back to article El Reg talks to PornHub sister biz AgeID – and an indie pornographer – about age verification

Smut empire Mindgeek's age verification arm, AgeID, has commissioned an independent security assessment – and pledged not to store data – in a bid to reassure detractors it won't create hackable databases of users' kinks. Other ways to verify: Offline, no documents AgeID last year announced it had signed an exclusivity deal …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huge loophole?

    "They will require visitors to prove they are over 18 in order to access a site where adult content makes up more than one-third of the material"

    Sooooo, all a pr0n website has to do to avoid doing age checks is to put up two thirds of their content as "not adult". Regardless of your opinion on age checks, you've got to admit that's one big loophole right there.

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Huge loophole?

      you've got to admit that's one big loophole right there.

      A huge, gaping, hole one might say.

      the grubby mac please (obvs) --->

      1. BillG Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Huge loophole?

        "After the user has verified their email address, they verify their age via a third-party provider, using options including documents like a passport or driving licence."

        Um, yeah, sure. Just remember Google's First Law of Acquisition:

        "One you have their data, do whatever you want with it. Privacy statements are for suckers."

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          All irrelevant.

          Once you charge, you push people not to ageid, but to a vpn.

    2. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Huge loophole?

      Sooooo, all a pr0n website has to do to avoid doing age checks is to put up two thirds of their content as "not adult". Regardless of your opinion on age checks, you've got to admit that's one big loophole right there

      AKA the old "I only read Playboy for the informative articles" defence.

      1. stiine Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: Huge loophole?

        Damn straight. I first discovered author Harlan Ellison on the pages of Playboy when I was 10. By the time I was 35 I had managed to collect first printings of all but one of his books. It took a long time because I wasn't just going to send lots of money to ebay or steal " 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman " from the public library.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          'I wasn't just going to …. steal " 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman " from the public library.'

          Why not, that's how I got my copy.

          erm.. there is a Statute of Limitations on unreturned library books, isn't there?

          1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

            Re: Huge loophole?

            there is a Statute of Limitations on unreturned library books, isn't there?

            No

          2. Simon Harris Silver badge
            Terminator

            Re: Huge loophole?

            I used to date a librarian.

            They will hunt you down as relentlessly as The Terminator.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: Huge loophole?

              So watch for vengeful Orangutans.

              Important safety tip for library thieves.

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          Yes, because Playboy was able to pay well for their fiction and articles, and for a large and well-trained staff of acquisitions and development editors, in their heyday they printed a great deal of high-quality material between the pages of airbrushed, overly-mannered, rather tame pornography. That's actually one of the most interesting things about Playboy - the one thing they weren't good at is the thing they were best known for.

          For many years Playboy published a simultaneous "library edition" without the smut, so that libraries could carry the quality print stuff without worrying about patrons1 stealing the magazines or the town elders tugging on their beards in alarm.

          Back in the day I thought I'd be funny to get a subscription to the library edition, then leave issues lying about the house at parties. "Sorry, I only get it for the articles."

          1Excepting Ellison fans, of course.

      2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Huge loophole?

        So a lot more work for this guy then.

        1. Kane Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Huge loophole?

          What a legend!

      3. Mycho Silver badge

        Re: Huge loophole?

        AKA the old "I only read Playboy for the informative articles" defence.

        Well the braille version sold reasonably well...

      4. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Huge loophole?

        The informative articles on cars.

        And it was "Men Only".

        So I'm told.

        By Others.

    3. Neil Brown

      Optional

      They'd need to stop marketing it as a porn site too.

      Whether that's sufficiently dissuasive or not remains to be seen.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Optional

        notpornhubwinkwink.com?

        1. caffeine addict Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Optional

          You've got a typo in there...

          1. Stevie Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Optional

            Norty man.

      2. garethm

        Re: Optional

        Didn't PornHub run this as an advert at one point?

        PornHub. The web's biggest library of NOTHING!

    4. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Huge loophole?

      So all they have to do is fill up 2/3 of the site with cat videos.

