UK porn block scheme delayed for another six months

UK porn block
Image credit: Shutterstock
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Ed: The Secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport has announced that the scheme, commonly known as the UK porn block, has been postponed for another six months because of an "administrative oversight"

The UK porn block scheme could be frozen once again according to a Sky News report which cites anonymous sources and say that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Secretary Jeremy Wright will make the announcement in Parliament later today.

The body in charge of implementing the UK porn block, the British Board of Film Classification, was apparently told of the development yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, June 19.

The reason put forward for delaying - but not cancelling - the UK porn block is a technicality. DCMS failed to notify the European Commission as it is legally required to thereby undermining the legal basis of verifying someone’s age.

Campaigners against the scheme have put forward the frightening potential of tracking profiles and browsing habits of millions of UK individuals with online surveillance and blackmail a distinct possibility. MindGeek, the owner of most of the major porn sites online, is one of the age verification partners for the scheme with AgeID. 

There’s also the fact that the law can be circumvented by using VPN to access porn from a server (and IP address) abroad. The delay though is likely to be indefinite although Alastair Graham, from AgeChecked, understandably disagrees.

“Regardless of today’s news, online age verification is coming.” he said, “The way that we transact online needs better protection, whether it’s the sale of knives, access to gambling sites, or placing barriers in front of adult content.” 

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