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United Kingdom Censorship Communications The Internet

Pornhub Owner May Become the UK's Gatekeeper of Online Porn (yahoo.com) 95

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Yahoo News: Mindgeek may be the most powerful company that you've never heard of, or at least, a company you'll claim never to have heard about in polite company. It's the conglomerate that owns some of the world's most visited porn sites, including Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn. Far from simply being a popular and free way for people to consume adult content, it may soon have a powerful political role in the UK that will ensure its dominance for decades to come. That's because, within the next year, Mindgeek may become the principal gatekeeper between the country's internet users and their porn. In April, the UK passed the Digital Economy Act 2017, legislation that mandated that any website showing adult content must verify the ages of its visitors. It was pushed through in response to concerns that children were being corrupted by easy access to and exposure to adult content at an early age. Section 15(1) of the bill requires that "pornographic material" not be published online, on a "commercial basis," unless it is "not normally accessible by those under 18." The bill has several flaws, not least the number of vague proposals it contains, and the ad hoc definition of what pornography actually is. Section 17 of the same act outlined the creation of an "age-verification regulator," the digital equivalent of a bouncer standing between you and your porn. This gatekeeper will have the right, and duty, to demand you show proof of age, or else refuse you access. In addition, the body will be able to impose fines and enforcement notices on those who either neglect or circumvent the policy. [...] The Open Rights Group believes that the BBFC will then hand over the actual mechanisms of the age verification platform to a third party in the private sector. Mindgeek has had several conversations with officials and is currently pushing its own age verification platform, AgeID. If selected, this platform could become the principal wall between Britons and their pornography -- giving Mindgeek enormous power in the market.
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Pornhub Owner May Become the UK's Gatekeeper of Online Porn

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2017 @06:03PM (#55617467)

    I mean they already banned piracy and that doesn't happen anymore right?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 24, 2017 @08:10PM (#55617965)

      Porn is inherently a private thing that most people would tend to keep from their SO. It's human nature. So why in world would anyone participate in a program that verifies their identity, age, and arguably other PII so that there is now verifiable proof of said private activity?? This will just drive porn further underground and into illicit sources or even the dark web.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The OP already answered that question, circuitously.

        (1) In 2004 the UK Cleanfeed System [wikipedia.org] was introduced. The UK public was told that Cleanfeed would never be used for censorship, and only had a specific mandate to block child abuse image content.

        (2) UK bans access to The Pirate Bay and blocks torrent sites using BT's cleanfeed system. UK filesharers start to use VPNs to evade blocking.

        (3) The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 [theguardian.com] requires all UK web activity to be retained by ISPs. Non-filesharing UK citiz
    • We all were once children. We saw porn. Or even our parents.
      Our reaction was, that either we were not interested, or curious as to why people did this thing, or we just held our hands in front of our eyes just like when somebody kissed on TV.
      Because we were children!
      Nobody of us got harmed by it. How would that even work? I mean neuro-psychologically!
      The second we became interested, was also the second we had hit puberty.

      This insanity is based on the concept of "sin" in Abrahamic religions. Where convenient

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are they retarded? I've watched porn since I was 12 and I turned out fine.
    Besides, how are they going to stop people from visiting porn sites outside of the UK?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know where those sites are physically located, but let's assume for a minute that not every single porn site is located in the UK or has assets there.

    Why do they care then, what laws the UK passes about porn? The UK is free to build a "digital Hadrian's Wall" if it wants to keep out things the internet has on it. That doesn't mean everyone else has to follow their laws. Why not just ignore them?

    The internet is becoming WAY too controlled and compartmentalized, and governments are starting to sali

  • There are these things called VPNs. I've heard they're really good.

  • What you'd do is get rid of the copyright protection. Declare that porn obscene materials have no legal protection. You'd do two things that would set the whole production process on fire without jailing anyone:

    1. Bankrupt the producers.
    2. Make it impossible for amateur producers to control distribution of their materials.

    The most you could do is use revenge porn laws to stop #2 and that would be as effective as asking Shawn Fanning "pretty please stop" back in 1999 instead of having the legal system at the

  • by Alain Williams ( 2972 ) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Friday November 24, 2017 @07:00PM (#55617665) Homepage

    If that is what they are worried about, why have they not banned religious web sites; IMHO those are far more damaging than porn: they claim to present truth (without much evidence), then say that a bunch of people are bad: those of other religions (or none), gays, divorcees, ...; discourage free or rational thought, condemn evolution and generally denounce any sex out side marriage, ...

    Many kids have their minds screwed up by religion.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      These fucking nutjob religious types are the ones pushing for this blanket restriction of porn.
      They'd honestly have people thrown in jail if they could, but they settled for this and previously a pedoscare back in the 80s to freak out teens from having sex like any normal human.

      Social networking sites are more damaging than fucking alcohol to the childrens mind, never mind porn. Holy jesus the stuff that happens on sites like Facebook, Instagram and such.
      They are like violent playgrounds on the internet.

    • I can just imagine how the atheists will react to having their websites banned and being told that they cannot teach atheism to their children.
      • by dargaud ( 518470 )
        Teaching atheism ? Huh ?!? You are an atheist when you are born, and you stay this way unless 'taught' a religion with a belt or endless rote learning sessions.
        • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

          Teaching atheism ? Huh ?!? You are an atheist when you are born, and you stay this way unless 'taught' a religion with a belt or endless rote learning sessions.

          "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position" -Bill Maher

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Teaching atheism ? Huh ?!? You are an atheist when you are born, and you stay this way unless 'taught' a religion with a belt or endless rote learning sessions.

