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Privacy United Kingdom Your Rights Online

UK Gov't Launches Public Consultation On Porn-Site Age Checks (bbc.co.uk) 187

An anonymous reader writes with news from the BBC that the UK government has launched a publc consultation regarding plans to mandate age checks on pornographic websites. According to the article, The proposals follow a Conservative Party manifesto commitment that "all sites containing pornographic material" must check that users are over 18. Internet providers, charities, academics and others will be asked to contribute to the consultation. ... In the consultation document, the government proposes that the checks should apply to content that would receive — if formally classified — an 18 or R18 rating from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). "We are keen to hear from parents, schools, child protection experts, the pornography industry, internet service providers and online platforms that provide access to pornographic content," the consultation document explained. As part of the plans, the government intends to establish a new regulatory framework to enforce compliance with any rules that are made law.
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UK Gov't Launches Public Consultation On Porn-Site Age Checks

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  • Keen to hear? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houstonbofh ( 602064 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @04:09AM (#51517541)
    How about this... Watch your own damn kids and quit trying to child proof my world.
    • Re:Keen to hear? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @04:26AM (#51517593)

      Disagree. A parent can't always hover over their children - heck, a parent shouldn't. I'm happy my 9-yo is finally able to get home from school by himself (one stop on the train and a 15-minute walk), very good for his self-confidence. What he's doing out there exactly, I can't tell, but I do trust him to not start smoking, drinking, etc, and to otherwise stay out of trouble.

      There are plenty of other places where age checks are in place, such as bars, amusement centres (for playing computer games), casinos, liquor shops, etc. Those checks are done usually by someone sitting at the door and looking at your face, and asking for proof of age if you look too young. Sure, it's imperfect, but it does put a bit of a brake on under age drinking without parental knowledge and other stuff.

      Internet should be similar, but the big problem is how those age checks could possibly be done without serious privacy invasion. The real-life checks are highly anonymous. You look too young, you're out. You look old enough, you're in. You think you're old enough but look too young, show an ID, and you're in - where the ID is not copied or recorded or so. It doesn't work like that online. Everyone can lie about their age (click the "I'm over 18 and it's legal to watch this crap in my neck of the woods" button) when it's totally anonymous. So probably a login of sorts is required, and even so there is no way to check one's age without extensive personal details and cross checking them with official government records - and even so, how can you see whether those personal details belong to the person providing them?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        If it's happening in your home, you're responsible. Those places such as "bars, amusement centres, casino's, liquor shops" are all the place of someone else, and they are responsible.

        In other words, you're happy to let the government do your job.

        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Correction.

          "You're Happy to Cheer on and Pay Tax Money to motivate a band of people who call themselves "Government" to jail and if necessary, shoot and kill people who run pornography websites because you are too cheap to subscribe to an effective, commercial web filtering service to do the job for you that would be cheaper than the government solution and stomp on nobody's liberty ".

          How out of it do you have to be to not see the obvious solutions in front of you?

          "It's too expensive": Have the government

        • I don't know where ever I said that I wanted the government do the checking. Read again. The government only comes in play where it comes to verifying information, the checking itself as I describe it is done by the various companies.

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            I don't know where ever I said that I wanted the government do the checking. Read again. The government only comes in play where it comes to verifying information, the checking itself as I describe it is done by the various companies.

            If the government is instituting a law, then the government in some form is going to be overseeing it. In turn, you're allowing the government to do the checking and doing your job. Or are you really that naive to believe that even "various companies" that would be doing it wouldn't have the government looking over their shoulder to ensure compliance.

            • So, instead, you suggest me to become a helicopter parent and never leave the kid out of sight until they turn 18 or so?

              • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
                It kinda looked to me like he suggested you get NetNanny (or am I getting between you and your strawman?) :)
              • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

                So, instead, you suggest me to become a helicopter parent and never leave the kid out of sight until they turn 18 or so?

