."

            Is that certain? It is my impression that in many cases the final decision lies with the police force and/or CPS. There were cases a while ago of a crackdown on innocent naturists on a long-established but unofficial beach - on the orders of the very religious Chief Constable.

            Perfectly respectable people accepted an official police caution rather than be dragged through the courts. The police didn't tell them that the CPS had already stated that such cases would not be prosecuted.

            When the 2003 Sexual Offences Bill was being considered there was an argument from several quarters for incorporating "age difference" provisions like several of our European neighbours. The 2003 SOA public consultation became a damage limitation exercise. The illiberal drafting committee of vested interests had been intent on lowering the existing thresholds of evidence for many offences.

            In general "age difference" constraints allow a practical age of consent with a limit of usually a couple of years age difference below a defined threshold. In some countries the quality of the relationship with an older partner is taken into consideration - especially if the complaint is by parents. IIRC in Germany there is a provision for a younger partner to make a complaint against a much older one.

          3. PapaD

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            There is no crime of 'statutory rape' in UK law - There is a whole bunch of other crimes that vary depending upon the age of the underage individual - however, in the UK a 16yr old having sex with a 15yr old, even if prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law is unlikely to spend a long time in jail, as they too are a minor.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              "[...] however, in the UK a 16yr old having sex with a 15yr old, even if prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law is unlikely to spend a long time in jail, as they too are a minor."

              IIRC if cautioned or sentenced they are automatically placed on the Sex and Violent Offenders Register - which in itself is a serious black mark for the future. Even if there is no caution or prosecution they will almost certainly now have a police record for a sexual offence. That could affect future employment opportunities when disclosed in a check.

              Accepting a police caution for offences categorised as sexual also includes the SOR. A 14 year old boy accepted a caution for "pinging" girls' bra straps at school. Neither he nor his parent were told of the automatic entry on the SOR. See the book "Responsible Parents and Parental Responsibility".

              A 15 year old girl was taken to court for "pinging" another girl's bra strap. Quote "'He explained that as my daughter had touched her victim's undergarment she was guilty of an act of a "sexual nature". "

      4. scrubber
        Childcatcher

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        @The First Dave: "an act that has been completely legal for them to replicate since age 16?"

        Our stupid laws make the act legal however if they record it they are guilty of producing child pornography, even if they are a happily married couple who just happen to be 17 years old.

    2. tip pc

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      All kids should be supervised when using the internet. Also there are tools that can be installed on pc's to stop porn access. Lastly use opendns and use their filters to stop access to porn. its not difficult and far far better than to foist these age control sticking plaster which won't fix everything and will just provide oxygen for all the most dodgy sites to find ways of surviving.

      1. Steve Button

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        "All kids should be supervised when using the internet."

        Seriously? ALL kids? At ALL times?

        Also, these tools that are available most people just don't know about and aren't technical enough to figure out how to set them (or they just don't care)

        1. Michael

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          Yes all children should be supervised online at all times until they demonstrate that they can behave as their parents deem appropriately. If they do so, give them the opportunity to demonstrate that they can do this without supervision. If they break the rules, no access without supervision.

          1. Steve Button

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            I guess you aren't a parent. Or perhaps you've got a single child with two parents who can share the responsibility.

            It's a negotiation, and the child holds all the cards!! (but most of them don't realise that yet). ;-)

            Have you not watched the excellent documentary "Outnumbered" ?

            1. Michael

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              I have three kids. I don't negotiate. I am their parent. They will do as they are told or there will be not internet access. I fail to see the complexity involved in this process.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                "They will do as they are told or there will be not internet access."

                The school playground is the marketplace. Force your kids there to bypass your unwillingness to negotiate - and they will enter a far darker jungle.

              2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

                Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                "

                They will do as they are told or there will be not internet access.

                "

                This is possible with young children. Unless you keep them locked up at home, there is no way you could prevent older kids accessing anything they want. Sexually explicit videos and photos of *themselves and classmates* are routinely swapped at school. Teenagers with restrictive parents will go to friends' houses where there is less restriction, and/or use public wifi hotspots etc. Kids who have snoopy parents just learn how to hide things better (and are generally more tech-savvy than the parent).

                Instead of trying to "protect" your kids from sex, why not educate them and give them a healthy attitude toward it instead?

                1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

                  Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                  > Sexually explicit videos and photos of *themselves and classmates* are routinely swapped at school.

                  And making me give Pornhub a copy of my passport solves this how exactly?

                  This is *exactly* the point. The measures are invasive but will be completely ineffectual. Kids already pass porn around on Facebook (not affected by the changes) and in the playground (not affected by the changes).

                  As you say, the focus should be on education not on wholesale blocking and privacy invasion.

                  1. gnasher729 Silver badge

                    Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                    And making me give Pornhub a copy of my passport solves this how exactly?

                    All we need is someone publishing the passport details of Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

              3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                @Michael

                & how well did that work out for you?

                1. DropBear Silver badge
                  Devil

                  Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                  ...well, the upside is the kids have already learned to sing "so long farewell auf wiedersehen good bye" and respond to whistle signalling.

            2. david bates

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              Presumably you work in IT.

              Presumably you have a router.

              Presumably its not beyond your wit to lock the damned thing down sufficiently to control what your kids are doing online....

              1. MiguelC Silver badge

                Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                Free wi-fi all around, kid's friends (also) have mobes, etc.

                What you need to understand is that you can never control everything so you should - instead of forbidding - instill responsibility into your children.

                1. talk_is_cheap

                  Re: Just like buying a magazine.

                  VPN software is being written to get past the great firewall of China. What chance do you think you have of blocking anything with a basic router.

            3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              Outnumbered.

              Yes I have, I found many of those situations applied to me equally.

        2. tfb Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          If the parents of children 'just don't care' then they should probably not be having children. If the tools are too hard to use or too expensive, then solve that problem: make available tools which are easy to use and make them be free. The result of the current braindead scheme is simply going to be the ready availability of vpn software which is simple enough for anyone to use.

          1. Steve Button

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            Yes, but sadly there ARE parents who 'just don't care'. And really, they should not be having children. But they do, and it's society's job to protect those children, which means the government. As the parents can't manage to.

            These are edge cases, the vast majority of people manage just fine, and don't need this kind of protection.

            1. Teiwaz Silver badge

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              Yes, but sadly there ARE parents who 'just don't care'. And really, they should not be having children. But they do,

              I'd prefer to see the government bring in legislation to fix that - it'd be much less hassle all round, and probably less risky for the majority.

        3. Augie

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          Then make them care.. not being too blunt here but why is that everyone elses problem?

