Viewing free internet porn in the United Kingdom is about to become markedly trickier when new legislation which seeks to protect children from internet excrement comes into effect as soon as the first of next month.
But for all the hopeless fappers and reprobates with voyeuristic proclivities, not to worry, if you must, you will still be able to unlock the smut by handing over some identification or by purchasing a £5 ‘porn card’ at your local retailer.
That means starting as soon as next month, to access porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn – which both attract almost two billion visits each month worldwide – Brits will be required to provide proof of ID before accessing any X-rated video clips.
These new regulations were approved as part of the 2017 Digital Economy Act.
These free sites will join many other internet porn sites which are already currently using what’s called the AgeID system. The AgeID system requires users to present an official form of identification like a passport or driver’s license to verify their age.
According to James Clark, the spokesman for AgeID, when the new system is launched, goatish internet prowlers will come to a non-pornographic ‘landing page’ where they must input the required information before they proceed on to the porn site.
“When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site,” Clark told The Metro. He added that “Each website will create their own unique non-pornographic landing page for this purpose.”
When a potential porn viewer first clicks onto the website, AgeID will ask them to register and verify their age via Mobile SMS, a driver’s license, passport, or credit card. Conveniently enough, porn viewers will be able to use their username and password for AgeID to access each and every porn site that uses AgeID.
According to Clark, “It is a one-time verification, with a simple single sign-on for future access. If a user verifies on one AgeID protected site, they will not need to perform this verification again on any other site carrying AgeID.”
In addition to registering with AgeID, Britons will also be able to access internet porn websites by way of purchasing a ‘voucher’ at thousands of retail shops which will offer special ID cards, which porn watchers can link to the app Portes. Via the app Portes, people will be able to log into porn sides without having to provide their email address.
The scheme has already been pushed back a few times before. New rules were supposed to take effect during April of last year but were pushed back to the end of the year before it was again postponed until April of this year.
Porn sites that don’t comply with the rules will be subject to a £250,000 fine or a blanket block by UK internet service providers. Regulators will also have the authority to block sites that fail to exhibit that they deny access to under 18s
Some ‘experts’ aren’t so keen on the idea, however.
Dr. Victoria Nash from the Oxford Internet Institute commented on the policy, saying, “it may make it harder for children to stumble across pornography, especially in the younger age range, but it will do nothing to stop determined teenagers.”
Other experts are concerned about possible threats that the new system’s poses to the privacy of individuals.
Dr. Joss Write, who is another academic from the Oxford Internet Institute, also commented on the policy, saying, “There are privacy issues – you’re requiring people to effectively announce the fact they are looking at this material to the credit card authorities.
He added, “And there are serious security issues from requiring people to enter their credit card details into untrusted sites.”
It will be interesting to see how this policy works out and if other western countries will follow suit.