      Mine's the one with the obvious Mrs Slocombe double entendres in the pocket -------->

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Huge loophole?

        So all they have to do is fill up 2/3 of the site with cat videos.

        A Quantum Porn Site

        Is it a cat video or a porn video?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huge loophole?

          Or set up a "Schrödinger's Smut" type mechanism. Whereupon when you click "next" there's only a 1 in 3 chance that you'll get a grumble flick, but you won't know til you click.

          The next video could be porn, a cat video...or taking into account rule 34. Both. Or indeed neither.

          Also, where does the law stand on people reviewing porn?

          Let's say someone sets up a porn review website. Where porn stars review porn movies.

          A sort of "pornception" if you will.

        2. Simon Harris Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          Is it a cat video or a porn video?

          There's a difference?

    5. Richard 90

      Re: Huge loophole?

      So once i've registered imover18honest@hotmale.com and got the address verified with my passport, how do they verify that it's me logging into it and not the random horny teenager i sold it to?

    6. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Huge loophole?

      Well, of course:

      They will require visitors to prove they are over-18 in order to access a site where adult content makes up more than one-third of the material.

      Is total bullshit, but then we should expect nothing less from our vacuous Daily Mail touting lizard-wannabe ruling classes... Various metrics have to be taken into account:

      • What is adult content
      • How is this measured? Seriously, by file size (what format), quantity of files, size of image, amount of "adult content" in each frame of a video or image? Screen estate compared to useless wasted space? If a video has 20 seconds of whatever legal boilerplate is required in whatever "god fearing" nation at the end of a 40 second flick where 15 seconds the participants are dressed, does that count?
      • What constitutes "access"? Visiting the site's search page? Attempting to subscribe? Searching for content through some other search method other than the site's own?

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Huge loophole?

        How is this measured?...

        What constitutes "access"? ...

        Will there be a department of the Civil Service set up to visit porn sites and thoroughly quantify their contents? If so, please indicate salary scale and send me a job application form.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          If you have been keeping up with the news you will know that a lot of teachers, nurses and junior gradew civil servants are apparently having to make ends meet through sex work.

          Back to basics indeed.

    7. DiViDeD Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: putting up 2/3 of non porn

      They should exclusively stock Japanese pr0n. Apart from containing some of the most bizarre sex acts imaginable (and quite a few you'd be hard pressed to imagine), they generally include a 20 minute preamble of a woman sitting on a sofa, chatting to camera, or a bunch of girls giggling about hairstyles.

      Um...

      Or so I've been told <ahem>

    8. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Huge loophole?

      The problem being that it only needs one child at a school who has access to porn. That's if the school children on the bus I often use are anything to go by. The boys at the back are often swapping porn clips on their phones and tablets. it will mean that the kids with the technical knowledge who can beat the ban will be popular. They'll be the main conduit and either the knowledge of how to beat the ban will come from them or the pron will.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huge loophole?

        "That's if the school children on the bus I often use are anything to go by. "

        Comma missing there?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huge loophole?

        Oh how I remember the guy in my first year at secondary skule who lived in Virginia Water (why does that stick in my mind ???) and stole Health and Efficiency off the WHS stall there. How we waited in eager anticipation for him to bring it in.

        Now that was _proper_ porn :-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Huge loophole?

          "Now that was _proper_ porn "

          "Health and Efficiency" ill-prepared a generation of boys who eventually discovered that accommodating girlfriends had pubic hair and nipples.

          The current generation might have a similar expectation of bald pubic areas - but apparently they may find that is now commonplace. Not sure what they would make of the neat triangles on women in Mayfair or Penthouse. Possibly a similar reaction to the 1970s generation encountering the Victorian/Edwardian idea of naked beauties.

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Huge loophole?

          Ah, happy days. At my school we had Bosse Bengtsson, from Helsingborg (that's in Sweden, for the geographically challenged), who always brought a stack of goodies back to use as currency for the coming term!

  2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
    WTF?

    This Identity thing is the key

    The basic problem with any system which requires the user to prove their age is that this requires exposing identity documentation to an unverified third party. However many layers of obfuscation are put in, this problem remains: someone has a list of identities, someone else has a list of what they've been looking at.