                Dear Son/daughter/idiot that shares my genes, I understand that xyz is interesting to you. So here's some xyz things I want to explain to you, and even though I'm explaining xyz things to you and don't want you to do it...you're still going to do it. Just don't do xyz things because looking at them are illegal in this country, if you don't understand something ask...even though you'll be embarrassed to hell, you can always ask me via email/text/whatever embarrassing thing you can think of. If you can't f

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                So, instead, you suggest me to become a helicopter parent and never leave the kid out of sight until they turn 18 or so?

                No, he's suggesting you do your job as a parent. And that job is to world-proof the child, not child-proof the world.

                Oh also: your kid is going to get access to porn no matter what you or the government tries to do. Back in ye olde days of yore when posh kids had 64k ISDN lines and CD writers and hardly anyone else had internet access, one enterprising kid in my school made a decent amoun

                • by Vlado ( 817879 )

                  So, how about instead of advocating something expensive, intrusive and ineffective.

                  I'm not sure that's the point. And I'm not saying at all that this proposed scheme is practical or that I agree with it in any particular way. But I think it's not completely unreasonable to say, that whoever is offering a controlled substance, should bear some burden of making sure that they are not allowing that substance to get into the wrong hands, without some due diligence of checking.

                  I, as a parent will do my job. But whoever sells their wares also should do theirs.

                  • But I think it's not completely unreasonable to say, that whoever is offering a controlled substance, should bear some burden of making sure that they are not allowing that substance to get into the wrong hands, without some due diligence of checking.

                    Porn ain't a substance. That's the problem, you're declaring that because it's controlled, the porn distributors should do something, without stopping to consider whether it's remotely reasonable to have it a conrrolled substance or whether it's remotely practi

            • by Vlado ( 817879 )

              You mean in the same way like government is now ensuring that underage kids cannot buy alcohol, tobacco and printed porn?

              The thing is, that the law is already in place: consumption of pornographic materials is against the law for underage kids. It is being enforced and controlled in "legacy" environments. Why should such rules not exist in online form? The law should apply everywhere equally.

              That being said, I do foresee lots of practical problems with such enforcement. But that is another discussion, I sup

          • Who else is going to do it? The various companies you've just given your card details, ni number and probably proof of address to just so you can have quick tug and who are definitely not gong to sell that information on for profit. If this went forward you would want the gov to be doing it rather than a for profit company. That being said though they'd just farm it out to a private company anyway so fuck em.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by bickerdyke ( 670000 )

          A porn site is not his home.

          The internet would be a much safer place if people simply would see it as "outdoor". As with the real outdoor, most of it is safe and harmless, a good portion even friendly and welcoming and everyone (mor or less) accepts liquor stores and strip clubs and at least acknowledges the existence of drug dealers, fraudsters and other crime. And everyone is glad, there is a sewer somewhere outside, though they never would visit it (or its internet pendant 4chan)

          But at home in your desk

          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            A porn site is not his home.

            And yet there is no access without internet, electricity, or the computer which they're paying for. So yes, it is happening in their home, and in turn they're responsible.

            The difference between "outdoor" and "internet" is with kids, there are ways to stop them from doing things on the internet. Outdoors? Not so much. And there are ways to stop them from doing things on the internet without saying "hey government, I'm a fucking retard...do my job as a parent."

            Here I fixed it for you: "A talking politicia

        • "bars, amusement centres, casino's, liquor shops"

          Any particular reason why you chose to add exactly one wrong apostrophe to the bit you copied?

        • by Vlado ( 817879 )

          If it's happening in your home, you're responsible.

          Are you?

          If you got a hold of a pornographic magazine and hid it under your bed, when you were a kid, who was responsible? The person who sold it to you or your parents? Magazine was at their house, after all.

          Is it not responsibility of a porn site, to make sure that they only serve customers who are not illegally consuming their service? After all, access to this content is possible from anywhere, not just from "your home".

      • Re:Keen to hear? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:00AM (#51517707)

        You are responsible for the behaviour of your children in your own house. Allowing a minor unfiltered access to the Internet is not "confidence boosting", it's a tragedy waiting to happen. It's easily fixed with existing software too, just install a filter or set up a white list. Not much effort, so much reward.

        In addition: the checks themselves will be an age check. How are you to prove your age online? Are they going to scan your passport or drivers license or are they going to ask you for your date of birth. Any person who is interested in looking at pornography is easily old enough to realize that a simple lie will get them to where they want to be.