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "Also, these tools that are available most people just don't know about and aren't technical enough to figure out how to set them (or they just don't care)"

          I do wish people would stop trotting out that rubbish. The internet and computers in the home have been a thing since those parents were kids themselves. The assumption that parents are too old to understand the internet is a dead meme. Many may not think about it, or care enough to do anything, but they pretty much all had access to computers and the internet at school themselves and probably shared porn and how to access it through the school firewall/filter.

        5. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          One (Methodist) family I knew insisted the the PC was in the parents bedroom to stop this sort of thing happening.

          Then I was called into investigate a charge on their bill for a "Adult pass", from what I found via the cookie trial that their son was rather fixated on male genitalia, which was rather uncomfortable in the mothers presence in the marital bedroom.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        Tried various "parental locks" and "supervisory" software. Most of those apps have been developed by retards who think that they just have to call their pathetic offerings "KidSafe" or similar for us to buy them.

        Education is the key to children using the internet safely. Teach them how to watch out for perverts and the tin foil hat brigade or how to tell genuine emails and websites from the fake ones. I do not have the time or inclination to spend several hours per night supervising 3 children either doing homework or chatting to their friends online.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      but there is another side.

      Yes, its called parental responsibility. If your kids are using your internet you should be monitoring what they're using it for. If they manage to find porn, you should be talking about it to them. You do not make it a taboo, which is about the quickest way to make something attractive to children, and you sure as shit do not passs your responsibilities in teaching and raising your children to a third party institution with all of the caring and subtlety of a brick (ie the govermnent)...

      1. Locky Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        I didn't come her for sensible arguments. Be gone with you....

        1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          OK, if we start from the situation of now, where porn is freely available to any sprog with the minimal wit needed to Google for it, then can we at the present time detect any real harm being done to kids because of this?

          I personally doubt that any harm is coming to kids at all that was not equally prevalent a century ago.

          However, if we now try to restrict kids from finding porn, then very quickly a couple of concepts will rapidly become prevalent:

          1) The government are a bunch of control-freaks who want to control everything you see and do

          2) These government control-freaks are in fact quite incredibly stupid and as long as measures are taken to avoid their gaze, they cannot do anything to us.

          So there you have it. At a stroke, all respect for the rule of law is gone, replaced with the Eleventh Commandment: Don't get caught. Teach kids this, and they are likely to generalise. Dodging paying tax? No, nothing morally wrong with that at all, just don't get caught doing it. Breaking numerous laws? Nope, still no problem as long as you don't get caught, and if you are smarter than the really very stupid Government, you aren't going to get caught.

          1. VikiAi Bronze badge
            Boffin

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            It's not a crime, just manly sport.

            It can't be wrong, if you're not caught!

            - "That's a Crime": Irma La Douce, English version.

      2. Persona
        Facepalm

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        When my children were young I did secretly monitor their internet activity. It made me a little uneasy to be intruding on their privacy, but their online safety was paramount. Whilst I was most concerned about my youngest children's access, I vividly recall looking at my teenage son's browsing habits with dismay and thinking to myself ....... "for fucks sake, you should be browsing some porn at your age".

        1. Shades

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          Its a shame I can't upvote your comment more than once!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          ...looking at my teenage son's browsing habits with dismay and thinking to myself ....... "for fucks sake, you should be browsing some porn at your age".

          Maybe he was just better at that internet stuff than you? You should probably have been more worried (or proud?) there was no evidence at all. Maybe he hacked your logs :-)

          1. Persona

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            Back then I got paid to do computer forensic investigations and have come across tampered logs at work. He was capable of MAC spoofing and good at id theft, and yes I was proud of him, but sadly the logs did not lie. I guess he was just a late starter ........ unless he had figured out ARP cache poisoning.

    4. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      There is a fundamental difference. When a 14 year old Confused used to go to see the old dear behind the counter in Smiths to buy a smut rag she'd smile benignly and put it in a paper bag, the one thing she didn't do was to log exactly what I'd bought, she didn't follow me around recording how long I'd spent gazing at which picture. She didn't create a log that will sooner or later be stolen by people who'll then use it to blackmail me. (How many emails have you had in the last month or so with one of your old passwords in the subject line?)

      What ever your thoughts are about porn I suspect you feel that there are things in your life you are entitled to keep private. Would you agree to have cameras installed in your bedroom to record what you're doing in there?

      1. Steve Button

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        yes, good point. And I totally agree with you. However, the point I'm trying to make is that there IS still a problem (or is there? Perhaps not) and it's not a one-sided debate like almost everyone here seems to think.

        Personally I deal with it as a parent by talking to my kids (and explaining to them that I can view the router logs any time I want to), but I can imagine there are some parents who don't give a shit.

        I'm not saying any of the solutions proposed are any good, and I'm not arguing that they should go ahead, which looks likely. I'm just saying that there is a problem, and as technologists we should be suggesting ways to stop the problem, whilst still retaining our own freedoms as adults. There must be some way to do that? (but I can't readily think what it would be)

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          Whether or not their is a problem: Plenty of parents do not care. Clearly they think there is not a problem worth spending time on. The nudity taboo is relatively modern. Pre-Roman Britons used to boink in public.

          "There must be some way to do that?": No there does not have to be a solution that is not far worse than the problem (assuming you think there is a problem).

          Apparently threatening to view the router logs is a solution that works for you - excellent. The government's proposed solution is a disaster. I want perverts and pedos at home looking at dirty pictures till they fap themselves unconscious. Take that option away and they will hang around near schools instead.

        2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "

          Personally I deal with it as a parent by talking to my kids (and explaining to them that I can view the router logs any time I want to),

          "

          And knowing that, if the kids are canny, all your router log will show is the address of a VPN or proxy web site, or maybe a TOR guard node or bridge. You will have no idea what sites they may have visited.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            Well, if the logs shows them going through a VPN, they that in and of itself is proff of visiting dodgy sites. As, if they weren't visiting dodgy sites they wouldn't be going through a VPN and the sites would be in the logs instead.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              "Well, if the logs shows them going through a VPN, they that in and of itself is proff of visiting dodgy sites."

              Not necessarily. They may be protecting themselves from people like Google profiling them. They may be trying to fathom out the turmoil of teenage sexuality etc. Unless parents have been very open then the kids will take no chances of tripping over some subject that upsets their particular parents.

              Several teenage sons of friends and neighbours over the years have used me as a safe sounding board. Nowadays I assume the current generation use the internet securely.

              In one case a teenage boy had a genetic condition that had delayed puberty. He was too embarrassed to ask his parents or his doctors about sexual maturity. It was remiss of the doctors not to have raised the topic themselves. He asked me to find some answers - which then proved reassuring for him that he would (and apparently did) mature by his twenties.

        3. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          I'm not saying there isn't a problem, what I am saying is that this isn't the solution to it.

