back to article xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots before the government's age check kicks in as traffic to xHamster rose 6 per cent in 2018. 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 According to the …

  1. elDog Silver badge

    Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

    I know, I should broaden my mind and spread my wings and all that.

    Now, does anyone have the URL for xHamster?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

      Try adding .com to the part you already know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

        Maybe there should be a new TLD, perhaps it could be .cum

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

      100% True story: A couple of years ago, I was on an email thread with one of the VPs in my then company. He was supposed to approve something in a system, and he claimed he couldn't see it. So he sent a screenshot.

      Sure enough, the screenshot was of his browser, with the system open and the items not listed in the queue. But there were two other tabs: One, a Yahoo tab for the search "PornHub", and secondly a PornHub tab with the title "MOM sexy horny and tanned".

      He actually used Yahoo to search for PornHub.

      Yes, he actually used Yahoo. Disgusting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

        Yahoo in the workplace. Appalling.

    3. Ali on the Reg

      Re: Sure learn a lot from El Register - stuff I didn't necessarily want to know.

      You are laying on the innocence so thickly it is obvious you are a guilt-ridden regular customer.

  2. MrMerrymaker

    Incompetence expected

    I ain't giving out even more data. Is the technical implementation of this safeguard going to be decent? I mean, I doubt it can stop a VPN if Netflix can't.

    Not a complaint. Mine's the dirty brown mac...

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Re: Incompetence expected

      Auntie seems to know when I access the likes of iPlayer on a VPN, so I'm surprised that Netflix et al doesn't

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Incompetence expected

        Auntie seems to know when I access the likes of iPlayer on a VPN

        Depends a lot on the VPN. They do regularly trawl for ip addresses and block them but just as regularly they have removed previously blacklisted ones.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Incompetence expected

          I use a Chrome plugin from my VPN that keeps Aunties nose out.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incompetence expected

          They probably aren't detecting the VPN. There's a lot of ways to detect VPN usage.

          www.whoer.net will show you how anonymous you really are.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Incompetence expected

        They don’t know when I access via my home VPN, though it isn’t particularly fast.

      3. goldcd

        Re: Incompetence expected

        I'm not entirely convinced Netflix care too much about VPNs.

        In their ideal world, they'd have one single library/store that was available globally.

        Only reason they can't, is all the regional licensing tied to the content they've bought in from external producers. By at least being seen to do something, they can tell those producers they're trying to stop it leaking out where it shouldn't. If they actually did manage to truly block people, then those people might decide to stop giving money to netflix.

        If they really wanted to lock the place down, they'd tie credit cards, to addresses, to regions, to localized logins, to IP addresses etc.

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Incompetence expected

      It won't stop VPNs because the sites have no interest in doing so. Netflix and the BBC actively want to prevent people skirting aroind restrictions using a VPN, porn sites actively want people to do just that. So VPNs will work unless the UK govt force ISPs to filter VPN traffic: probably they won't do that because it's too totalitarian even for them.

      1. Ali on the Reg

        Re: Incompetence expected

        It is well known fact that most VPN providers are in fact operated by a collaborative effort between GCHQ, NSA and some other western intelligence agencies. That's why they are so cheap/free!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Incompetence expected

          thats funny,

          its also a well known fact that most VPN providers are Chinese. which is also why they are so cheap/free.

          Outsourcing, I suppose.

          The more well known, the less fact

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: too totalitarian even for them

        you say "totalitarian", we say "think of the children" and - voila - impossible becomes a reality. Remember, first they came for the pirates? Then, they came for the "extremists". Now, they're coming for wankers. VPN-sters are not that much further down the list.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: too totalitarian even for them

          The extreme wanking pirates aill be pissed off when they lose their VPN's too!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: too totalitarian even for them

            I download Prime Ministers Questions via torrents and wank to it (which is challenging, the Navy Seal assault course of wanking, it could be considered extreme). Does that make me an extreme wanking pirate?

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: too totalitarian even for them

              That's so extreme that I'm surprised the government hasn't deemed Prime Minister's Questions illegal as an obscene publication.