        The alternative of course, as you said, is to have some system of citizen registration. "Show an ID where the ID is not copied or recorded"... even before computers were prevalent (making forgeries a far more trivial matter) documents and papers have been faked... with ease. You seem to actually want the government to regulate what is accessible online via a registered database of individuals?!

        You are clearly mad. I can't even begin to say how terrifying that willing submission of rights is. For your own sake read some Orwell.

        Then, at the end of all this effort for dubious reward... what about the porn sites hosted outside of the UK? That's only most of them that won't have to comply with any of these laws.

        So as we come full circle we realize: the only effective way to keep kids safe online is with with a little parental responsibility, since no law passed will ever affect all the porn sites and no system of identity proof will be anything short of privacy destroying. Instead of making demands from the powers that be to keep us safe how about we do it ourselves so it gets done properly?

        • The alternative of course, as you said, is to have some system of citizen registration. "Show an ID where the ID is not copied or recorded"... even before computers were prevalent (making forgeries a far more trivial matter) documents and papers have been faked... with ease. You seem to actually want the government to regulate what is accessible online via a registered database of individuals?!

          Thank you for not only confirming my point, but also confirming your own terrible reading comprehension.

          Indeed I can't think of a working way of online age confirmation that is as reliable yet as anonymous as looking at faces of people walking into your bar, as that's what would be needed before even starting to think of actually implementing such age requirements.

        • Then, at the end of all this effort for dubious reward... what about the porn sites hosted outside of the UK? That's only most of them that won't have to comply with any of these laws.

          You haven't been watching how things work now have you? The US is doing everything they can to stop Slysoft from selling AnyDVD in Antigua where it is not only legal, but where Antigua has the legal right to disregard US copyright granted them by the WTO. Yes, the UK will go after US porn sites.

      • Disagree. A parent can't always hover over their children - heck, a parent shouldn't.

        Your idea of using the government to take over for the worst parenting is awesome.

        I'll be moving in tomorrow to protect your children from you, The worst parents abuse their children after all. You are right, not every parent can be a good parent 24/7. Thats why you are no longer allowed to be around your children unsupervised.

        Are you picking up what I am putting down?

        • by Vlado ( 817879 )

          Your idea of using the government to take over for the worst parenting is awesome.

          I'm not sure where you're picking up that part of the argument. The parent is simply saying that if the laws are there for something to be controlled, then the government is pretty much required to be the one making sure that they are enforced. Otherwise the law is simply so many words, without any meaning.
          Who would be driving at the speed limit, if there were no police to punish you if you exceed it?

          Nobody is saying that government is the one solely responsible. You as the parent have full responsibility t

      • by orasio ( 188021 )

        You do make sense, but I don't agree.

        It would be interesting to have some kind of rating system for the internet. I would like something like sites rating their content with some kind of header, so you can do client filtering more easily. You could just use sites rating, and have a grey/blacklist of sites that misrepresent their content. As an example, I don't care whether my kids see tits, but I would like to filter some of the violence they see in children oriented content.

        Identifying actual users is very

      • I'd mod wvmarle's post up if I had points. Whoever's modding his/her post "Troll" is denying common sense.

        And frankly, anyone who'd argue that "Watch your own damn kids" is the right answer neither has kids nor clearly recalls what it was like to have been a kid. A 10-year-old can be smart enough to click "YES, I AM 18+" and not be mature enough to deal with pornography. So, to me, "Watch your own damn kids" means "I don't care what happens to those kids - let someone else fix it." Which requires common

        • And frankly, anyone who'd argue that "Watch your own damn kids" is the right answer neither has kids ...

          You think that perhaps that might be the reason they do not want to raise your damn kids?

          But actually, since I am the OP, I should be more clear. I am totally OK with raising my kids, but I do not want to raise yours. And frankly, based on our differences of opinion, you really do not want me to raise your kids either.

      • Disagree. A parent can't always hover over their children - heck, a parent shouldn't.

        Tough shit.