    Given the unenviable record that civil servants have of bypassing privacy checks and carelessly losing data, this ought to worry any sane person. I'd give it three months before a dataset linking names to porn viewed is accidentally left on a train somewhere.

    A much easier way around this problem is to pay for a VPN service. The only info exposed to the VPN supplier will be payment info, and URLs visited; not content, not identities, and not anything really damaging. As the reputation and business model of a VPN relies on secrecy, many simply do not log this data, meaning that what they don't have cannot be leaked.

    That's the light side. The dark side is what happens when a teenager who has not got any way to pay for anything online tries looking for porn. They are the group most hormonally motivated to want to see this material, and the group least intellectually able to choose a safe means of doing so. They are the people who'll use free VPNs, and thus the people whose every online move will be tracked by the mostly Chinese-owned free VPNs.

    This raises the spectre of kids seeing exactly the same imagery that they got before, but having all this behaviour tracked by criminals who can then use it as extortion material. In other words, nice one UK Law-makers; you made a situation much, much worse through your actions.

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: This Identity thing is the key

      Its another example of a crappy law created just to be seen to be doing something I suspect it will go the same way as its many predecessors ie: a couple of weak prosecutions on soft targets and then forgotten about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a crappy law created

        why, the crappy law to block unlawful (and other content) at ISP level already works very well thankyouverymuch, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, you know what Imean, eh eh? This is just another step in this ridiculous dance and we all happily keep dancing, each to their own tune :)

      2. theModge

        Re: This Identity thing is the key

        couple of weak prosecutions on soft targets and then forgotten about

        However it'll be left on the statute books as a vague threat because no one will dare be seen repealing it, at least for 30 years or so.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: This Identity thing is the key

          There is the beauty of what they're doing. "Think of the children" and "porn". Nail down the porn sites because no one will publically admit to being a customer (in politics anyway). Then move the goalposts to what they really want to control. This has all the hallmarks of a "bait and switch" scam but at a national (soon to be worldwide) level.

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: This Identity thing is the key

            Well, apart from the MPs who have been caught with porn on the "work" computers and when challenged either chose to lie about not knowing how it got there or blame it on somebody else having their password. So we have an MP that is either a liar or cares shit all about security and gives their password away? Or, probably both really...

          2. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

            Re: This Identity thing is the key

            > because no one will publically admit to being a customer (in politics anyway).

            And when they're caught out because the documentary evidence in the form of their expense claim (they don't like paying so they think we should pay for them) become public knowledge of course they blame their husbands.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Identity thing is the key

          [...] no one will dare be seen repealing it, at least for 30 years or so."

          The repeal will be bundled with several other similar laws "to bring them up-to-date" in a new law. Then it will be discovered that the draft bill has been used by vested interest "advisers" to make the new law more draconian.

    2. Tomato Krill

      Re: This Identity thing is the key

      Not even URLs - hosts

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: This Identity thing is the key

      Even easier is to go to a data-monger and buy an adult ID account that's already verified, rinse and repeat.

      Sounds like a nice little earner for some n'e'er do-well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Identity thing is the key

        "[...] and buy an adult ID account that's already verified, rinse and repeat."

        What is there to stop someone getting, or duplicating, many verifications in their own name and giving them to under 18 pals?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: This Identity thing is the key

          My point exactly

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This Identity thing is the key

            I'm spartacus

    4. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: This Identity thing is the key

      Dr Dan Holdsworth: nice one UK Law-makers; you made a situation much, much worse through your actions.

      To be honest though, I feel this sentence could be considered as standard boilerplate to be appended to any and all articles about UK government/politicians.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: This Identity thing is the key

        To be honest though, I feel this sentence could be considered as standard boilerplate to be appended to any and all articles about UK government/politicians.

        Should be carved over the doors to Parliament.....

        Going out...

        ...and going in, amended from 'actions' to 'words' because these numpties always seem to be interviewed on the TV and need reminding....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Identity thing is the key

          Re: "Should be carved over the doors to Parliament....."