  3. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

    I'm not a porn user myself, not since I was a young lad anyways, but surely the answer would be to snag a large collection of your favourite pecadillos and keep it offline for quick and easy access. I would guess that once you've seen various "offices" from several angles over several hours, it pretty much all looks the same. I appreciate fashions change and video quality changes, so you need periodic updates to your "smut stash" but on the whole surely it can't change that much?

    1. Jeff LeCoat

      "I'm not a porn user myself"

      Sounds like something a porn user would say.

      1. spold Bronze badge

        >"I'm not a porn user myself"

        >Sounds like something a porn user would say.

        Yes and truncated .... "I'm not a porn user myself, vicar"

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      How would one go about snagging a large collection?

      Asking for a friend.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most distros have the youtube-dl package available, it works pretty well for any streaming media site (Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu, etc will periodically work depending on what part of the arms-race cycle they are in). There are also Windows and OS-X builds around.

        Just find the video you want, grab the URL, and then paste it into the command line and you get a nice little mp4 in return.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        - install all the antimalware software you can, just to be sure (or use a disposable VM)

        - find your way to somewhere containing the words planet, suzy and .org

        - create an account using BS details

        - search around for whatever floats your boat

        - optionally, use something like jdownloader to manage your downloads

        profitpron!

        1. ZippedyDooDah

          Spammer

          Dear me,

          I really should know better than to trust anything recommended by somebody on here. I was gullible though and thought to myself, "An El Reg commenter would surely be a decent chap". Well I was wrong, jloader is a filthy malware ridden piece of crap. FY.

    3. 's water music Silver badge

      ...I would guess that once you've seen various "offices" from several angles over several hours...

      Oddly specific?

  4. John Mangan

    So, the obvious question,

    has there also been a marked rise in the purchase of VPNs?

    Or do we expect this to follow in a more gentle climb as people see the legislation come into force on their favourite sites and then Google 'bypassing patently useless porn filtering mechanisms"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, the obvious question,

      NordVPN (claim 'The Best VPN Service Provider in 2019'!) seemed to have a push on TV over Xmas... erm, to protect your data from cyber threats

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: So, the obvious question, - Nord VPN

        Cue a load of questions from clueless relatives about what a VPN is after the TV ads. It's probably just a coincidence that they've chosen the months before XXX day to advertise on tv. Certainly a coincidence, nothing to see here or at least there won't be in a few minutes. The ban won't make a much of a difference from what I can see of the youth of today.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think that's how it goes, though

    UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots

    As far as I'm aware, that's not how smut works.

    Admittedly I'm not part of that scene so I may have missed something new, so happy to be updated, as it were.

    :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      You're lucky it is terrifying what some people will do with mayonnaise and a wellie boot.....

      Pass the mind bleach please!

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

        Not too keen mayonnaise tbh.

        What other people do with me is none of your business :>

      2. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

        You're lucky it is terrifying what some people will do with mayonnaise and a wellie boot.....

        I think I remember that Children In Need event.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      As far as I'm aware

      Since you have imagined the possibility, I refer you to rule 34.

      I could refer you elsewhere, but I'd rather maintain decorum in the forum...

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      I rather suspect this is just one of those standard PR stories. PR releases some stat and there variously dodgy interpretations thereof to journos + few potted quotes. Bob's your uncle! Hard pressed journos with deadlines to meet have free story, company have got their message across to readers. Everyone's a winner!

      Chinese traffic fell spectacularly because they've got the secret police checking up on peoples' web use, and they've banned loads of the sites. And have a national firewall.

      We'll have age checks. Which will be a general knowledge test on the product range of B&Q? No young-un could pass that - including most of B&Q's staff... I presume it'll be credit card checks? Do we have a proper method for proving age online? Do the government have a clue? OK don't answer that last one.

    4. CJatCTi

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      The best king of boots to fill..

      When I was at collage a friend from the Forest of Dean said Motor Bike boots where they best as they had straps on the side and that way the sheep's legs could be strapped against yours and you would get your legs scrached as much as in normal boot.

    5. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      I can't find condoms anywhere.

      Have you tried Boots?

      .

      .

      .

      .

      .