        What gives you the right to make your kid my problem?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As usual it's the NSPCC that's behind this, probably one of the most broken corrupt charities in the UK. A charity that is supposed to exist to end things like child cruelty and child poverty and yet has over 50 people earning over £100k a year and that has enough money in the bank to end child poverty tomorrow if it really actually gave a shit about it's goals. This is a charity that has time and time again been hauled in front of the Advertising Standards Agency for outright lying with fake st

      • The real solution to stopping this shit ending up at parliament is for people to make a stand against fake charities

        Your solution leaves the corrupt politicians that sell legislation to fake charities in play.

        Maybe instead of focusing on the symptom, you should focus on the cause. The cause is the politicians who sell legislation to fake charities. Stop voting for them.

        And dont respond with an excuse for why you continue to vote for them. You are already dead in the water with that angle because when you took the moral high ground you also decided to shift the blame away from people that take money for legislation.

        • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

          The problem is that the choices you get are usually between someone bad, and someone worse.

          It's not like there's this candidate out there who refuses to take money from charities and other special interest groups for their campaign.

          Or rather, there might be one, but I've not heard of them. And that may be the point.

          • The problem is that the choices you get...

            You have about 150 million choices in America.

            You are voting for evil. That makes you a supporter of evil. Stop making excuses for supporting evil. There is only one accepted excuse for supporting evil, and thats 'I like evil!'

    • Well Please explain this how come a 16 year old cant go into any American adult book store and buy whatever they wish? And whats to prevent them from doing so? Psssttt we already have laws preventing AND requiring age checking for 30 plus years..Why do you feel the need to fight for pornographers who create web sites with government building or send porn emails to hundreds of millions of people who never asked for it and hide who they are as so no to get caught or cant be stopped?? ya poor porn industry di
      • If it bothers you, an inexpensive software package can fix it in your home. However, having to fix websites all over the world because you do not want to pay for netnanny is idiotic.
        • That,s not an answer. And why doesn't the industry use the XXX domain? hmmmmmm? And i don't have to pay anyone at the adult book store to keep kids from buying porn now do we?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @04:19AM (#51517569)

    The internet was created by the US defense department as a decentralized, fault tolerant network to ensure that in the event of a nuclear war, American soldiers would have continued access to pornography.

  • Old enough (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Boronx ( 228853 ) <evonreis@noSpam.mohr-engineering.com> on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @04:20AM (#51517579) Homepage Journal

    My experience is that those who are interested in looking at porn are old enough to look at it.

    • My experience is that those who are interested in looking at porn are old enough to look at it.

      These days, they seem to be old enough to make it too, so I doubt they can cut off the source...

    • My experience is that those who are interested in looking at porn are old enough to look at it.

      Could be, although you haven't told us what your experiences are. If you mean, when you were interested in porn, you were old enough to look at it, then maybe; on the other hand, if you are a pedophile (not suggesting that you in particular are, but some are), then I think there is reason to question your judgement.

      The potential harm - or perceived harm - can come in several forms, and no doubt there are many more than I can think of.

      - If your peer group is putting you under pressure to do things that you d

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 )

        I think the real problem is that parents should be addressing what is in porn with their kids, but a lot of porn out on the Internet, has completely out-ranged the comfort zone of many parents. And quite possibly the experience level of most parents.

        I think there should be a rating system for those sites where there is a standard that parents and filters can understand easily. And I think that system should probably distinguish certain types of porn from others, instead of calling them all some form of 'X

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      No no no, you're getting it all wrong. It brain damages them for life. It may even affect their opinion on Jesus. Go get a handbag and clutch it FUCKING NOW
    • My experience is that those who are interested in looking at porn are old enough to look at it.

      Oh wow, you clearly haven't been around kids since ... well at least a few generations. I was well under the "legal age" to be looking at it, and most probably well under "mature age" as well. Recently a co-worker complained she heard her kids giggling like crazy while playing with her iPad, confiscated and sure enough plenty of porn in the history and searches for naked ladies. Her kids are 7 and 9.

      Your experience is either extremely lucky or severely outdated.