          Along with "The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead. And the Dead keep it. The way is shut." The Oathbreakers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This Identity thing is the key

        As I once read - the best a Government can hope to do by its actions is avoid making any situation worse.

        Trouble is, they're programmed to continuously promise utopia, nirvana and unicorns.

        Which is why we're in the mess we're in.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This Identity thing is the key

          "Trouble is, they're programmed to continuously promise utopia, nirvana and unicorns."

          As ancient as the sentiment expressed in the King James Bible as a promised land of milk and honey.

    5. RuffianXion

      Re: This Identity thing is the key

      VPN you say? https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/29/smut_site_offers_vpn_so_you_dont_bare_all_online/

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meh

    This crappy law was the final straw in me getting a proper VPN and bypassing the Westminster asshats for all personal browsing, good luck to them in attempting to ram this rubbish down the entire planets throte.

    1. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Somewhere in Cheltenham, a number of MI5 employees are quietly crying into their beers.

      Time was when you could look at internet links, scan for VPNs and say:

      Businessman, businessman, paranoid idiot, businessman, businessman, dodgy (investigate further), businessman...

      After that law comes into force, it'll go:

      Wanker, wanker, wanker, wanker....

      They'll have lost a valuable way of spotting suspicious characters, lost under a haystack of one-handed typists. It won't even stop the teenagers from accessing dodgy material; I'd guess that pretty much nobody will even bother with the Government ID unless they have a non-porn need for it.

      1. theModge

        Re: Meh

        Similarly; all Tor usage now means is "well educated student procuring pharmaceuticals", rather than Revolutionary \ Terrorist \ Infosec professional with a point to prove.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh

          Who knew there were so many privately owned GC/MS in need of regular calibration ;D

  4. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Google

    I'm surprised that Google hasn't started offering this service yet to por..., sites that require age-verification. They know all of our ages anyway and they get more info (than they already have, or not, as the case may be) on what porn we like to look at.

    The credit card companies could charge 5c (or, in the U.K. 5p) per Age-Verification Check and then all you would need is a good excuse for the Other Half when the credit card bill comes in.

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Google

      Don't be silly, Google would never want to have anything to do with something so unethical.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Google

        Don't be silly, Google would never want to have anything to do with something so unethical.

        Don't worry - there's still Facebook

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Google

      They do have age verification for YouTube

      It asks you for your date of birth. You enter 4th February 2001, and then it lets you in.

      1. caffeine addict Silver badge

        Re: Google

        It allows kids that young in? That's disgusting.

        Wait... hang on... Oh crap I'm old...

        1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

          Re: Google

          I thought that too. 2001 was only a few years' ago!

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Google

            In 2001, we were all sniggering at people who had lost money in half-baked dot.com schemes.

            Now, we are all sniggering at people who have lost money in half-baked initial coin offerings.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Google

        When's your birthday? Umm... OUT!

        When's your birthday? 4th February. What year? Every year! OUT!

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Google

      Add Facebook to that Google comment. I'm wondering if Pornhub will be adding a "like us on Facebook" button. Maybe they already have, it's been awhile since I've been there and in the interest of "research"..... Mines the well worn one on the hanger in back.

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Google

        "Why do porn sites have a +1 button?? I don't want people to know I'm on Google+"

  5. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And how long

    until the government extend the AgeId scheme to cover other things deamed 'harmful' by the likes of sun editors and daily w(m)ail readers.

    "Hmmmm animal farm could be used to undermine confidence in HM government..... lets ban it"

    "four legs good two legs bad"

    "four legs good two legs bad"

    "four legs good two legs bad"

    "four legs good two legs better"

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: And how long

      "four legs good two legs bad"

      Is that one of the more dodgy videos on PornHub?

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: And how long

      until the government extend the AgeId scheme to cover other things deamed 'harmful' by the likes of sun editors and daily w(m)ail readers.

      It's called Daily Mail politics:

      Pick a topic that has appeared in the Daily Mail and enraged the readers.