          I don't feel that this will fix the "problem" it sets out to tackle whilst at the same time it will be a blackmailers dream.

          Education is the biggest thing that could help tackle the issue, but I can't see any government in this country ever forcing through the sort of rules needed to make realistic sex education compulsory, education which teaches kids about the issues with porn, the issues with life in general.

          1. VikiAi Bronze badge
            Black Helicopters

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            'Education' is a bad word. If people start being educated, they might vote wrong.

            1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              'Education' is a bad word. If people start being educated, they might vote wrong.

              VikiAi, it's worse than that, they might even start to think for themselves and then where would we be.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Just like buying a magazine.

              Can’t be any worse than the shit that is about to hit from uneducated people voting wrongly.

    5. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      It is, without doubt, a complicated subject - juxtaposing civil liberty against the protection of children (which everyone surely agrees is important). Parental control is obviously the way to go, but let's face it, there are useless parents who can't even be bothered to ask for help on what to do. Have there been any rigorous studies on the impact of viewing unrestricted material on children? The Scandi counties have always been open-minded on this sort of thing - anything there? Did living eight to a room* in the not-so-distant-past cause damage to young minds? Difficult, but don't we want to be guided by the evidence, not moral crusades?

      * If you've started to type, "eight to a room! You were lucky!", stop right now.

    6. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      One of my school friends had a cunning plan to get around the local newsagent's age verification system.

      He would come to school with a large brown envelope and type on the school computer (which in those days consisted of a PDP8-e and a couple of teletypes):

      "Dear newsagent, unfortunately I cannot get to your shop today so I have sent my son instead with the money. Please could I purchase the latest copy of Penthouse. So that my son does not see the pictures, please could you seal the magazine in the brown envelope before handing it over."

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine. @ Dazed and Confused

        Were you that boy?

    7. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      "I know there are many problems having to submit age verification, but it's also not right that children are exposed to this kind of stuff so easily. The Reg seem to be pretty one-sided on this, and I can see it's a tough one, but there is another side."

      The point is that a government solution to the problem always seems to consist of building a massive database and using it to spy on everyone's activities. The only reasonable route is to have mandatory content filters set to on by default, and then you ring up your Internet provider to set them to off. That way you know there can be porn in your house, and you know you need to do something about it (or not if you have no children).

      But that doesn't build up a dossier on everyone's activities, so that's a non-starter.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        The only reasonable route is to have mandatory content filters set to on by default, and then you ring up your Internet provider to set them to off.

        I thought that was how things were supposed to have been for the past 4 or 5 years - I remember when that came in having to update my accounts to unlock content on Virgin and EE.

        1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          You are correct.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            & anyone of any age can buy the The Sun\Star\Mirror (OK it;'s been a while but Linda Lusardi, Sam Fox, Denis Perry etc etc etc fuelled my nights at that age)..

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "I thought that was how things were supposed to have been for the past 4 or 5 years "

          Yes, but at our house because we've had the same Internet provider for the last eight years, no decision has been made.

          Maybe you need to make the choice repeatedly, say every three years or so. It might catch people who stay with one provider and whose circumstances change.

      2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        "it's also not right that children are exposed to this kind of stuff"

        There's the flaw right there. They're *not* "exposed" to this sort of stuff - that would be the real-world equivalent of Grubby McMacson leaping out of a hedge and waving his todger. They *find" "this sort of stuff". There's a misguided thought that chosing to look for and read something is equivalent to watching television. No, using the internet is volition in the opposite direction to watching TV (or walking down the street).

    8. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      I think the idea behind this, is that you have to be 18 to buy a porn magazine from a shop, and therefore you should have the same protection for children.

      From my recollection, the 'have to be 18 to buy' rule didn't really count if you just slid the mag under your clothes when the shop assistant was engaged with a customer and wandered out nonchalantly*.

      This whole legislation is a) not going to work ad intended, b) is going to open people up to the risk of more fraud and other issues.

      And if brexit goes bad, which it will, remove another distraction and dissuade some tension release. Without tension release, violence is more likely, and possibly more likelihood of Britain facing some of the same issues Korea has, as a repressed population seeks an outlet.

      * As Bart Simpson would say 'I didn't do it', but I used to know someone who did and who would then sell the goods.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        "and who would then sell the goods."

        The playground "pay per view" was the better business model.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          And it was the only option for those of us too short to reach the top shelf.

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            Apparently more options are now available for reaching the top shelf...

            http://www.selfridges.com/GB/en/cat/gravity-industries-jet-suit-series-3_5161-10212-GRAVITYJETSUIT/

      2. Norman Nescio Bronze badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        Cough. Having the son of an independent* newsagent in the same class was a very educative experience.

        *Not W.H. Smith or Menzies, just a typical corner shop newsagent that also happened to cater to people with unusual/specialised tastes.

    9. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      "

      ... but it's also not right that children are exposed to this kind of stuff so easily

      "

      Why? IME very young children are about as interested in porn as they are in the 9 o'clock news, and older children use it for the purpose intended (a masturbatory aid). Statistics seems to indicate that the more that sex is normalised, the lower the incidence of hands-on sexual crimes. After all, sex *is* a perfectly normal activity, and kids are perfectly aware that porn films are about as true-to-life as any Hollywood action flick, designed to entertain, not emulate.

      There are far worse things that children can access on the Internet that nobody seems to be nearly as worried about as sex. And as difficult as it may be for you to understand, there are far worse things that your offspring could be doing than taking his phone to the bog for a perfectly harmless wank.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        kids are perfectly aware that porn films are about as true-to-life as any Hollywood action flick, designed to entertain, not emulate.

        I wouldn't be so sure about that - certainly not the Hollywood action flicks anyway.

        https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jan/03/netflix-bird-box-challenge-meme-sandra-bullock-blindfold

        'Netflix warns viewers against Bird Box challenge meme: 'Do not end up in hospital'

        The streaming giant has cautioned those mimicking Sandra Bullock’s character by walking around blindfolded to try not to injure themselves'

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Just like buying a magazine.

          "The streaming giant has cautioned those mimicking Sandra Bullock’s character by walking around blindfolded to try not to injure themselves'"

          There are several long-established chlidren's games that involve moving about while blindfolded. eg pin the donkey; blind man's buff; Piñata. The latter also involves flailing about with a heavy stick.

          1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            eg, EU Brexit negotiations. The latter involves flailing about blindfolded with a childish light-weight.

          2. 's water music Silver badge

            Re: Just like buying a magazine.

            There are several long-established chlidren's games that involve moving about while blindfolded. eg pin the donkey; blind man's buff; Piñata. The latter also involves flailing about with a heavy stick.