      • by Boronx ( 228853 )

        7-9 year old kids will often have some reaction to porn. They will think it's funny, gross, embarrassing at that age. They may sneak a peek because they know it's forbidden, but its teenagers and adults who are obsessed with sex, not kids.

        • Yep and we heard talks about kids in 3rd grade sexually assaulting each other. Kids at that age are monkey see monkey do. So I'll put it back to you: Define the cut-off at which people are "old enough".

          I'm not saying I don't agree that the arbitrary 18+ limit is wrong, but I disagree with that for the same reason I disagree with your comment that people old enough to want to look at it are the ones who do.

  • The "payment processors" part will work in the UK.
    The "force internet service providers to block sites that did not perform effective age checks" will be a ban list of sites? Or a cleared list of UK users accounts that have given ID to the UK provider and get unfiltered internet? A licence to "internet" in the UK.
    VPN services will see a lot more interest if providers start to ban "the internet" until classified accessible in the UK.
    When getting a VPN service ensure it has support to not leak your no
  • What part of... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    "The internet is everywhere" do these people not understand? How are you going to get a provider of content in another country to assent to this?

  • So Many Problems (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:04AM (#51517723)

    Wow let me list the ways age verification is a bad idea:

    *Loss of anonymity for visitors. Someone will be collecting data on what actual people are visiting what actual sites. Yes, if you pay for site access with a credit/debit card you're giving up your (pseudo)anonymity, but payment with bitcoin/burner cards is possible, as well as access to free sites. If the verification has to be done through a central authority, who wants to bet the govt. will have access to that list, and it will be a huge target for black hats.

    *Porn website companies based outside of the UK don't have to bother complying with this law. I imagine that's the vast majority, and the few that are in the UK will quickly move shop.

    *Sites will likely use IP geofencing to only ask UK visitors for verification. A VPN or proxy would get around this; I imagine many Britons already use VPNs to access Netflix USA, or the BBC viewer when on vacation.

    *Overbroad 'verification' definition will lead to "click here if you're over 18" clickthroughs which are pointless (unless the pages capture visitors who don't have a cookie set, then they might catch accidental/blind link clicks).

    *Attempting to DNS block sites that don't comply with the UK law is doomed to fail. Attempting to get Google et al, and Chillingeffects, to redact mention of these sites, is futile as they will miss other search engines.

    *18 is the age of majority in the UK, but too high of a requirement. Why not set it to be the same as the age of consent (16 there)? Watching porn is more akin to having sex than signing a legal contract (insert witty retort here).

    *How is compliance judged? The vague "would receive an R-18 classification if it were reviewed" allows the simple excuse: "PROVE that it would receive an R-18 classification" for an accused. One could simply say that in their opinion, it wouldn't have received such a classification, and assuming the material is unclassified, it would be difficult to prove it would unless the rules of classification are concrete and publicly-known (unlike the MPAA's classification rules).

    *There is some evidence that access to porn reduces the incidence of rape. This really ought to be the end of the discussion, although it needs more research before it can be considered incontrovertible. I consider it compelling enough that I think govt. shouldn't restrict access to porn. Surely there are some teens under 18 who commit rape, and allowing them to see porn may prevent some of it.

    *Theoretically, if porn is 'bad information about sex', then the proper solution in a democracy should be to solve it via the marketplace of ideas: to outshout it with 'good information about sex'. If the elite are too sex-negative to think of any compelling 'good information about sex' maybe they should let the people figure it out.
    Ya know, Invisible Hand theory :)

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Some additions: In Belgium they are working on having pre-paid card linked to a person. So no more anonymous payment.I am not sure if that is a Belgian push or a European one, so that hole will be closed very soon.

      If they would want to do age verification in Belgium, it would be easy to do. We have the eID that can do this. It is an ID with a chip. Readers are readily available, the source to read them is open.

      There are also laws that forbid transfer of data to third parties, unless you agree that they can.

      • Some additions: In Belgium they are working on having pre-paid card linked to a person. So no more anonymous payment.I am not sure if that is a Belgian push or a European one, so that hole will be closed very soon.

        And you're willing to accept that? Why?

