A new UK law could make it painfully hard for you to access porn. | Source: Shutterstock

Watching Porn? Show Us Your Passport, Says Perverse UK Porn Law

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The UK’s “porn block” or porn ban is an epic violation of privacy and data harvesting. It’s also doomed to fail and will lead to high-profile sexual extortion.

Let’s back up. If you haven’t heard of the UK’s porn block, you’re not alone. 76% of people who live there don’t even know it’s coming. The new porn law will require all citizens to show their ID before watching pornographic content. The rule, which will be enforced in April, is part of the Digital Economy Act which aims to reduce children’s exposure to graphic content.

The porn block will force adult websites to demand photographic ID such as passports and drivers’ licenses before granting access. Not only is this is a gross violation of privacy, but the data could be linked to your porn browsing habits, making it vulnerable to hacks and exploitation.

The Porn Block, Explained

The new law is rooted in good intentions. It aims to protect children from pornography and graphic content when they are too young. But the porn block takes the wrong approach.

The law will introduce age verification across all porn sites to confirm the user is over 18. It’s worth pointing out the UK age of consent is 16. So you can have sex, but you can’t watch it.

So what happens if you try to access porn in the UK from April onwards? You’ll be presented with a splash page asking you to verify your age. The landing page will have no explicit content whatsoever.

The “Porn Pass”

Users will then be forced to upload an image of their passport, drivers license and/or credit card to confirm their age and identity.

Alternatively, you can go to your local store and go through the embarrassing process of buying a “porn pass” for £4.99 (about $6.60). You’ll show your ID to the teller who will then authorize your device to watch porn. Yes, seriously.

If the porn sites fail to comply with the UK law, they’ll face strict penalties.

An Epic Privacy Violation

The porn block is an epic invasion of privacy. According to conservative estimates, it will collect up to 25 million people’s information in the first month alone.

Let that just sink in a minute. A database of 25 million email addresses, passwords, photo ID, and porn habits. All collected in one month.

Worse, it will most likely be collected by just one company. The majority of porn sites are predicted to use AgeID to verify user ages. AgeID is owned by the company that runs YouPorn, PornHub, and RedTube. It’s a monopoly of porn sites holding a monopoly of user data.

As one campaigner put it:

“The problem is you’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg: ‘This is what I like, this is who I am, and these are all of the sites I’ve visited’.”

And what happens if the database is hacked? What happens if a teacher or politician has their pornography habits leaked to the world?

The Porn Block Is Doomed to Fail

The law doesn’t even cover social media sites like Reddit, where arguably the most disturbing content is disseminated. And anyone with half a brain cell will use a VPN to route the connection outside the UK, or use anonymous crypto porn sites.

This law isn’t about graphic content. It’s about the insatiable desire to harvest data and it should be killed dead.