            And, for older children, the classic 'thinly vield excuse for a bit of groping one another' which can also involve flailing about with a heavy stick later on

      2. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Just like buying a magazine.

        The biggest problem with porn is that it can lead to unreasonable expectations.

        For example, just last week I needed to call a plumber and he took longer than twenty seconds to arrive at my front door.

    10. Augie

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      So what are the parents of said children doing???

    11. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Just like buying a magazine.

      The reason I downvoted your post was because regardless of the sentiment behind this idea, it simply isn't a realistic solution to the problem.

      In fact, it will simply switch more people (and not just kids) on to full vpn encryption etc., see :Law of Unintended Consequences

  7. Alister Silver badge

    The proposed legislation will not have any real impact on children's ability to see porn on the internet. Most of the providers of free porn are not UK based, and therefore will not be affected by this in any way. It's merely another case of the government "being seen to do something".

    1. goodjudge

      Surely at least some of these offshore content providers will avoid potential litigation simply by blocking all UK IPs, in the same way as we still can't read the online versions of various US newspapers and magazines because the publishers can't be arsed to change their systems to comply with the Nth detail of GDPR.

      1. A.P. Veening

        "Surely at least some of these offshore content providers will avoid potential litigation simply by blocking all UK IPs, in the same way as we still can't read the online versions of various US newspapers and magazines because the publishers can't be arsed to change their systems to comply with the Nth detail of GDPR."

        Depends, what are the possible maximum fines?

    2. Mr Humbug

      The ones that don't comply will get added to the same block list that the Piratebay and similar sites are on.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Pirate bay is blocked?

        Since when?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Apparently they had one of their sign-posts removed from the .net equivalent of a hamlet in Dorset.

          Idiots who went to said hamlet to try and find PirateBay realised that because they couldn't see it, it must have been banned.

          This whole age-verification system thing has all the hallmarks of a similar genius behind the scenes doing the thinking.

  8. msknight Silver badge

    Credit cards for those under 18

    Problem solved - https://www.money.co.uk/prepaid-cards/teenager-prepaid-cards.htm - now the teens can go back to legitimately browsing porn illegally.

    (More links were there, just selected the first one.)

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: Credit cards for those under 18

      Pre-Pay cards would not work - you need to look a bit closer at sites that already ask for verification.

      So problem not solved - sorry :-(

  9. ukgnome Silver badge

    All you need is......

    Just one youth with borrowed access and a printer.

    Soon the hedgerows will be alive again with naked ladies and men, although video is a bit harder.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: All you need is......

      "Soon the hedgerows will be alive again with naked ladies and men, although video is a bit harder."

      Looks like it's time to rediscover the lost art of flip-books.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All you need is......

        "Looks like it's time to rediscover the lost art of flip-books."

        In 1960 one of the 12/13 year old boys in our class was a good cartoonist. His notorious flip-book featuring "Fifi" the French teacher was very popular - until the headmaster summoned him for punishment.

        The boy went on to be an Art teacher at a FE college.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: All you need is......

          For some reason I read that at first as 'until the *headmistress* summoned him for punishment'

          Dunno why.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: All you need is......

      although video is a bit harder.

      Bring back flip-books...

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: All you need is......

        Bring back the mutoscope.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All you need is......

      "[...] although video is a bit harder.

      The playground distribution model these days is probably "pay per view" on the distributor's smart phone.

      Health and Efficiency black&white pictures (censored nipples, pubes, and genitalia) were the shared pr0n of 1950s playgrounds.

  10. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Scammers will have a field day. The day after Pr0nDay, when some website or other is hacked, they'll be able to send out spam "we got your name, password, a photo of your passport and a list of pornsites you've been to".

    This is just more personal and potentially dangerous information if it were to get into the wrong hands, which it will.

    Then there's the risk of websites which say "download this utility to get around the porn-block". The list goes on. What the government is doing is just the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      wrong hands

      If your data is already in the government's hands - then that definitely counts as being in the wrong hands.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      Exactly.

      Look at what's just happened in Germany:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/04/germany_mass_hack_merkel/

      and now imagine that they already had a porn watchers database in operation.

      If data is collected by the government, it WILL be hacked, and it WILL be used for malicious purposes.

      1. VikiAi Bronze badge
        Black Helicopters

        If data is collected by the government, it WILL be hacked, and it WILL be used for malicious purposes.

        (Strike-out part, while not wrong, is somewhat of an unnecessary step.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        “Look at what's just happened in Germany”

        Interestingly, there is a Magazine in Germany called Bravo aimed at the 12+ market containing frontal nude pictures of 14+ year olds. Porn for kids! It’s considered a bit of an institution, although relatively recently the age of nude models was increased to 16. You’ll find it on the not so top shelf at any German news agent, including at the airports.

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Slippery slope

    In China they have the Great Firewall. Perhaps this is simply Her Bitchness's the May's next step towards the Great Brexit Wall Off ... Lock everything down! Don't let anyone see things my pet, Reesmoggy, wouldn't understand! Sex is not a thing! Dirty foreign smut peddlers showing foreigners doing foreign things! And I now command that HM Government builds and enormous sand pit so stupid MPs who voted for this idiocy can can bury their heads in it ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slippery slope

      " Don't let anyone see things my pet, Reesmoggy, wouldn't understand!"

      His education manual appears to be that approved by the Roman Catholic Church. As Pope Francis said to journalists on his Philippines trip "Three children is good - more is better". ...and reliable contraception is forbidden as it is against God's will.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Larry Laffer

    Does nobody in HM Gov' remember Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of Lounge Lizards? All the pron providers need to do is use the opening sequence on their site and BOOM, mission accomplished. For a bonus point, Sierra could clean up with a small charge for each auth' token provided.

  13. anworder

    My concern is more about privacy. I don't really believe they won't be storing and sharing this data with third parties.

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      No, they won't share it. They'll just leave the entire database dump on a USB stick on a train unencrypted, or send it through the post on an encrypted DVD (with the password written on the DVD).

  14. MGL

    What's the problem?

    You only have to supply a scan of a document, doesn't say anything about how will they check it is actually yours. A scan of a passport is just a scan of someones passport remember.

    I know, lets do it on Blockchain.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the problem?

      "A scan of a passport is just a scan of someones passport remember."

      For a financial transaction someone distant needed legal proof of my identity. I had to go to a main Post Office to get scans of my passport and photo-driving licence signed off as looking like me. Can't remember what they charge for the service.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just need to consider two things to understand why this is firstly a rubbish idea, but secondly not a problem at all.

    1. How long will it take to identify a site that is supplying porn without the proper checks, and add it to the naughty block list I presume they'll insist that ISPs enforce?