      Yes, but it all runs out of the lace holes.

      Thank you. I'm here all week.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

        TStT: "I can't find condoms anywhere. / Have you tried Boots? / Yes, but it all runs out of the lace holes."

        I arrived here with the following extract in my copy-and-paste buffer.

        El Reg wrote, "UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots..."

        Impressive...

    6. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      "Filling their boots" - that's pretty good going- I struggle to fill a sock.

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Personalised-Novelty-Humorous-Boyfriend-Present-x/dp/B07CDR2257

    7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: I don't think that's how it goes, though

      "UK-based smut viewers seem to be filling their boots

      As far as I'm aware, that's not how smut works."

      You never heard of sploshing? Even the BBC broadcasts it on a regular basis. They even do it for Red Nose Day and that Pudsey Bear thing, laying in bathtubs full of beans or custard to raise money for the kiddies. They're always thinking of the children and helping to raise money ;-)

  6. }{amis}{ Silver badge
    Trollface

    They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

    Amusingly despite being well renowned as one of the internets gutters, 4Chan would not seem to qualify as a smut site, given only about a 1/4 of the groups are NSFW leave out porn.

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

      This looks like a backdoor around this most ill-advised of laws. Simply use redirect links to refer to a huge amount of non-porn material (Wikipedia, say) and claim that the porn is but a small part of your entire site. If redirects don't work, then set up an array of random number generators that echo their output to active web pages and claim that the bulk of your service is providing huge amounts of guaranteed-truly-random entropy, along with something for the weekend.

      The fact that this "bulk of your site" is of absolutely no interest to anyone doesn't really matter, does it? It gets around the law and that is all that really counts.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

        Why fake it (if you'll pardon the expression)? Surely there's a market for a combined porn/gardening site? Or porn+cars for blokes - porn+decorating for the slightly older demographic.

        Maybe register www.register.xxx, for the truly perverted who want a specialist porn'n'servers service...

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

          I remember one of the early cam sites, back in the early 2000s had a supposedly big non-smutty section where you could chat to people about hobbies, cooking, astrology, etc.

          I doubt the family-friendly section ever made much money, and was retired, I think, by the mid 00's.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

            Depends on your hobbies

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

            One support engineer where I worked ran a mobile (as in by MMS etc.) pron business from the office...nice chap and hard worker...no one questioned how he got hold of it...the office connection seemed busy out of hours...but he worked hard and was always helpful so no one asked anymore...perhaps a lesson for any miscreant...being nice helps cover your tracks...

        2. Jay 2

          Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

          I once knew someone who ran xxx25.com (or something similar) which had very graphic pictures of the insides of servers and their cabling...

          1. bobsmith2016

            Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

            There's a cableporn sub on Reddit. If that doesn't get you going, nothing will

            1. MrDamage

              Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

              Do they also have cableporn doms on Reddit?

        3. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

          I have wondered for a while why people aren't actively making properly educational porn videos. Not learn-about-sex educational, something like this could be made into porn with very little change needed.

          Sexy cancer is the new fetish.

        4. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

          Or porn plus cats for lesbian sites. Maybe xhamster could add a load of hamster videos?

          1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

            They could, but whilst the lesbian and cat correlation is quite strong, there's a very large dog contingent these days.

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

              there's a very large dog contingent these days.

              "No, I said show me where all the dodgy sites are, not the doggy sites".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content

            Does the x not imply deceased....or is snuff excluded?

  7. Ima Ballsy
    Angel

    Wait ....

    I have an account there !!

    IT wasn't me I swear ....

    errr .... on second thought, I DO NOT HAVE AN ACCOUNT THERE !!!

  8. Wellyboot Silver badge
    Gimp

    Solo Hobbyists?

    >>>Porn providers, from solo hobbyists to...<<<

    A hobby that pays?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Solo Hobbyists?

      I thought most online porn viewers could be described as solo hobbyists?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There'll be hell to pay when Piers Moron discovers he won't be able to get his daily fix of Susanna Reid fakes without having to pony up his cc details

  10. EricM
    WTF?

    Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but also against 90% of Internet content.

