UK ISP Internet Porn Ban DELAYED AGAIN Due to Gov Admin Error

banned and forbidden uk internet censorship

The Government’s controversial new internet age verification system, which was due to be implemented by commercial websites and “apps” that contain pornographic content (broadband ISPs would be forced to block sites that fail to comply), has once again been delayed and will not now be enforced from 15th July 2019.

The system (see our summary) – due to be overseen by the British Board of Film Classification (predicted to cost them around £4.4m) – has been beset by concerns over weak privacy controls (e.g. handing passports and payment details to companies linked with porn peddlers = dumb), cost, the potential impact upon sex workers (i.e. pushing them off-line and back onto the streets), freedom of expression and technical limitations (easy to circumvent, not least via VPN, Proxy Servers and DNS over HTTPS [DoH]).

Likewise there have been questions over whether it’s even necessary, particularly since Sky Broadband, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and other ISPs already offer optional network-level filtering systems, which work just fine. Nevertheless the Government has now missed several expected launch targets and they’re about to do the same again.

Last year the UK Digital Minister, Margot James, said,”We expect it to be in force by Easter of next year [2019]” and this was recently revised to mid-July 2019. As that date approaches the Government’s Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright MP, is today expected to inform the House of Commons that it has once again missed another launch date.

At this stage no new date is understood to have been set and a report on Sky News confirms that the issue this time appears to be bureaucratic. Apparently the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) neglected to notify the European Commission (EC) as it is required to, thus undermining the legal basis of age verification (at least for now).

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group, said:

“While it’s very embarrassing to delay age verification for the third time, this is an opportunity for the Government to address the many problems that this ill-thought through policy poses.

Age verification providers have warned that they are not ready; the BBFC’s standard to protect data has been shown to be ineffective.

The Government needs to use this delay to introduce legislation that will ensure the privacy and security of online users is protected.”

As a result internet users can continue looking at jiggling buttocks and naughty sweaty body parts online for a little longer, all without being forced to share their personal / financial details or use circumvention measures. Mind you it’s still possible to do the same by flicking to late night TV shows on Channel 4/5 but that’s another story.

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