    2. How long does it take to rebrand a website and give it a new URL?

    As long as (2) is less than (1) (and my suspicious it will be, by far) then you simply access the same content from a new site - and as this isn't a global strategy then Google will quite happily tell you where the content is living this week.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      More importantly, will the government be advertising for jobs to look for and thoroughly test porn sites, and what will the salary be?

      Or have they just left Damian Green to get on with it himself?

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        > get on with it himself

        That's the essence of porn, right there.

  16. tiggity Silver badge

    access cannot be stopped

    If kids want to access pr0n they will, whatever the era, ways will be found.

    Back in the day of mags being the main source, young kids would club together and give cash to an older sibling of one of the kids who would then purchase jazz mag for the group of younger kids.

    .. or, more simply, they just nicked one from the newsagents (have a listen to Ian Dury classic song "Razzle in my pocket")

    When video came along, a huge amount of "blue" video copying was done, and these videos ended up with younger kids.

    etc, etc with different technologies

    As a side issue, the sites banned will not cover the most well known social media sites so leaves a huge source wide open.

    .. do not get exposed to accidental "blue" content on standard web searches, have found unexpected "blue" content served to me on social media (in the days when I unfortunately had to use social media as part of my work)

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: access cannot be stopped

      Two mobile phones with NFC turned on (as quite a lot have now) are pretty much designed for getting around this sort of thing, by transferring files phone to phone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: access cannot be stopped

      In the 70s-80s, porn was just as easy to obtain as now, probably even easier as you didn't need a computer or mobile/net connection just your eyes. Some local kids looked old enough to buy porn and did so from newsagents, some looked too young and the newsagents sold it to them anyway, others asked older kids to help out and the rest simply shoplifted their porn mags of choice. Then there were other kids who used their parents porn stash as a library, older siblings moving out and leaving their considerable collections behind etc. etc.

      Banning anything on the internet, especially as it only applies to UK providers anyway (of which I can't even name one) is a complete waste of time. This is more about compiling private data for control, control of the people, control the internet... and it will never work.

      And where do the wankers go? I'd rather they were watching their screens than following people down dark alleys.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: access cannot be stopped

        In the 70s-80s, porn was just as easy to obtain as now, probably even easier as you didn't need a computer or mobile/net connection just your eyes.

        No, it truly wasn't. I had never seen a porn movie until I was an adult in the nineties, and I was sent abroad for work - the videos available on some hotel TVs were quite a surprise to me. Now, I can just go to YouPorn or several others, and find literally thousands of them. Much much simpler now.

        Doesn't mean I don't agree with the point you're making, though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: access cannot be stopped

          When UK video hire shops started in the 1980s there was no certification of videos. Our high street shop had soft pr0n videos. There were also the somewhat more exotic things like XXX Mickey Mouse cartoons reputed to have a long pedigree from Disney's own animators. I doubt the shops restricted their hire to adults. People could hire several videos a week.

          Much of the material had previously been available to limited circles on relatively easily available 8mm/16mm films - which were quickly transcribed to video. Home video cameras were ideal for new productions.

          One of my then colleagues organised a viewing in his lounge of a compilation tape. After the first hour people became bored.

          It has to be remembered that the 1970s in the UK seemed like the coming of freedom from censorship. Theatre plays no longer had to pass censorship by the Lord Chamberlain. Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford had become figures of satire. It was confidently predicted that the 1980s would see the UK becoming like Denmark - with pr0n freely available. The legal age of consent was expected to be reduced to the apparently already common teenage practice of 14 - with sensible age difference safeguards like our European neighbours.

          There are certain resonances with now. A large portion of the population were convinced to vote for Margaret Thatcher's libertarian promises of riches for all - ask Sid. Then came the suppression of various human rights for the masses - including a Jacob Rees-Mogg style religiously inspired suppression of sexual freedoms.

  17. SonOfDilbert
    Pirate

    ID theft

    I bet there are plenty of hackers rubbing their hands at the thought of the forthcoming ill-secured treasure troves of IDs ripe for the picking.

  18. plrndl

    THINK of the Children

    I should just like to point out that the nonsensical idea that children should be kept ignorant about sexuality until they are old enough to marry, was created by paedophiles in the Christian church, because naive children are easier to seduce and manipulate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: THINK of the Children

      "was created by paedophiles in the Christian church, [...]"

      While I can appreciate the sentiment - it is the wrong conclusion.

      It has been suggested that the early Roman Christians embodied many of the social practices of Roman society. They actively rejected many of the proscriptions of Judaism. It is even said there were same sex relationships - and women had a certain equality in the Church.

      The Christian Church was influenced by their later Saints Paul, Augustine, and Jerome. They decided that sex as per Genesis - the "Original Sin" - was an evil temptation. Women, as per Eve, were responsible for all ills - thus the saints' misogyny. Only celibacy would fit their ideal preparation for the soon to come final reckoning - Armageddon and The Rapture.

      The Church eventually came to provide the legal services for the ruling elites in Europe. One service was to pronounce the legality of a marriage between ruling parties. Any offspring had to be certified as legitimate inheritors of those lands and powers - particularly that they were sons of their named fathers. It was predominantly a patriarchy.

      In exchange the Church became a branch of State power - the CofE still is de jure in the UK today. In Italy and the USA religions' powers appear to be de facto.

      The Church initially ignored the plebs. Eventually they sought to have control over their lives too - which usually suited the State as well.

      Children in the countryside - or in crowded city rookeries - were not ignorant of sexual practices. Contraceptive practices for all levels of society were rudimentary and unreliable. Infant mortality was high until the later half of the 20th century.

      Children born outside of marriage were termed illegitimate by the Church/State - and usually enforced as a source of family shame. The result - particularly for the "respectable" middle classes - was often "shotgun" marriages; baby abandonments; or a woman's incarceration in a mental asylum.

      These "Original Sin" religious attitudes lasted with legal force up to quite recently. People who advocated sex education and birth control methods like Marie Stopes in 1930s England were prosecuted for publishing "obscene" material. The official stance was basically to tell unmarried women to "say no". For married women procreation was their duty - given that parents would be economically dependent on their surviving offspring to look after them in old age.

      It is noticeable in my family history that the large families of the early 20th century produced only an average of two children in the following generations. The teachings of Marie Stopes etc were gaining traction in spite of the suppression by Church and State. Even when the Pill was first prescribed in the 1960s in the UK it was only allowed for married women. The Churches' power was however waning. Sex as fun and relationship bonding was becoming recognised.

      Sex education in schools in the 1960s was still rudimentary. Our 11-18 boys "high" school had none. Only after the social revolutions of the 1960/70s did general sex education start to be seen as good for a society where patriarchal procreation was not the only reason for sex.