      Announce you are consulting on banning/restricting/encouraging this (delete as applicable).

      Receive suggestions that the law will be unworkable.

      Go ahead anyway.

      Win votes

      Simple!

  6. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    like a passport or driving licence.

    So, two old guys are selling photocopies of their PP and DL for 5 quid.... How can any online system detect if Joey is presenting Joey's PP or Joe Sr.'s PP?

    Pedant as he looks very confused too...

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: like a passport or driving licence.

      Why would someone trust scans of their passport or driving licence to some random third party.

      In the UK, only place that gets a scan of my passport is my bank - and they do that on paper, not electronically, and its shredded when finished with.

      But with some random "verifier" a lot harder to be sure they will not keep the scans of what are very useful identity theft data (genuine age (not fake DOB given to most web sites), passport number (useful on travel site exploits), genuine name & address etc. )

      And lots of UK people lack driving licence and passport

      .. and as chivo243 implies, very easy to use someone elses documents, e.g. smut searching kid uses image of a parents ID to create their age verified user account

      1. scrubber
        Windows

        Re: like a passport or driving licence.

        "Why would someone trust scans of their passport or driving licence to some random third party."

        Ask all those people going to pubs and clubs where scans are taken of IDs on entry and stored on some unknown server for some unknown amount of time with almost definitely very crappy security just in case there is any trouble and the police want to know who was in that night.

  7. steviebuk Silver badge

    So we all know...

    ....this is going to be pointless anyway as everyone will start using VPNs. The question is, the AgeID is for UK only right? So will the sites redirect if you come from a different country? I would of thought so otherwise it will kill their business. Again, VPN will make it pointless.

    The other question would be sites that just link to videos that are hosting on other sites not run by them. Will they be required to use AgeID? If so, will Google search also be forced to use AgeID when someone does a search for naughty pictures and sees all the thumbnails? If Google can claim "We don't need AgeID as we don't host the material" then all the other sites that just link will be able to do the same.

  8. MMR
    Devil

    Pssst, hey, you

    Yea you...

    Wanna buy a freshly imported DVD from "Europe" with some naughty pics on?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sexit?

    So we run out of porn round about the same time we run out of food? So you won't even be able to rub one out to stave the hunger pangs?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Sexit?

      "So you won't even be able to rub one out to stave the hunger pangs?"

      Kids today. No imagination!!

      (and short attention spans)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pledged not to store data in a bid to reassure detractors

    rotfl. Why would I trust them, if the cream of the cream internet giants have already cleared a path for mistrust? Message is: trust NO ONE, and PARTICULARLY those, that plead to trust them. They will sell or give up your data at the first, or if incompetent, at second opportunity. AT BEST - they will get hacked before they sell it.

  11. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Gimp

    John Smith / P455w0rd / Age 45

    Simples.

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Trollface

    Strumming that retro vibe...

    First vinyl, then cassettes, now.....

    hedgeporn!

    1. KillStuffMount

      Re: Strumming that retro vibe...

      Bah, how to feel old. Had to explain to a lad in work why I was giggling quietly to myself, this generation that's grown up with pr0n on tap will now have to learn about the joy of a lucky hedgerow find. By the time he was just starting to feel the sap rising, I was on to University and as I put it "chasing the real thing".

      Him: "no more hedges for you then?"

      Me: "Nope, just bushes".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strumming that retro vibe...

        Him: "What's a bush look like?"

  13. Milton Silver badge

    Join up today

    And anyone who cannot or chooses not to pass an age check will be a welcome addition to a recently-exhumed porn publishing industry selling disks (or more likely μSD chips and successors) with a vast abundance of smut, much of it no doubt scraped from sites like PornHub, infinitely copyable and redistributable. And then there will be those who take to the dimmer recesses of the internet to visit non-compliant sites—an obvious side effect of this stupid law will be to make porn a "gateway drug" for the dark web: many of those who wouldn't otherwise have visited will nod do so, and some will stay for other ... dubious delights. Much as Prohibition fuelled crime, and the War on Drugs™ has sent untold billions into criminals' pockets, so yet another ill-considered, self-righteous ban will have counter-productive, socially damaging effects.