        That positively screams not being able to do anything without the state monitoring everything you do ... and I should think the Europeans would have been close to the Eastern Bloc countries and through enough wars to realize this is a terrible idea. The ide

    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )
      I too think it's a terrible idea, but not all of these arguments hold water.

      Porn website companies based outside of the UK don't have to bother complying with this law.

      Actually, the UK government will bring pressure to bear on these sites by preventing them from accepting payment - possibly from UK customers only (small, but reasonable incentive) or altogether (the nuclear option, particularly likely if the site has "objectionable" content, which under UK law is anything from spanking upwards)

      Sites will lik

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      *Porn website companies based outside of the UK don't have to bother complying with this law. I imagine that's the vast majority, and the few that are in the UK will quickly move shop.

      TFA mentions that PornHub is planning to comply, and in their statement they propose that other sites are quickly "banned" (presumably they mean blocked, like the pathetic attempts to block BitTorrent search engines). It seems like some will come on board in the hope that the government tries to block the competition from doing business.

      PROVE that it would receive an R-18 classification

      The exact wording will probably be similar to obscene publications, which basically means that a jury most decide and over the years people will keep pushing the boundaries

  • In other news the UK government announced that it was banning the effects of global warming from the territories of Her Majesty.
    • by Chrisq ( 894406 )
      Poor old King Cnut, so misunderstood. He actually did it to prove to his sycophants that he didn't have divine powers!
  • If you are afraid... (Score:3, Informative)

    by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:15AM (#51517751)

    ...that your child will see something on the internet that you don't like, don't allow your child on the internet. It is not society's job to enforce your views, it is society's job to present alternative views.

    • by Afty0r ( 263037 )
      Your argument is facetious.

      If you are afraid that your child will see something on the internet that you don't like, don't allow your child on the internet

      So let's go with....
      If you are afraid that your child will see something on the Television, don't allow your child to watch TV (but we have ratings and watersheds for a reason)
      If you are afraid that your child will see something at kids club, don't allow your child to go to kids club (but we pay professionals to look after our children and prevent them

      • by EzInKy ( 115248 )

        So have ratings on websites, I don't care. It is still your responsibility to censor. Requiring others to verify age shifts the onus to them. If you want to censor, then it is your responsibility to censor.

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:17AM (#51517759) Homepage
    Poor Cameron, chased up by that troll Nigel Farage and UKIP to chance the greatest economic disaster (Brexit) the nation has faced in 50 years he has found a new priority.
    They've already overplayed their hand at a mandatory opt-out porn filter at ISP level and now he wants to go one step up on this stupidity.

    Anything will do for him to avoid the voter to see how he's only shrouding real issues by populist rhetoric.
    Poor Albion.
    • by Coisiche ( 2000870 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:46AM (#51517827)

      I did wonder why they were actually doing a consultation rather than just plunging headlong into introducing short-sighted, impractical and unworkable legislation like they usually do when trying to pander to their main support base.

      Of course, if they don't like what the consultation suggests then it will probably be back to knee-jerk plan A.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Pulling of the EU won't make any difference. Learn a little about the UK and pre-Brussels government. It wasn't that long ago. It's probably going to happen, stop lying about the consequences FUDster. Going all the way back to the ERM, the EU has screwed the UK and fucked over the tax payer to push their leftist agenda. Now go back to the Daily Mail, you're obviously lost.

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      You can make all the economic arguments you want about 'brexit' but with voters it boils down to "get out cos I don't want forrins in charge".
  • by andrewbaldwin ( 442273 ) on Tuesday February 16, 2016 @05:39AM (#51517803)

    This is likely to flare up and disappear just as quickly

    To put things in context:

    1) The UK Government has a TERRIBLE track record in terms of IT projects; the chances of this initiative going beyond blowing a few million on starting up another failed project are slim

    2) This is part of a manifesto promise by the Tories. They have to be seen to discuss it. They can then decide it's too difficult and blame "Johnny Foreigner" for the problems.
    It's part of the "something must be done!" - we've done 'something' - job done! syndrome. Whether the 'something' done has any effect or not doesn't matter; the box has been ticked.

