Brickbats

Brickbat: Show Us Your 'O Face'

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Australia's Department of Home Affairs says it wants to use facial recognition technology to limit children's access to online pornography. Those who want to watch porn would have their faces scanned and matched to the photos on their official IDs to show they are adults. Critics say this would allow the government to know every porn site someone goes to. In fact, the Home Affairs office would like to use facial recognition for a number of purposes. But so far, Parliament hasn't approved the creation of the biometric database needed for widespread use of facial recognition technology.

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  1. Ah yes, the worst abuses of power and curtailments of liberty are always ushered in to “protect the children.”

    Near future: person goes to court to try to stop some government overreach on eminent domain or some such thing. Government defense attorney says, “Are you sure you want to pursue this case, Mr Hentai Milf Threesome-Lover? Do you work colleagues know you like gonzo scenes with clowns?” Suit is promptly dropped.

    1. Or just the suit pants once they get home.

    2. Near future + 5 years: due to the proliferation of data on porn-watching habits of your neighbors, no one cares anymore.

      1. Let’s hope that would be the case!

        My fear is that there would be a coalition of anti-porn-in-general types plus politically- correct-porn-only types who would work to ruin the lives of those who don’t conform.

      2. I think that strongly depends on how weird the average Australian’s porn habits turn out to be, and how often they are substantially different from most other australians. What I mean is, people would stop caring if everyone’s sexual tastes turn out to be more-or-less uniquely weird, but if most people fall into some broad camps, the true weirdos could still be ostracized.

  2. I’m pretty sure it’s a violation of the terms of use to say you’re over 18 when you’re not when the little tick box pops up asking your age – isn’t that enough? It’s the rules, man! Why is the government so suspicious that their own citizens don’t follow the rules? What makes them so suspicious? Perhaps they themselves are guilty of failing to follow the rules? What sorts of porn sites are these politicians visiting that makes them suspicious of what others are up to? We demand to see their browser histories!

    1. The TOS thing is bullshit because the site owners are under no obligation to even care. Most don’t even have a checkbox anymore. Person violates terms of service? Oh well. What’s going to happen? Porn has changed a lot since the free sites popped up. Before porn companies didn’t want kids watching their movies because they didn’t pay. Scoring a porn back when I was a kid was a big deal.

      Today they don’t have to worry. Make them worry so they put it behind a paywall. Porn can become profitable again. As of now it’s free to children. It’s worse than that too.

      Some lady’s 15 year old daughter recently went missing and she was able to find her by videos uploaded to Pornhub. That’s messed up and proof they don’t verify ages. That one teacher that filmed the girls in the dressing room? Videos of it wound up on Pornhub.
      It’s a fucking mess. The laws are so lax they’re enabling criminal activity every day and the need to correct the problem isn’t there because of lack of liability.

      Facial recognition wouldn’t be needed if the above problems are corrected.

      1. To be clear, the things you’re describing as abuses are already illegal. Enforcement of existing law serves to handle them. The government stepping in to try and regulate internet porn is a) most likely to fail laughably and b) assuming it is somehow broadly successful, will force more people into a grey/black market of porn, and that will only increase both the opportunity and the profit for serious violations of the law (and, more significantly, serious violations of people).

        1. It’s not illegal for pornhub to host underage content if they themselves didn’t upload it. If it were they would be in jail. Due to revisions to Section 18 2257 they’re now considered a secondary producer which means they don’t have to verify age. This allows for illegal content to be uploaded daily. Those uploading are responsible for ID’s and pornhub’s verification process relies on the uploader maintaining all records required by law and assuring pornhub it is legit. That’s it. They take your word on it. Throw in CDA 230 and they’re 100% free from liability for all user-uploaded content. As a result the only way underage content is removed is if someone reports it. This has lead to underage content being on the site for over 3 years even after being reported. (They have no way to verify if the user is in fact underage) That’s a fucked up system. Pornhub is literally the distributor for the grey/black market of porn because the laws that the industry has to adhere to are ignored by the users uploading content because they don’t have to adhere to any regulation. It allows users to upload content anonymously. Good luck finding them to enforce the laws. If Pornhub was forced to verify the identity and age of all people that appear in the videos they host like the porn industry is then not only would you curb underage content being uploaded, but it would also prevent pirated material because the uploader would not have the documents required to upload it. The majority of pornhub is pirated content. That’s their business model. Allow the upload of all material minus the companies they own and only remove if it is reported.

          The system you are defending is what is killing the industry and creating a black market for porn. The porn industry has zero desire to release illegal content because you can’t sell it and your doors will close if caught. Pornhub doesn’t care because they don’t pay for their content and they give it away for free.

          These issues are easy to fix and laws like the proposed Australian one hurt the industry more, but that is what will happen unless the issues are fixed. The burdens then get placed on the consumer.

  3. Do the same rules apply for all porn? Surely in our wokeness wouldn’t block gay or trans porn.

    1. Lesbian porn should be universally celebrated.

      1. I agree with that statement.

  4. And to think this continent was a place where ‘civilized’ nations dumped their criminals.
    How times change.

    1. Sounds to me like the criminals took over…which is par for the course everywhere.

  5. No porn for you, your official ID clearly shows you are not Asian.

  6. Those who want to watch porn would have their faces scanned and matched to the photos on their official IDs to show they are adults.

    How unsexy.

    1. Imagine all of the naked people the government is going to see. Those people that get naked before scanning their face. Oh god…

      What if you don’t have a webcam?

  7. When a government is allowed to assume a given level of power, lacking any restraints [from a constitution] it will just continue to grow exponentially.

    1. When a government is allowed to form it will just continue to grow exponentially.

  8. To think that I used to consider Australia a civilized country….

    1. They gave us Keith Urban. They should be nuked from orbit.

  9. 19… 19… 1984.

  10. Those who want to watch porn would have their faces scanned and matched to the photos on their official IDs to show they are adults.

    Obviously the solution is to have their genitalia scanned for an AI-based determination of adulthood. No database of official IDs required!

    1. How about I scan my middle finger? Would that work?

      1. No! That’s a hate crime!

    2. One would appropriately submit a pic of their ‘map of tassie’

    1. Apologies that I didn’t close the link properly. Reason, can we please have an edit function?

  11. So if Dad doesn’t get you a new Xbox for Christmas you can let the government think he likes fat women that wear diapers.

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