    Color me surprised about the number of ridiclious restrictions a presumably grown-up population accepts from its government in a somewhat western-style democracy.

    1. matjaggard

      Re: Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but also against 90% of Internet cont

      Colour

    2. Dr. G. Freeman

      Tell me about it. Just had to prove my age at the local supermarket to buy an energy drink.

      Can't sell it to under 16s.

      This particular supermarket chain has something called "challenge 25", where you have to prove by the usual methods that you're over a quarter of a century old.

      Wouldn't mind but it's kind of obvious if you look at me 25 was a long time , and a lot of hair ago.

      1. JassMan Silver badge
        Trollface

        @ Dr. G Freeman

        You have no way of knowing whether he suspected you of being a 10 year old with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Wouldn't mind but it's kind of obvious if you look at me 25 was a long time , and a lot of hair ago."

        Unlike in some US states where you must always show ID when buying booze, looking well over 25, I have never been asked to prove my age in a supermarket when buying any "age restricted" items.

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          I remember having to show my ID to drink in New Mexico - I was 37 at the time.

          Even one bar in London asked me for ID at 50 which was unexpected (it wasn't my youthful looks, just door policy, sadly) - I had to blag my way in with my tube season ticket photocard.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. phuzz Silver badge

        I still get ID occasionally, a while ago when I was still 35 I was asked for ID in the supermarket when buying beer.

        I handed over my drivers license, and enjoyed the little double take when she realised how old I really was.

        "Oh, you don't look like you're in your thirties at all"

        "Oh thanks", I say, and smile.

        "Actually, I can see your age when you smile"

        Cheeky sod :(

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sleepwalking to a totalitarian state. The electorate are ignorant, and the politicians are control freaks who represent the governments views to the electorate, not the other way round. Isn't that right Alok Sharma?

    4. casinowilhelm

      Re: Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but blah blah

      Hey ho. At least our police force isn't a thinly disguised paramilitary death squad free to gun down innocent people at will, unlike certain other large western democracies I could mention, and neither do we execute children or the mentally ill. So it could be worse.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but blah blah

        Oh come on, don't turn this intl a "whataboutism"

        He's completely correct, and it makes no difference whether he's American or British.

        If's not like we don't criticise Trump et al.. How would you like it if every time you critiscised american policy, an american replied "yeah, but what about brexit" - we'd never have proper debates between us if that was the case.

        Remember, just like we brits aren't the pathetic corrupt establishment, our american friends aren't either.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but blah blah

        "At least our police force isn't a thinly disguised paramilitary death squad free to gun down innocent people at will, unlike certain other large western democracies I could mention, [...]"

        USA Christian Evangelicals are trying to amend the Anti-Lynching Law that was passed in 2018. They apparently want the right to lynch LGBTQ people.

        "While Staver says that he is generally opposed to lynching (does he really want credit for that low bar?), he and his organization have made it clear with their opposition that they would rather see LGBTQ people dead without justice than see them alive and acknowledged as fully human."

  11. RobertLongshaft

    You think this is about smut? You think the powers that be give a flying turd about what people masturbate to? You think this is about protecting children?

    Remember these same people filled our towns and cities with people who raped and abused THOUSANDS vulnerable children and then labelled anyone brave enough to speak up as racists. They do not care about you, your children or anything of the sort. This is 100% about control of the internet, the powers that be want to be able to put you behind a China style firewall and limit the information you are allowed to consume. This is authoritarian and totalitarian and is just the next step into turning you into the free ranges slaves that they want.

    Just wait, the microchipping is literally around the corner, it'll start as a "technological advancement" , why carry a credit card when you can have a chip? But the real reason is they want to own you, own your children and own your grandchildren. You'll be monitored and tracked, 24/7, a slave in a cage he can't see, touch, smell or taste. The worse thing is that you'll welcome it with open arms, some of you idiots will queue for it. You'll deserve everything that's coming.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nurse!!

      Frog pills, stat.

    2. Simon Harris Silver badge

      "Just wait, the microchipping is literally around the corner"

      I'm just worried about where they'll shove the chip...

      Are there any instructional videos on xHampster that may provide the answer?