    Not very bright? A bit ignorant? No good at anything really, but oodles of misplaced confidence? Lazy, but got a big mouth?

    Become an MP! Join up today and reach your full potential for arrogance and incompetence. Hurry—there are lives, and entire nations, waiting to be ruined by gobby know-nothings ...

    1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: there are lives, and entire nations, waiting to be ruined by gobby know-nothings

      It's not What you know its WHO you know that matters to an MP hence why the most important qualification for the title of MP is having the right stripes on your school tye.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Join up today

      Was going for a meal at a restaurant in Soho a few years ago and someone at the next table was talking about how the area had changed. She suggested that the internet had killed the number of sex shops in the area. That's probably true and more so now but she went on to suggest something else. She said the next step would be to restrict access to porn on the internet to take advantage of this and make access to it complete.

  14. MunkeeJuice

    Um Penetration Testing

    Should the term penetration testing and porn site be used in the same article.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Um Penetration Testing

      Yes, yes, Oh God YES!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Um Penetration Testing

        "Yes, yes, Oh God YES!"

        I'll have some that please.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easter

    This isn't real, is it? We're already at february. Have they told all these thousands of American companies that they need to do this to show smut to the UK?

    Here's the thing: this is basically, really, uncontrollable except at a home level. Install a filter on your PC. That'll stop the kids accidentally typing something. And when they're old enough to start looking for it, you really might as well just let them get on with it. If you think you're going to actually stop a teenage boy seeing porn, you're incredibly naive. Worst case, one kid in the school year gets hold of his dad's ID and starts sharing it or sharing videos via some mechanism with his friends.

    Media control only ever really worked when it was physical and had stockists. You could stop a cinema showing Life of Brian. Try that today. People will be streaming it from Chinese flash sites.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Easter

      I've yet to see any mention of how they're expecting to deal with non-UK based porn sites. Block all of them? (good luck with that). Threaten them with legal action? (won't do much). Ignore them? (so only British pornographers lose out).

      >>>>>> Paris, for obvious reasons.

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Easter

        It does actually say that, they'll be cajoling the ISPs into blocking the sites (Ofcourse that doesn't work, you know that, I know that, every 13 year old boy with common sense or the ability to google knows that, but apparently that particular fact has eluded the lawmakers).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easter

      "Media control only ever really worked when it was physical and had stockists."

      There was always the corner shop with under the counter stock.

  16. Ol'Peculier

    Many in the porn industry also fear it will help the giant increase its stranglehold on the market, pushing out smaller providers that cater for more diverse tastes.

    Such as BDSM I suspect?

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    El Reg--you were talking to PornHub affiliates about "age identification"??

    Suuurreee you were. You can admit the truth. We're all friends and (kinda-sorta) adults here!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jokes on them

    Ha!

    Thanks to software like youtube-dl I've downloaded all I will ever need :)

  19. Warm Braw Silver badge

    They verify their age via a third-party provider

    Good morning! I see you're interested in porn and are "barely legal". Would you like to earn a few quid? I can provide you to a third party...

  20. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    People will go the path of least resistance (not necessarily the path of least cost). The path of least resistance is a VPN. Nobody gets a copy of your passport, your spouse is less likely to find that "new email address just used for testing" and everyone's happy. This age ID thing needs to be global really, but that'll hurt income too much.

    By "people" I do mean those both permitted and not permitted to view the stuff.

  21. d3vy Silver badge

    I thought it was weird how many adverts for nord vpn I had seen popping up in mainstream outlets... makes perfect sense now.

    I’m not going to go into a high street shop and buy a glorified porn token for £5 just so that I can prove my age online.

    But I’ll bet the guy in the corner shop next to the high school will do a roaring trade in £20 no questions asked cards...

  22. Bush_rat

    The Onus Should Fall on the Gov

    If they want to enforce age verification for such sites, the government should offer an "Over 18" psuedo-anonymous code. Yes there'll still probably be a database of names and IDs, but if it's government controlled then the MPs will hear no end of it losing the one handed keyboard warrior vote.