    3) It's in reaction to certain areas of the news media [though to call the Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers stretches way beyond credulity]. Certain parts of the UK establishment have fixed, knee jerk reactions against anything post 1950.
    Before others get too smug, this is more or less the sort of behaviour that would result in other countries where their particular sensitivities were challenged (e.g. wake me up when an atheist has a serious chance of running for US president)

    4) Look at it as an opportunity for certain sections of society to vent feelings and then move on. Rather like a letting a child get a tantrum out of their system and then learning that the world hasn't changed to suit them after all. Actually this is true of a lot of issues - they are very rarely as extreme as some folks on Slashdot would like to believe.

    Finally, as for the comments that people should take responsibility for what they/their children view - I agree. That said, there are far worse things on line [in my world view] such as severe violence that I would consider much more deserving of concern.

  • Very few websites, services or media targets children. It's insanely complex to meet the demands of COPPA or similiar legislation. As a developer who works with software for children the outcome of this consultation is very interresting. Using the system in reverse to verify the person is actually a kid is very interresting. Currently we have to resort to parents paying $1, scanning passports, doing ackward skype calls or some combination of those. I hope they end up with something really cool and usable.
  • ( . )( . )

    Who decides what is or isn't porn?

  • Thank god the government is doing this. Because it will end or at least greatly reduce the incidence of minors getting access to p0rn, that's for sure. Of course there will always be the troubling borderline cases of people linking to the metric tons of p0rn in all kinds of chat rooms and in all types of contexts, including political ones like, famously, Goatse:

    http://gawker.com/finding-goat... [gawker.com]

    but we can spend more time and money going after those sites and individuals later.

    This is a great way for the gove

  • First dialog box asks if you're over 18.

    Second one asks if you're SURE you're 18.

  • Just another attempt of religious fanatics to control (restrict) sexuality. Who will give up his/her identity for proof of age and open itself for blackmail? That's the real reaon behind that kind of stuff. Kids get it anyway- one way or another: Hey - wanna see those pictures I got...

  • Damn, I can't believe people exist who are so lazy they can't even be bothered to censor for themselves.

  • Best way to do Porn-Site Age Checks.

    • Have to update it now though. If you want to confirm someone is over eighteen these days, you ask them to name all the spice girls.

  • I certainly don’t want to show porn to my kids. Actually, that would be really creepy. I would feel only slightly less awkward if they found it on their own, but before that happens, I want them to not be completely unaware of what some of those seedier things in the world. Anyhow, I have some dumb questions about what it is the authorities are so afraid of.

    - Are they worried that adults will show porn to kids? (They can just use the adult credentials.)
    - Are they worried that kids will find it on

  • There is a silly obsession with sex. At the same time they ignore things that can really harm a developing mind, eg:

    * films of people killing each other; I would rather that my kids watched people fucking each other than shooting/stabbing/... each other

    * religion. How much damage does religious indoctrination do to kids. Gets them believing all sorts of whacky ideas, eg: that sex is bad; that people of a different religion or sect are bad; that you must waste a lot of your time going to church/synagogue/mos

  • First a lot of fraud could be stopped if it was a crime to ask for a charge card for age verification. That being said, just how can age be verified at this point in time? Our world is awash in fraud. One dangerous fraud is the so-called safety sites for online dating. How easily can a violent person use another person's credentials to lure a girl to her death? When those supposed background checks take place all it takes is exposure to a stolen wallet to provide credentials. Those sites collect a
  • Because that's what I always enter when a website asks for my age.

    • The consultation questions show the plan is to require companies to beyond that - it proposes age confirmation via credit card, age-verified mobile network, or via a third-party verification service that checks against the electoral role.

      So the future? "Welcome to www.smexyass.ru. Please enter your credit card number to confirm age. We promise we won't abuse it."

      In practice it just means any site that doesn't take payment will host outside the UK to avoid the law, because handling credit card into requires

  • It would be easier for such sites to require a special meta-tag or other "marker", and push to make it easier for parents to indicate a user account is a minor's account.

    Those selling devices would be required to either make setting such account info easier, or provide easy-to-find instructions. (Current such options tend to bury it under layers of obscure config menus.)

    You still have to deal with out-of-country sites, but that's going to be a problem either way.

Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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