      "Call that a microchip? - it looks more like a thermionic valve to me"

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "Call that a microchip? - it looks more like a thermionic valve to me"

        A Telefunken U47 - in leather

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even when we have it, the general commentards still would down vote you. People are ignorant idiots.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        You don't think the El Reg readers know exactly what mission creep will occur, and what the government will try to achieve?

        Maybe, just maybe, the downvotes were due to someone implying that the disgusting acts of a group of people, were performed by a huge group of people the government purposely "filled up" our towns with, and implying that all Muslims are somehow guilty.

        Maybe the fact that the irony of him making that sweeping statement, and then moaning for being called out for it (Islam isn't a race, but whatever - he is still making sweeping generalisations about a group) was lost on him prompted more downvotes?

        Maybe the next time a gang is caught doing similar, if we forever more talk about the "white english rape gangs flooding the streets", you'll get a clue?

    4. Mike 125
    5. katrinab Silver badge

      Its the SWERF version of Haggard’s law. The ones who are the most anti-porn and anti-sex worker are the ones who view / use them the most.

    6. casinowilhelm

      You're talking about catholic priests yeah? They aren't a race, mate

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. anworder

    "Traffic from China fell 81 per cent this year, which xHamster put down to the nation's ban on VPNs"

    Wow, China even has VPNs banned. I guess it's not entirely surprising.

    I wonder how the UK plans to police these, as it's an easy way to get around checks and I doubt providers block users on VPNs.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      All it needs is one new regulation for ISPs "Provide details on all UK IPs connecting to a VPN". Plod can then ask nicely what you're using it for.

      I didn't say it was a sensible idea but we are talking about politician here.

      1. John Mangan

        Answer: I'm working from home.

        Unless work spills the beans.....

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Answer: I'm working from home.

          "Working from home"

          Mitchell and Webb... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co_DNpTMKXk

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Plod can then ask nicely what you're using it for."

        Plod can then make a dawn raid to take all your kit away - hoping there is a career advancement in it.

        FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      VPNs

      It's been pointed out several times over the years that Westminster doesn't have to ban VPNs, they just need to legislate for VPNs to be run exclusively by licenced corporate VPN operators, and those licences will only be available to trusted corporate entities who have the right friends in the proper high places with the appropriate hashtags.

      Anyone who thought Phorm was bad...

    3. JLV Silver badge

      Think of it this way. If you’re the Chinese govt, is it better PR to ban VPNs to stop porn? Or to ban it to stifle political dissent?

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "Wow, China even has VPNs banned. I guess it's not entirely surprising."

      VPNs have been banned in China for years - with criminal penalties if caught using them.

      What's happened recently is that they've been actively cracking down on it - and targeting foreigners, who they used to turn a blind eye to.

      China has a shitload of draconian laws on the books and a history of only using them when it suits the authorities to do so (aka, when they decide they don't like you, you can be done for walking on the cracks in the sidewalk).

      At $orkplace we've been having to remind people wanting us to setup VPNs for travel into China that

      a: Such things are illegal in China

      b: Getting caught would not be a good thing.

      c: We're not allowed to assist in illegal activities in any case.

      These kinds of laws in the UK are a backdoor way of implementing a "Great Firewall", but legislators all tend to forget one key factor - LEO satellite internet is on the horizon and all the firewalls on all the physical gateways on all the terrestrial borders won't make much difference if people switch to those for their xhamster or uncensored newsfeeds (good luck working out where someone's satellite dish is pointing when you don't need a satellite dish)

  13. AegisPrime
    Childcatcher

    Re: VPNs

    VPNs will be the next thing under the spotlight when the morons that pushed for this realise that kids will be installing free VPNs from the Chrome store to circumvent it - in fact, I expect the number of such offerings to skyrocket, particularly as most of them are little more than proxies with little-to-no privacy (always read the small print kids).

    Still, in the spirit of *ahem* 'sticking it to the man', if you are looking for a decent, free (if slightly slow) VPN, ProtonVPN's offering is ace.

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    You can't be free publicity.