  23. JohnFen Silver badge

    ...and after they're done

    "it commissioned the NCC Group to carry out an independent security assessment to confirm the application doesn't track user behaviour or store any age verification data."

    ...and after the assessment is done, what's to stop them from swapping in the *real* code?

  24. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Because ....

    ... porn gives young people an unreasonable and unhealthy impression of how fast a plumber will come to your house.

  25. adnim Silver badge

    Does gov.uk

    employ IT professionals?

    I expect so.

    Does gov.uk listen to them?

    I expect so

    Does gov.uk understand what said IT professionals say?

    I expect so, at least partially.

    All all can conclude is that this law is not about protecting children. It is about appearing to care about children and winning votes from an IT illiterate public, with the added bonus of more data collection.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Does gov.uk

      All all can conclude is that this law is not about protecting children. It is about appearing to care about children and winning votes from an IT illiterate public, with the added bonus of more data collection.

      See my earlier comments about Daily Mail politics.

  26. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    what could possibly go wrong

    Well - everything. It'll all come out in the wash (you hope).

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Civil Service

    Must be excited. They're going to need a whole army of people to put stars over the tits of all the porn videos on the internet.

    Also, has anyone considered the possibility of combining geocaching and porn?

    It'd be an old school throw back to finding porn in bushes with a modern twist.

  28. scrubber
    Megaphone

    Age discrimination

    Porn? Not until you're 18.

    Knife? Not until you're 18.

    Fags? Not until you're 18.

    Wanna kill people? Join the Army at 16.

    The UK has child soldiers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Age discrimination

      "Wanna kill people? Join the Army at 16."

      IIRC there is an over-18 threshold for combat duties. The UK is however exceptional in allowing enlistment at 16.

      UK 16 year olds can get married and have offspring. Other European countries may have an age lower than 16 for sexual consent - but generally an 18 threshold for marriage.

      There has been a trend in the UK to "infantilise" teenagers. There was a recent time when a 16/17 old was regarded as an adolescent rather than a child. Research has shown that the brain development for areas like responsibility is now delayed until their mid-twenties.

      There is a dichotomy between the age of puberty decreasing due to nutrition - and a developed society wanting to keep children in education as long as possible. The Scandinavian approach to sex education appears to be a workable solution.

    2. Mike Pellatt

      Re: Age discrimination

      16 ??

      I joined the school CCF and ran around a local beauty spot on "exercises" firing .303 blanks when I was 14.

  29. Sooty

    big mistake

    it's not going to stop people underage from getting porn, all it will do is stop them getting it from the "legitimate" sources. So they'll start trawling the less regulated porn sources, and are far more likely to come across something dodgy.

  30. Simon B-52

    State Registered W*nkers

    Love the idea of the one handed keyboard warrior vote, the comic potential of a large number of SRWs (State Registered W*nkers) is just throbbingly huge and guaranteed to go on getting bigger and bigger.

    All in all, about as good an idea as a fireworks display in an oil refinery...........

  31. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "The picture will become clearer over the next couple of months, as the deadline approaches and porn sites are forced to make their decisions."

    The picture will become more explicit over the next couple of months, as the deadline approaches and porn sites are forced to make their decisions.

    Fixed it for you. I think Team Reg is losing it's touch.

  32. Snarky Puppy

    A futile gesture

    If there were no porn sites on the Internet, there would be just one website on the Internet and it would be called bringbacktheporn.com.

  33. Dacarlo

    Its all about the money...

    Will it be cheaper and a lesser invasion of identity to get a VPN? If I were a porn site I'd be peddling a cheap VPorN service on the front page. "Buy our VPN services and get $n minutes/pictures/movie views from our stock partner sites!".

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    I've said it before, but I'll say it again...

    ...blocking porn isn't going to make the women in the UK any more appealing.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And all thanks to Claire Perry MP

    Her wasted effort will be as much use as Mary Whitehouse's.

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