David Cameron declares war on porn with new restrictions

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David Cameron has announced that porn in the UK will be subject to a number of restrictions. The UK's biggest ISPs are reportedly on board with the rules, which means that it will be increasingly hard to stream adult content in the UK. The end goal is an age-based porn block that will apply to everyone in the country. 

The filters will be switched on by default but customers will be able to opt out of them. Of course this will mean users will have to admit that they want to look at adult material, and there are privacy concerns around this. 

There are also to be new rules on the type of content that people are allowed to watch. Cameron wants to place the same restrictions on streamed content that you would find on traditional disc-based porn from DVD. The UKs rules on pornography are some of the strictest in Europe. 

While the porn rules will likely annoy some people there are some upsides. The government wants to be far more proactive about preventing access to child abuse images. The rules will also prohibit videos or images that depict rape, even within the context of a staged and consensual adult movie. It's not clear how this will affect more mainstream films that contain this content, but it's unlikely to be used to ban mainstream movies. 

One question, naturally, remains though. How will the government prevent people using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to continue to access porn freely? VPNs use encryption to prevent your ISP seeing what you're requesting. They are an easy way to circumvent any ISP level blocks and give access to content that the government deems unsuitable. 

VPNs are, of course, perfectly legal in the UK and only banning them would create the kind of adult content blocks that the government is dreaming of. Additionally, services like TOR also allow people to access the internet without these country-based restrictions. It also has the advantage of being free to use.