Porn Block Demonstrates the Government Is More Concerned With Censorship Than Security

By Shabana Arif on at

If you think that the government's age verification porn block is a bloody stupid idea, you're not the only one. By failing to properly inform the public of the new policy and not doing enough to protect our data, it's become abundantly clear who the real wanker is.

The new age verification system is set to roll out on July 15, and anyone with a UK IP address will be redirected to a genital-free landing page when navigating to porn sites. Once you've proven that you're over the age of 18, you'll have access to all the dicks, tiddies, and lady gardens you desire. And butts.

But the government seems to be more concerned with regulating access to porn, than keeping your sensitive data safe and secure. The British Board of Film Classification is in charge of ensuring that porn sites comply, using any number of the multitude of age verification sites that have since popped up. What if fails to give a shit about is the process and methods these age verification sites are using, as there's no additional legislation stipulating that these companies submit their practices for review. So it's a big free-for-all when it comes to your data.

"On July 15, millions of Internet users in the UK will have to make a decision about which age verification providers they trust with data about their personal pornography habits and preferences. Due to the sensitive nature of age verification data, there needs to be a higher standard of protection than the baseline which is offered by data protection legislation," said executive director at the Open Rights Group Jim Killock. The organisation aims to protect "the digital rights of people in the UK including privacy and free speech online" and is advocating for the porn block to be delayed until the appropriate security measures are in place.

"The BBFC’s standard is supposed to deliver this. However, it is a voluntary standard, which offers little information about the level of data protection being offered and provides no means of redress if companies fail to live up to it. Its requirements are vague and a ‘tick box’ exercise. This renders it pointless, misleading and potentially dangerous as advice to consumers seeking safe products.”

According to a YouGov poll, 76 per cent of participants weren't even aware of the porn block, which illustrates what a bang up job the government has done in preparing an entire country for this. Killock has warned against the possibility of fraud and blackmail in the absence of what seems like fairly basic regulation.

If this shitshow has you concerned, check out this handy list of the best VPNs to reach around the incoming porn block. [TechRadar]