Pornography

Want to Look at Online Porn? The U.K. Gov't Wants to Strip You of Your Privacy

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Theresa May
Tolga Akmen/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Prime Minister Theresa May's administration wants to demolish British citizens' privacy if they look at pornography online.

That's not what the government saying, but that's exactly what's going to happen. The United Kingdom is tightening its controls on internet porn in an efforit to keep children away. They're doing this by mandating that porn companies collect proof that anybody attempting to visit a site is a legal adult before letting him see so much as a nipple. This could potentially force people to surrender private information—a credit card number, for example—just to get access, let alone download anything.

The authorities plan to get this system in place by next spring. The enforcement looks pretty severe, according to Ars Technica:

Sites that refuse to cooperate face the wrath of earmarked regulator the British Board of Film Classifications (BBFC). It will have the power to dish out fines of up to £250,000 [about $325,000] for non-compliance, cut loose misbehaving porn operators from their payment providers, advertisers, and other ancillary services that they use in the UK, or they could be blocked by ISPs—a method that the government's DCMS parliamentary under-secretary Lord Ashton previously insisted" would be used sparingly."

Ars Technica notes that many of these porn sites are not based in the United Kingdom, and that it's going to be hard to implement a policy that people can't work around. But more importantly: For the sites that are forced into compliance, what could potentially happen to that data if it's breached? This isn't just porn purchases being tracked now. It's porn site visits attached to an identifiable person's name:

"Age verification could lead to porn companies building databases of the UK's porn habits, which could be vulnerable to Ashley Madison style hacks," argued Open Rights Group director Jim Killock.

"The government has repeatedly refused to ensure that there is a legal duty for age verification providers to protect the privacy of Web users," he said, adding: "There is also nothing to ensure a free and fair market for age verification."

Let us not forget that May's government has implemented the Investigatory Powers Act, which requires internet providers store users' online histories for access by various government agencies in crime-fighting efforts.

Let us also not forget that even when granting that adults have the right to look at pornography, the U.K. government demands the authority to decide what sort of sexual practices you are allowed to enjoy. The government nanny is not fond of kinksters who get their jollies off naughty fetishes where people do mean things to each other.

Last year Ars Technica documented just how difficult it will actually be for the U.K. to keep people—even those under the age of 18—from accessing internet porn. Read more about it here.

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42 responses to “Want to Look at Online Porn? The U.K. Gov't Wants to Strip You of Your Privacy

  1. What privacy?

  2. You know who else built databases of English porn habits ….

      1. Memorizing and carrying in your heart at all times is different from a database.

    1. I lost interest in English porn after they banned facesitting.

      1. Your not into fanny-swatting aficionado?

  3. Maybe it’s time to get over it. If parents want to keep their kids away from porn, there are tools available which might work with sufficient determination and strictness. Otherwise, big fucking deal. Online porn has been ubiquitous for well over a decade now and I don’t think anyone can point to any real, significant harm done.

    1. Two words: Crusty. Juggler.

    2. Online porn has been ubiquitous for well over a decade now and I don’t think anyone can point to any real, significant harm done.

      My carpal tunnel says otherwise.

      1. Dude, change up your style.

        1. I think Escher is talking about perfecting your technique. Your lifting with your back — so to speak.

      1. Awesome!

  4. It’s like 1984 was a how-to manual for the Brits.

    1. saw a bumper sticker on a Prius the other day- Orwell was an optimist.

    2. I was just thinking that myself. Thank God we left the Empire, eh?

      Not that the puritans really knew where it was going to lead, I’d guess.

  5. …it’s going to be hard to implement a policy that people can’t work around.

    That’s what she said.

    Also, they don’t already have cctv cameras pointed at every Limey’s cock?

  6. Scott, teach the kid to PM Links. Ty in advance.

  7. British porn must be awesome.

    1. pastie skin, bad teeth, meh

      1. Go on…

        1. XD my favorite ‘go on’ in a while.

          *breaks through the fourth wall like Hulk on bath salts*

      2. Meh is British? Who knew. He does have a British sense of humor, come to think of it.

  8. The government nanny is not fond of kinksters who get their jollies off naughty fetishes where people do mean things to each other.

    You know, Not So Great Britian, if a person wants to, for example, visually explore the beauty of ball stomping while being pelted in the face with stale Hobnobs, they should able to do so.

    1. You leave Hobnobs out of this!

  9. “Let me be clear, this is not a sexual thing. This is just a thing about liking to be whipped about the hamstrings, here and there, say. Now let me say a word about that. Twizzlers? Why? Well, let me list for you the number of items I’ve unsuccessfully had applied in the near past. Electrical cords? Stingy. Not in a good way. Wire hangers? [chuckles] Hey, that’s too rough for this guy. Pencil? Can’t get the torque, proper, from a pencil. Actual whip? Cliché. Come on. Necktie? Makes me think about work. Shoe lace. You lose them, then you’re walking around with loose shoes. Bicycle spoke. Tried one. Close. Makes a distracting whistling and slicing motion that anticipates the wallop. So it takes some of the fun out of it. But your Twizzler? Well, your Twizzler has a friendly heft and porous surface space that lets you know it’s there without leaving a mark. Now, this part might sound a little out there.
    My alarm clock. This thing. The first sensation of each new day. Each new day, same old sensation. Not tomorrow.
    You guys sleep here, make yourselves comfy. Not a sexual thing, as I said. 6am. Let’s say good morning by wailing on me.”

  10. The tube sites became popular precisely because you don’t need to provide your CC to enjoy thousands of hours of porn. FFS don’t take porn back to the dark ages

  11. Given that this is the home of the Spanner case, where a bunch of people engaging in spankings were convicted of being accomplices to assault and battery on themselves. why am I not that surprised.

  12. How are the Brits defining porn?

  13. Just require all porn sites to have a little window in the corner with a picture of Queen Elizabeth giving you a disapproving look. In the US, substitute Hillary Clinton.

  14. “Want to Look at Online Porn? The U.K. Gov’t Wants to Strip You of Your Privacy”

    Oh I get it now, they like to watch.

  15. You know, I’ve kinda assumed since I was a teenager that the NSA is already monitoring and recording everyone’s porn habits. So it’s kind of heartening to hear that the UK needs a law like this, because it means that they don’t already have that information.

    1. or they’re going to go public on it.

      1. Yes, what could go wrong with having a database of everyone’s fetishes that you could use to blackmail dissidents, the opposition, or anyone else that gets in your cross hairs?

        1. +1 Hoover

          1. I sure blew that (so to speak). Should have said “they’re just hoovering it up”.

  16. Not if Theresa May is in it.

  17. This really proves how idiotic and out of touch these people are. Like it is going to stop any kid from looking at porn

    This is like CNN extorting an apology out of the meme creator because they don’t know how the internet works. There’s more CNN memes now then ever before

  18. Interesting that they are basically saying that they have no way of following your online browsing currently. Or is that the rouse?

  19. I knew Scott was an Ars Technica fanboy.

    That website is so much of an echo chamber, they ban anyone even discussing Libertarian points of views.

  20. eventually all web sites will be off planet to avoid all laws. Dam it I should keep that to myself so i can make money from these ideas

  21. This is to safeguard the youths. Hundreds if not thousands of youths below the ages of 10 are constantly watching porn delivered to them through ads. This is not right and harms these innocent kids before they can become adults.

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