      To sum up. It is the Christian Churches' "original sin" dogma that still suppresses the provision of sex education.*** The Roman Catholic Church still clings firmly to that dogma. However most of their developed world congregations are using artificial contraceptives - and hopefully enjoying non-reproductive sex with their consenting partners.

      Abuse by clerics is consistent with other society's spheres where there is a position of power over youngsters in their charge. Enforced celibacy probably doesn't help - and many organisations are guilty of protecting their own reputation at all costs.

      ***other major religions have a similar trajectory in the areas they dominate. The ruling party in India is trying to erase the rich Indian mythology of Hindu gods adopting many relationships and sexual positions. The Sufi branch of Islam is persecuted for its liberal attitudes.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Protection from what?

    I've seen children in hospital from many kinds of mishap they have seen online, from drinking to stupid stunts to bullying. But I have never seen a porn-related incident. Are we protecting children from the right kinds of web site?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Protection from what?

      Well perhaps you may have but did not recognise it.

      Pregnancy, Rape, Gender & Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Violence.... the list goes on.

      Porn is just not identified as the cause.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Protection from what?

        "Porn is just not identified as the cause."

        IIRC studies in Scandinavia showed that freer access to pr0n - together with good sex education for all ages - reduced the incidence of such crimes. My Finno-Scandinavian girlfriends in the 1980s used to roll their eyes and say "typical English".

        They tended to start sexual relationships later than the UK or USA. Teenage pregnancies were at a much lower rate too. Nudity was not taboo - although there were social niceties. Quite explicit magazines on news stands were regarded as nothing more than a market segment of some people - and particularly tourists.

        1. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Protection from what?

          "Scandinavia ..... They tended to start sexual relationships later than the UK or USA."

          Same here in NL (though I haven't come across that much porn in the newsagents here). Teenage pregnancies lowest in the EU, 3.2 per thousand (UK: 14.4). Source: CBS/Statistics Netherlands, 2015 data, quoted in https://www.volkskrant.nl/mensen/aantal-tienermoeders-blijft-dalen-nederlands-percentage-laagste-in-eu~ba6ac1ea/).

          I also seem to remember reading an article which indicated that the age at which 50% of the population had had sex was around 18 years which I gather is also relatively late.

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Protection from what?

        "

        Porn is just not identified as the cause.

        "

        Mainly because it is extremely unlikely that it is

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Protection from what?

      "But I have never seen a porn-related incident."

      No, they tend to be stupid adults, with dicks stuck in various things from curtain rings to vacuum cleaners, and women with various things stuck in places they should probably never have been inserted. Kids seem to have a bit more sense in these matters.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Protection from what?

        A girlfriend who was a nurse in A&E said that Babycham bottles were notorious. Without a protruding base they were completely sucked into the recturm and not easily extracted.

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Protection from what?

        various things stuck in places they should probably never have been inserted. Kids seem to have a bit more sense in these matters.

        Not in my family. Blue-tack in the ear of one of mine and a niece who had a grommet operation was presented with a recovered lego on uncertain vintage by the medical staff.

        Personally, I blame the parents.

  20. hellwig Silver badge

    from 1 to up to 50

    1 to 50 sites per year? I do not think the UK government understands HOW MANY porn sites there are. 1 to 50 sites per second? Sounds about right.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: from 1 to up to 50

      You are forgetting that this law only applies to sites within the reach of UK law. 50, in the first year only, sounds over-optimistic.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: from 1 to up to 50

        As far as the law is concerned, any site accessible from the UK is within reach of the law. Even if the only option is to block it, which is the point of the statement re. blocking 1-50 sites per year, however laughable that estimate might be.

  21. Augie

    This has precisely nothing to do with protecting the children. That is just a ever so convenient excuse. Start with porn and then once that is restricted they will start on other online services.. anyone who cant see that is naive.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      It's typical nudge politics (wink wink). Porn sites are already great places to get infected, and some people know this. It's usually a private act, at least on the Parliamentary estate, which will no doubt get exemptions 'for research purposes'. We're regularly told that websites are regularly hacked compromising thousands to millions of peoples details.

      So government (and Labours not exactly opposing this) puts 2 and 2 together so if you browse smut, your credit card details and tastes may be revealed to all. The solution won't work, but the government can say they tried and won't be liable for any fall-out.. And what could possibly go wrong if passports identify people who's tastes aren't compatible with their religion?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Start with porn and then once that is restricted they will start on other online services.. anyone who cant see that is naive."

      It started with blocking "piracy" sites, then moved onto "extremist" sites (both porn and terrorism related). This is not the first step, it's merely another step.

  22. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    How terrible is porn?

    Evidently the government has decided that it is far more important to initiate expensive and complex measures in a vain attempt to prevent kids from watching sexual material than it is to prevent them seeing extremist propaganda or a myriad other types of content that I would consider far, far more damaging. I'd rather that a teenager be occupied with porn than being persuaded to visit an ISIS training camp. YMMV.

    Perhaps the people who think sex is so bad should refrain from ever having any. Certainly we'd be better off if their parents had decided not to indulge.

    1. Billder

      Re: How terrible is porn?

      Seems that most people commenting here think internet porn is harmless and akin to the mags of the 70s. My other half (a qualified therapist) tells me she sees increasing numbers of porn-addicted young men who cannot form physical relationships with those they love, often because they have erectile dysfunction. The logic seems to be that porn works just like drugs - serotonin is released but more and stronger stimulus is needed for the same hit as time goes by. Past a certain stage, real partners don't give the same thrill and the addicted person seeks more esoteric online material.

      Part of the issue is that online, there is endless supply and endless variety. So the attention span is less than the old days when one image might work for quite a long time, and addiction is more likely because of that.

      There is also pressure on their partners to look and act like the porn stars, which may not be altogether positive for their physical and mental health. Boys are (I'm told, I don't have the original studies but this isn't regurgitated Daily Mail nonsense) increasingly unprepared for real relationships that may involve such horrors as body hair, slow-burn romance, affection and genuine connection.

      I agree that this policy is probably pointless gesturing, and as others have said, teenage boys will find ways around it. Over 18s can become addicted as well, so even if this succeeded, the problem would not be solved. And I know that many will use internet porn and not be harmed in any way. But the unsubstantiated idea that this is a bit of prurient fuss over harmless lustfulness doesn't reflect reality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How terrible is porn?

        "Past a certain stage, real partners don't give the same thrill and the addicted person seeks more esoteric online material."

        Sounds like the normal reaction to the familiarity of a long term partner. A study many years ago concluded there was a period of 18 months in a consummated relationship when lust prevailed. Then it declined.

        They went on to suggest it was intrinsic. After 18 months a woman probably needs to give her full attention to the offspring.

