Why the UK porn block was such a bad idea

Before we start dear readers, it is important to note that Labour may block porn if they get elected.

[https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/10353743/jeremy-corbyn-makes-a-note-when-asked-if-he-would-ban-porn/]

October 2019 we were given the great news that the UK government had dropped the porn block [UK’s controversial ‘porn blocker’ plan dropped].

This was a terrible idea for many reasons.

Many were under the belief that this porn block was going to be some great solution to end porn in the UK for good. But as most had no technical knowledge, it was all presumption. In truth the rules were going to mean sites such as Twitter would be allowed to have porn posted.

Many were shocked that the UK government had even considered having a Chinese style censorship. The plans were to block sites who did not have age verification.

Now before I go on, some may say age verification is a good thing.

Well, in some ways we have it now.

  1. If you sign up for broadband, one presumes you are 18 to sign a contract. and so, you are now in reality age verified. Your responsible for who uses your broadband, in the same way as if you bring beer home, it is not the supermarkets responsibility if you let your six year old drink beer.
  2. If you join a pay site, most will only let you join with a credit card. As such you need to be 18 to have a credit card.

Now let’s take a quick look why age verification was a bad idea.

  1. The age verification firms were run by a third party. These age verification firms could be run by gangsters in any country. Doing what they wanted with the data. They could be hacked. Yet the porn site owners were going to be forced to use them, and if not face a huge fine and/or have there site blocked from the UK.
  2. Increase piracy/crime. As legit sites would be blocked or forced to close. Pirate/illegal sites would simply replace them. We would see porn pirated on USB sticks. This would mean you had no one to contact to make sure those in the content were aged 18 or older and gave consent. Password sites would also be set up, trading age verification usernames and passwords.

It is not the first go the UK government had at trying to control the internet. Not so long ago we had ATVOD. ATVOD was not about porn, but films. If your site had any films on it (you had to host the films). Then you had to pay a yearly fee (about £100 and upwards). The result was many porn sites closed, while others simply moved (or claimed to have moved) outside the UK. While some simply ignored ATVOD. ATVOD was shut a few years ago.

The result one presumes from the ATVOD nonsense was that one suspects big internet firms were put off from moving to the UK as they would have to buy silly licenses.

Now some of you may have heard about the NSPCC report.

The study study was not an academic one, but was carried out by a “creative market research” group called OnePoll.

As such an open letter was posted.

[http://sexandcensorship.org/2015/04/open-letter-nspcc-re-porn-addiction-study/]

NSPCC CEO Peter Wanless responds to an open letter written by Jerry Barnett of the Sex & Censorship campaign about our new ChildLine campaign addressing porn.

[https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/news-opinion/nspcc-response-to-sex-censorship-criticism1/]

For those who are against porn, it is important to remember that over the last 4000 years, not one person (I suspect) has died from watching/reading porn. Yet each year people die from getting dressed.

Drink, over eating (getting fat), gambling, smoking and drugs are the things that harm or even kill people.

Porn is no more than entertainment. As such watching porn could not be more harmful that watching a horror film or a war film.

Some more links:

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