    The details of the report, especially regarding censorship are interesting. Then there's this:

    Thanks to increased government censorship, and the closure of free platforms like Tumblr, consumers are once again taking porn seriously — and paying.

    In other words: keep it up Sajid, we're making a fortune!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: You can't be free publicity.

      Another interesting bit is the uptick in "visits". The article implies it's "curious adults". I'm thinking it's the kids loading up their stash for "later".....

  15. Tikimon Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Planned and expected escalation!

    You can guarantee these blocks will be bypassed by VPNs or some other trick. THEN come the calls for MORE restrictions. At every step, real people find ways around the BS restrictions, and that is the ongoing excuse for more government lockdown and control. This crap always starts small and is expanded indefinitely, deliberately, and with careful consideration. Truth and fairness get no welcome from power hungry politicians.

    Too many politicians have no interest in solving problems. They want to EXPLOIT problems for political gain and power, and will invent a supposed problem if none is handy at the moment. Solving a problem means a pat on the back and nobody gives them power anymore. Much better to ride a conflict as hard as one can and milk it for reasons to be given more POWER. In fact, it's best to invent something that's not really an issue, as it can never be solved and will be an endless excuse for more government control.

    1. evilcRaftKnife

      Re: Planned and expected escalation!

      "They want to EXPLOIT problems for political gain and power, and will invent a supposed problem if none is handy at the moment."

      Drones anyone?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear...

    ...such a shame I can't access The Pirate Bay anymore after the UK government blocked it years ago..... oh wait....

  17. sisk Silver badge

    I think I'm with the smut vendors on this one. When I was a teen back in the 90s I more or less laughed at most digital methods of verifying my age that I came across. Today I think it'd be even easier to get around them since all the age verification schemes I've seen recently can be circumvented with a Visa gift card that anyone can pick up in a market regardless of their age. I would be extremely surprised if the law they're pushing accomplished what they want it to accomplish.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They won't apply to sites on which porn makes up a third or less of the content"

    Years ago regulations were put in place to try to protect the UK film industry which require cinemas to show a UK produced "short" (15-30 min film) before any foreign (i.e. US) film. One of the results was a series of "travelogue" films extolling the virtues of varoous British cities - very cheap to make (just send a film crew to walk around filming stuff for a couple of days and then add a voice-over .... though, as a BBC radio series about these films a few years ago explained they did go a bit OTT on the voiceover as they hired Telly Savalas for some of them!) and this was a very economic way of meeting the requirement. So may be there'll be a new opportunities for people to generate non-pron content for these site!

    N.b. was also a siilar phenonum in France where they passed laws that music radio stations had to broadcast a certain percentage of french recorder songs (probably required to be in french as well) .... the unexpected result their was the arrival of a group of US music producers who set up a local french rap industry.

    1. fnusnu

      What actually happened is that the radio stations play French music in the small hours when no one is listening

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Other countries noted the "blast all the local content in the wee smalls" gag and legislated that the mandatory local content percentage had to be "PER HOUR" - which led to some interesting mathematical and semantic gymnastics about what comprised local content when said material had been entirely recorded offshore (and never released locally) or were big name offshore acts which featured an ex-local performer in a minor role in the backing chorus.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fourth Industrial Revolution was porn shame

    get ready for faster internet and the realization that the internet is only about 1% busy with all the brave new world of innovation crap.

  20. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Facepalm

    If the government

    were serious about 'protecting the children' then they'd bring in laws that snatch children away from their parents as soon as they are born and then raised in state creches and nurseries.

    After all... 95% of all abused children were ABUSED BY THEIR OWN FAMILY MEMBERS

    I'd better shut up... some dimwit politician will see this and think "Thats a jolly good idea....."

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: If the government

      "will see this" ?

      I think it has already been tried, with obvious consequences, in Oz and "against" (sorry but I can't think of a better preposition) the native population.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If the government

        Yes, first thought of OZ and then several other places in the past.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If the government

          The UK sent such children to Oz in the 1950/60s with scant regard for their well being afterwards.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: If the government

            Too true. Yes, I should have remembered that one, too. And there were the Magdelene Laundries. Like the previous AC said, it is quite depressing just how many times this has been tried when you stop and think about it. And usually by people who were convinced that it was the *morally correct* solution to some "problem".

