UK Porn Filter Delayed Another 6 Months After Failing to Inform EU

The notorious UK porn filter is being delayed again. This time, it’s for another 6 months after they forgot to tell Europe.

The implementation of the much protested UK porn filtering plan is going to take longer than anticipated – again. This latest delay is being blamed on the UK’s failure to inform Europe of their plans. From The Guardian:

The UK’s age-verification system for online pornography will be delayed for around six months because the government failed to inform the EU of its proposals, the culture secretary has said.

The already delayed policy, which will require all adult internet users wanting to watch legal pornography to prove they are over 18 by providing some form of identification, was due to come into force on 15 July.

However, the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, told the House of Commons, that would not happen, because of a failure to comply with European law in how statutory instruments are passed.

“In autumn last year, we laid three instruments before the house,” Wright told the Commons. “One of them sets out standards that companies need to comply with. This should have been notified to the European commission, and it was not. This will result in a delay in the region of six months.”

The idea behind the filtering in the UK is that all porn on the Internet will be filtered. After that, websites that deal with such content can work with the UK government to implement a system of age verification. Consumers can then go to a physical store to buy a so-called “porn pass“. The cost, at least at one point, is said to be £10. That consumer must then sign paperwork acknowledging that they understand the so-called “dangers” of accessing porn online. After that, their porn pass can allow them to access websites that are compliant with UK laws and working in the UK age-verification system.

Last year, the Open Rights Group blasted the government as acting negligently. Critics point out that personal information would then be tracked by these individual websites. If any one of those sites get hacked, then such information could be used for extortion purposes.

Meanwhile, the BBFC, the organization that’s supposed to be in charge of managing the age verification system, admitted that VPNs would make this system useless because VPNs can easily circumvent the filtering in the first place.

In 2014, UK ISPs got themselves wrapped up in the age verification controversy when they hijacked users browsing sessions to push the porn filtering system.

That controversy only compounded the fact that such filtering is prone to overblocking. That idea was proven when the filters, at one point, blocked the Chaos Computing Club.

Despite all the controversies and scandals, the UK government says that they are forging ahead with these proposed laws. At this point, however, this cluster will be dropped in the lap of the next UK prime minister as well. This after Theresa May stepped down on June 7th after she was unable to deliver on the Brexit deal.

So, it seems this headache will be continuing for some time. This after more than 4 years of trying to implement it.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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