        In the 1950s it was not unusual for a couple to get married before having sex. After a couple of years there were a two kids. At which point the couple found they were incompatible - and divorce was not an easy option. Sex was over - and the man often turned his energies to a hobby.

        1. Billder

          Re: How terrible is porn?

          No, it's not that, at least not for a substantial number of cases. Men who love and are sexually attracted to their partners but cannot do the deed, to the distress of both. See this: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317117.php - a recent article.

          I understand that not all get addicted and not all addicts get ED, but this isn't always harmless jazzy fun one step ahead of Carry on Camping, and people should at least be aware, then make their own choice.

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: How terrible is porn?

            ED was around long before the internet and has always affected a large proportion of men at some point in their lives. It was seldom talked about though! Do you have any evidence (preferably do from Pfizer) that it's more common now than it was fifty years ago?

      2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: How terrible is porn?

        "

        My other half (a qualified therapist) tells me she sees increasing numbers of porn-addicted young men who cannot form physical relationships with those they love

        "

        Obviously people who specialise in treating certain problems will see lots of such problems. And consequently over-estimate the prevalence. The vast majority of people (of any age) can handle seeing porn with no problems at all. I also suggest that you are mistaking cause and effect here. It is the people who *already* have problems forming social relationships who will use porn as a substitute and so become "addicted". It is *not* the porn that has cause the relationship problem.

        Many kids end up in hospital with sports-related injuries. The solution is NOT to stop children partaking in sport ...

  23. John70

    As for the 1 to 50 sites per year, well... I think it will take a few months to analyse each site, detailed scrutinisation of each image.

    Write up a report, pass it to next fellow down the line to verify the findings.

    1. Martin

      I'm curious to see how they'd phrase the job advert....

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        A handy part-time job for stay-at-home parents?

        1. VikiAi Bronze badge

          So that's what all those "I make $$$ a day working from home" emails I (my spam blocker, at least) keeps getting are about.

      2. TimMaher

        The benefit of WFH

        I’ll let you work out what it stands for.

  24. SNAFUology
    Coat

    Undo it with a Survey

    In Australia I was phoned by a Market Research company (Galaxy) wanting to know if I thought these censorship types for images/events should be shown on TV etc & they would have needed an 'R'. The questions did not specifically detail what censorship already applied to the particular item but just asked should it have an 'R' rating. I was unaware what rating many had, and was sure they would have had a rating, and most certainly did not want to lessen current ratings.

    Types to be shown included Live Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Violence and more - many of these would have had the highest ratings.

    As I tried to answer the questions I became concerned, stopped the questions, asked the researcher who created the questions and followed up with them.

    The Censorship board itself had created the questions, an experienced censorship staff member who was very well acquainted with the ratings of each type and what exactly it applied to. When peparing the survey they did not see that most people were not so well antiquated with this information and may just say YES to apply some censorship without realising that they were actually lowering the rating being applied to the type in question.

    The person I spoke to said that she would adjust the questions and start again - by this time I had had enough and did not participate any further in the research.

    I am not against people viewing artistic creations, shows and documentaries with some graphic content & extreme ideas. I do believe it should be managed though and limited using a firm system of labeling & limitation such as the censorship regulations as they stood. I do not like it being undermined.

    There had been media attention to the fact that Australia's opinion of censorship levels was changing, based upon what I experienced a bad survey could have been the culprit in multiple instances.

    Internet

    When I provided identity to acquire my internet connection they asked me for my drivers license and/or medicare card - both would have a birth date associated with it. Anyone of any age using the connection would be assumed to be me in most instances. There may not be a sufficient lock on identity within the home to prevent children getting parents information & documents and using them to gain access to porn - controls that rely on this would fail in all but the simplest ways. also a porn website could spoof an Id check to gain private details of an individual that could be used to blackmail or steal identity & money. Not a good system.

    Then there is VPN's often set up for the whole family that could bypass censorship in the UK.

    When I was a child most of the kids viewed their parents porn (if there was any), we were about 14 or so when we really took an interest, at earlier times it was just incidental viewing. It'll be a tough job trying to stop underage porn viewing without killing an industry.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Undo it with a Survey

      Password keepers & form fillers would hold the info to facilitate a connection on a click - many normal product sites i visit want to retain my information to facilitate a quicker purchase later.

      #SNAFU

  25. jamesdagger

    Usenet anyone?

    Just sayin

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Usenet anyone?

      In the 1990s it was an eye-opening jungle supplied by any ISP. My neighbours' teenage sons gave all sorts of recommendations on which groups to visit or avoid.

      Presumably it has now been reduced to a few dedicated subscription servers - and regularly purged by bots like Tumblr has apparently been recently.

  26. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    "that the Conservative government"

    I had to read that a couple of times to remember that yes, it's our government you're talking about.

  27. Tom Paine Silver badge

    *fit for purpose"?

    N/t

  28. Afernie
    Trollface

    Well, this seems like an effective and reasonable solution.

    I for one am confident the torrent sites, such as Pirate Bay and its endless whack-a-mole collection of proxies will immediately comply with this legislation, like the good law-abiding little drones they are. Oh. Wait...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blocking porn will block access to the info that LGBTQ+ people of all ages need access to, I know of people who were saved by reading about LGBTQ+ info. They were depressed and felt alone finding forums and websites allowed them to find other people like them.

    A few were from very religious families and without finding the info online might have committed suicide or harmed themselves. Youth are especially at risk.

  30. Wolfclaw Silver badge

    a quick free VPN to Holland and bingo, no more nanny state !

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot of people I think here are older and don't realise that the kind and extent of porn on the internet today is a lot more f*cked up. It does not remotely compare to what twas around before broadband.

    The volume of material is unparalleled in history. I was a teen when high speed was 128 kbps and you'd be lucky to get by with a video a week..

    There is a huge spectrum out there in what is labelled porn - the extreme stuff is as accessible as the simple stuff. The porn of your teen experience is not the limit of what the inquiring mind of a child can find.

    There is a problem - the real world has supervision even if it isn't a parent. you'd have to go deep into the dark alleys to score that kind of extreme snuff shit in the past and no kid would be around there. On the internet, a sexy novel is on the same low shelf as rape torture fantasies and other fucked up crap.

    That kind of flat access also has never happened in history.

    This is not about morality, this is IMHO about the psychological impact on forming and susceptible minds by being exposed to this stuff. When your kid is on the internet - they are in the real fat world - with no doors, no adults, no locks.

    To the brain, this is the same pathway as getting high. So let's compare the comments about porn to drugs.

    Arguing that people had smoked a blunt as a child and turned out ok, is not relevant when the drugs of choice on the table goes all the way to fentanyl and cocaine, and unlimited at that and the user - a child has no idea how to contextualise nor figure out if the white powder they're clicking is sugar, cocaine or fentanyl.. unlimited...