  21. Multivac

    Tor

    Looks like the Tor project is going to suddenly become very popular!

    That or small AWS servers in the US owned by British residents who configure them as proxies, this is also a good way to avoid the blocks on non GDRP compliant sites.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me..

    .. or does the expression "finding a backdoor" have a far more entertaining meaning in this context?

    :)

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Terrible

    Jilling off, finding a back door. What next, Piholes? Aka miniature pirate hotspots based on hardcore hardware and salvaged laptop parts intended purely to circumvent blocks?

  24. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Hamfisted technological solution to a social problem

    Aka me and my friends sneaking into R16 and R18 movies when we were 15 by bluffing our way past the ticket taker (note they never asked ages when selling tickets, only when actually entering the theater - they weren't stupid)

    The best ever response to "Think of the Children!" is "Yes of course, after all Jimmy Saville was always thinking of them" (both in public and in private)

    As at least one other poster has pointed out, abuse is almost always perpetrated by those known to both the victim and the victim's family (and when outside the family circle of close friends the abuser is usually someone in a position of significant social power/influence)

    This smacks very much of "LOOK AT THE MIGHTY OZ AND PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN"

  25. Uncle Ron

    Reason?

    I'd like to get a good, comprehensive reason for doing this. Other than religious or moral outrage from people not gettin' any. That -cannot- be enough numbers to get attention from "the authorities." I mean really, where are the damage estimates? Who is really getting hurt? Isn't this just politicians caving (or campaigning) for a (maybe small) minority of voters who actually believe that smut hurts us more than, say, guns or drugs or banks? Aren't the real damaged parties strip clubs, prostitutes, and pimps? There are hundreds of thousands of cam-girls (and -boys) around the world who actually make a living dancing and playing around on cam sites. The only difference between puberty and 18 is 4 or 5 or 6 years. Any real children aren't that interested anyway. I'm guessing smut-on-the-web deters unwanted pregnancies, rapes, and psychological distress more than injury to minors. IMHO, this whole effort is stupid. Could the real parties behind this be ISPs and backbones who feel their pipes are being dragged down by these sites and don't feel they are being justly compensated?

    1. cyberdemon
      Devil

      Re: Reason?

      No, the reason is that Mrs. May and her ilk believe in stable government, 1984 style. That means mass surveillance so that they can arrest anyone who disagrees with them.

      This is just an excuse to further that cause.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reason?

      Used to have a maths teacher called Uncle Ron when I was at school, and he was bent as a nine bob note. Don't suppose you are the same Uncle Ron, though, he'd be well over 100 years old by now. (He was a really nice bloke really, but he put on this persona as a joke, and we all had a good laugh with him.)

  26. goats in pajamas

    priceless

    So, one spit roast for every two kids cartoons and "no age restriction required". Job done. Law circumvented. Another classic example of clueless dweebs in the corridors of some Ministry not understanding anything.

  27. razorfishsl

    Just borrow ur dads credit card & details.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

  29. elaar

    So any child/teenager can go to Twitter, hunt out their favourite porn stars, follow them, simply click on "yes, view profile" after being warned about sensitive content and get access to pornographic pictures and videos? And this would be perfectly fine because twitter has less than 1/3rd pornographic content.

    Obviously that's just one example of how this legislation achieves absolutely nothing.

  30. RedCardinal

    >before the government's age check kicks in

    If it ever does. Don't hold your breath....

  31. Gordon861

    Government Pass

    How long before the, currently non-existent, Government Porn Pass code is just shared amongst groups of friends or over the web?

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Government Pass

      As ever the login and pass are likely to be cypherpunks/cypherpunks

  32. rtspam

    Oh well.... it was good while it lasted

    One is back to using one's imagination... assuming that one still has one?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh well.... it was good while it lasted

      "One is back to using one's imagination... assuming that one still has one?"

      No doubt some MP or lobbyist will demand that children (under-18) must take their bath in a chemise to avoid any self-corruption.***

      ***Apparently a practice enforced in some children's homes run by nuns.

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