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First they came for the torrent sites, next the UK might block porn

The British government has, for several years, been trying to convince us all that pornography is terrible and that children’s access to it could be one of the worst things imaginable. Its response has been to push for ISP filtering and there’s been talk of forcing age gates on sites. But when that doesn’t work (and it won’t), what will it do? Some are suggesting it might apply the same block orders that have been levied against torrent sites.

The strategy to prevent children viewing porn has been a catastrophe from the start. Inspired by the heavily censored Chinese internet, porn filters have been found blocking everything from sexual education sites, to women’s shelter homepages. EU legislation has made it invalid, leading to David Cameron having to seek a specialised opt-out for the UK, so now it’s trying to forge age gates on sites.

That fails on account of either not being accurate by requiring no information from the user other than their claimed date of birth, or of being too intrusive and requiring too much information; something that site operators won’t comply with for fear of losing traffic. The government can only force such measures on British companies anyway and considering how it’s already made a mess of the British porn industry, that influence is far from expansive.

nopornforyou

So what’s the next step when Cameron and co. realise that they can’t block porn sites that way? Ars thinks they’ll start going down the court ordered blocking route, the same used to crack down on torrent sites. And we all know how well that’s gone.

While this is good news for those that want to continue accessing porn – a majority of internet users – it does mean that the UK will continue to use heavier handed methods to try and make viewing it harder. That could mean using more draconian tactics that haven’t even been considered yet.

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KitGuru Says: Porn is being painted as an enemy and it’s just not. Anything that is consensual and legal to perform in the privacy of your own home, should not become illegal just because you turn a camera on. 

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