    Whilst the government answer is pointless, the fact that there is a problem cannot be overlooked.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      A lot of people I think here are older and don't realise that the kind and extent of porn on the internet today is a lot more f*cked up. It does not remotely compare to what twas around before broadband.

      ??? So older people don't look at porn anymore, and we're all going by hazy recollections from our dim and distant yoof when the pictures were sepia and the women like Wookees?

      You have to go as deep into the internet as you do that metaphorical dark alley to get the kind of material you are talking about. Dark stuff was actually much closer to the surface of the internet where it could be stumbled upon twenty years ago.

      The more harmless the material, the closer to the surface it becomes - much as the drug scene the more dangerous and deadly the drug, the more dangerous the lifestyle (or at least mostly, prior to the recent Coventry incident - but we've no further info on that for the moment).

      Like Americas prohibition experiment, make the least likely vice illegal and it raises the stakes to tommy gun levels.

      They'll be a Paul Raymond mob along any time now, in dirty macs and kalashnikovs running Russian and Scandinavian porn into the country [Joke]....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "You have to go as deep into the internet as you do that metaphorical dark alley to get the kind of material you are talking about. Dark stuff was actually much closer to the surface of the internet where it could be stumbled upon twenty years ago."

        Could you cite some references for this claim?

        " So older people don't look at porn anymore"

        You've missed the point - they typically seek something specific and they don't typically seek that kind of porn.

        Ps:Have you heard of tor and the dark Web? It is fricking easy now. When is the last time parents on here fired up tor for porn?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The porn of my childhood back in the 1970s was a movie called Old McDonald's Farm and similar. Seriously fucked up stuff is not modern.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Likewise Animal Farm (the live action version, not the cartoon).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] a child has no idea how to contextualise nor figure out if the white powder they're clicking is sugar, cocaine or fentanyl."

      About 20 years ago a young teenager from Turkey was explaining how careful he was of accepting sweet treats from strangers in Instanbul. The possibility was that they might also contain addictive drugs to increase a dealer's customer base.

      The society's counter-measure was education of children about the risks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's like saying legalise all hard drugs, make them available in supermarkets and just educate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "That's like saying legalise all hard drugs, [...]"

          No it isn't. Turkey has very severe laws against most drugs. Even when you have such laws to try to curb something - you also need to educate people who are potential victims.

          A more mundane example. Publicising that people should ignore the TV Licence spam for your banking details - doesn't mean that the perpetrators won't be prosecuted if caught.

    4. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      "

      This is not about morality, this is IMHO about the psychological impact on forming and susceptible minds by being exposed to this stuff.

      "

      Do you have a credible study that supports that conclusion, or is it merely something you have decided is the case without any evidence whatsoever?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A few weeks ago there was a YouTube video satirising Tumblr purging all the accounts it considers pr0n. Like all good satire it seems only slightly over the top. Some of the comments about the video are in the El Reg league.

    "Tumblr CEO: No More Porn"

    NSFW

  33. NanoMeter

    Bing.com has never been that useful

    until now. Just search for whatever you want to look at using the TOR Browser while allowing scripts to run(if you dare).

  34. Maelstorm Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    This will not work.

    This will not work, and here's why. The law only applies to sites in the UK. What about U.S. sites like pornhub and xnxx? Any enterprising individual who knows anything about how the internet actually works can just switch their DNS servers to something in the US and bypass any blocks. You can also contact the IP address directly without going through DNS. So DNS based blocks won't work. You will have to have something like the Great Firewall of China to actually block it, and even that is problematic because many porn sites now use HTTPS which is encrypted, so deep packet inspection at the ISP won't work either.

    So yeah, this is very doable, very feasible, and it will work well. So you don't believe my smiling face? I don't believe it either.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: This will not work.

      Pornhub are already planning to act as a verification portal for smaller sites (you know, the ones whose content they rip off).

      They love this legislation and will make a fortune from it.

  35. TsVk!

    Hundreds of millions of pr0n sites, blocked 50... Mission accomplished.

    Well done Britain. (golf clap)

  36. greenwood-IT

    Who you gonna trust

    So the porn sites will now have to "subscribe" or "register" with a central body to verify visitor ages. The porn sites will also presumably have to invest in securing their site to handle this personal data, as well as comply with GDPR (will they have to keep a copy of the personal details?). I'm guessing this will just push the porn sites off of UK soil and beyond UK Government control.

    "Free Porn" - site verified dirty by UK Government and clean by McAfee

    I wonder if there will be a page on gov.uk with links to approved porn sites? That would seriously help with SEO :-)

  37. jwo

    Thankfully, Britain has left EU by then, what means: It's an isolated problem.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I heard a rumor recently...

    ...that the reason Tumblr nuked anything nude or sexual was because of this upcoming thing.

    Not sure how true it is, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I heard a rumor recently...

      The UK wouldn't influence Tumblr that much. Look more to the influence of the religious conservatives in the USA.

      Trump is already rolling back things to do with women's rights and other minorities. Tumblr was also home to many LGBTQ+ communities.

      See the satire YouTube video which seems only slightly over the top. Some of the comments about the video are in the El Reg league.

      NSFW

      "Tumblr CEO: No More Porn"

  39. Tom 35 Silver badge

    So good thing there is no porn anyplace else in the world

    So just switch to a host in the EU? Sorry not allowed to ask people for personal info for this dumb idea?

  40. Strangelove

    End of the "wild west"?

    There seem to be a very high incidence of users and defenders of extreme pronogrpahy in the El Reg readership. Maybe something to do with working with computers affects the way the brain handles and judges sex, as it is a very different position to that I see from people who are my neighbours and co-workers.

    Actually there is a far wider problem to be addressed, and that is the control of all kinds of inappropriate content, content that incites violent or anti-social behaviour is a similar problem. And access is as 'flat' as it has ever been. In four clicks from opening browser, I can look at some Arabs beheading a European in the name of some sort of freedom of expression, and as it makes me feel ill, and wakes me up at night, I suspect there will be others more or less susceptible and impressionable who would also benefit from not seeing it, thank you very much. Similarly all sorts of sexual acts of greater or lesser risk to health are also visible. I also wonder if this leads to other folk being pressured to produce ever more extreme content.

    I agree that the current proposal is about as much use as a wet paper bag, but in the longer term some sort of control is needed. As an internet user myself, and a parent of two teenagers, both of whom have had the sense to tell me about what they have been shown online by friends, I can see immediately that the "wild west" era of an unregulated internet needs to (and will sooner or later) draw to a close.

    To demand otherwise is tilting at windmills.

  41. KLane

    Censorship vs millions of teenagers...

    https://dilbert.com/strip/1996-01-23

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