          Or you study Aristotle and find that a supernatural being is entirely discoverable through reason:

          * http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/08/first-way-moving-tale.html
          * http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/09/first-way-part-ii-two-lemmas-make-lemma.html
          * http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/10/first-way-part-iii-big-kahuna.html
          * http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2014/11/first-way-part-iv-cascades.html

        • Errm, I'm pretty sure babies aren't in utero thinking "there is no God or Gods!", that is actually a rather absurd concept. So no, you aren't born an atheist (rather, you are born ignorant) and then come to faith in atheism later in life.
          • by Cederic ( 9623 )

            come to faith in atheism

            I fear you misunderstand atheism.

            • Or perhaps you do?
              • by Cederic ( 9623 )

                theism
                ËÎiËÉz(É(TM))m/
                noun: theism
                belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.
                "there are many different forms of theism"

                a-
                prefix â /eÉ/
                ânot, without:

                Which part of 'without belief' infers 'faith' to you? Just that, I'm pretty confident in backing my understanding of atheism against your provably flawed one.

                • Mmm. Sounds like:

                  theism: belief in the existence of a god or gods, specifically of a creator who intervenes in the universe.

                  atheism: belief that there is no god or gods, specifically no creator who intervenes in the universe.

          • by dargaud ( 518470 )
            "faith in atheism" ?!? Do you even listen to yourself ? Atheism is a LACK of faith.
            • So, are babies in the uterus thinking "there is no god or gods"?
      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        I can just imagine how the atheists will react to having their websites banned and being told that they cannot teach atheism to their children.

        Let's see... which is worse, masturbation or pedophilia... you're definitely the "good guys"...

        • Your comment makes no sense to me.
          • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

            Your comment makes no sense to me.

            The GP made this thread into an atheism vs. theism bent. Christianity (more specifically Catholicism) in particular thinks masturbation is a sin. Porn is generally well a means to "get off" for a lot of people. Therefore the GP, on their religious high horse, declared porn sites to be associated with Atheism exclusively which is absurd. In Christianity, we have things like if a woman is raped she can be stoned to death and all sorts of other nonsense about regulating people's sexual behavior. In Cathol

            • The GP made this thread into an atheism vs. theism bent. Christianity (more specifically Catholicism) in particular thinks masturbation is a sin.

              So he (or she) was off topic. Gotcha. Because I wasn't talking about atheism vs theism, but rather that banning religions would necessitate banning atheism. This comes down to our universal rights enjoyed by theists and atheists alike: losing those rights means we all lose.

              Christianity (more specifically Catholicism) in particular thinks masturbation is a sin. Porn is generally well a means to "get off" for a lot of people. Therefore the GP, on their religious high horse, declared porn sites to be associated with Atheism exclusively which is absurd. In Christianity, we have things like if a woman is raped she can be stoned to death and all sorts of other nonsense about regulating people's sexual behavior.

              Pretty sure that's not right, I know a lot of Christians and they tend to be outraged by rape, and I've never heard of anybody being stoned. Also, by generalizing the behavior of some catholic priests to all religions, the OP is effectiv

              • Atheism is not a religion. You are stupid. Go away.
                • Well, I'm convinced.

                  What looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims like a duck, but definitely not a duck. Gotcha.

    • Sex: A healthy part (though optional) of a normal, functional human being's life.

      Violence: A destructive aspect of life which is not a part of a functional human being's life under the vast majority of circumstances.

      Guess which we need to restrict the visibility of according to the "God-fearing" crowd?

      Though in fairness, porn is not a very accurate portrayal of sex.
  • I wish I could find the relevant passage in Orwell's 1984. Or was it Brave New World?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Unlike Winston, she had grasped the inner meaning of the Party’s sexual puritanism. It was not merely that the sex instinct created
      a world of its own which was outside the Party’s control and which therefore had to be destroyed if possible. What was more important was that sexual privation induced hysteria, which was desirable because it could be transformed into war-fever and leader-worship. The way she put it was:
      ’When you make love you’re using up energy; and afterwards you feel

    • Brave New World's approach to sex was the polar opposite of that in 1984. BNW's society embraced sex - and took that to an extreme, with the intent of removing all consequence and meaning. In BNW, sex is something that even casual acquaintances do together because they both enjoy it, and so why not? Monogamy is viewed as selfish to the point of perversion, because it asserts a level of ownership over a partner. Pornography is not just permitted, but encouraged.

      A modern audience probably finds this rather le

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lust is bad. Greed, sloth, gluttony, pride, envy, and wrath are still all strongly encouraged.

  • I would like to see a study that has quantified the risk and dangers to children watching porn. Until you show me the risk I won't support your mitigation. That seems pretty obvious. Am I missing something?
    • I've looked into this myself, and there are none. The problem is control: There's no way to get a solid conclusion without a control, and there's no way any ethics board is going to approve a study that involves deliberately showing pornography to minors to see what happens.

      There are studies to be found, it's just that they all suck. Purely correlative, often contradictory. Conclusions are all over the place.

  • It's inevitable, really. I can see the chain of events right now:
    1. Pass this well-intentioned law.
    2. Many major pornography sites comply.
    3. Consumers say 'screw that.' They don't want their porn viewing on record - and besides, pornography is a impulsive thing. When you want it, you don't want to mess around with proof of identity first.
    4. Consumers each spend about ten seconds on google and find plenty of porn sites outside of the UK.
    5. After a couple of years, MPs notice that the law has achieved nothing

  • We've already seen an adversary use this kind of weakness to attack us, with the results being brexit.

    Now we are creating a new weakness for our enemies to use against us. We are putting power into the hands of a few who can control what we do and don't see online, enough to sway votes.

    The UK continues it death wish.

  • We're British!

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