UK Government Misses Another Ship Date On Its Porn Filter

from the an-Easter-miracle dept

Good news, UK porn aficionados: the porn filter is backed up.

The U.K. Government has postponed the introduction of controversial new regulations that have come to be known as the ‘Porn Block’ and would have blocked those under the age of 18 from viewing online porn from April.

[…]

According to the Mirror Online a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) spokesperson has now “confirmed that the official rollout plans will be announced shortly” and the April 1 commencement date no longer stands.

And so the plan that won’t work — one that’s going to under- and over-block when not being circumvented with remarkable ease — is on the back burner again. This doesn’t mean the government is going to fix it. It just means the government hasn’t been able to convince anyone in the private sector that it’s being foisted upon that it will work as intended.

The government “refreshed” its porn blockade late last year, softening a few mandates into suggestions. But the newly-crafted suggestions were backed by the implicit threat of heavier regulation. All the while, the government has ignored the hundreds of critics and experts who have pointed out the filtering plan’s numerous problems — not the least of which is a government-mandated collection of blackmail fodder.

The government is no longer demanding retention of site logs by sites performing age verification, but it’s also not telling companies they shouldn’t retain the data. Companies likely will retain this data anyway, if only to ensure they have it on hand when the government inevitably changes it mind.

As for keeping kids away from porn, the proposed system is already an admitted failure. Exemptions are in place for sites like Reddit, which has no shortage of porn to offer. Meanwhile, the government continues to insist this will all work out wonderfully whenever the long-delayed filtering system is finally rolled out.

“This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online,” a spokesperson for the Department for Digial, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said. “The government, and the BBFC as the regulator, have taken the time to get this right and we will announce a commencement date shortly.”

“Shortly.” April 1st will come and go with no porn filter. The next best guess is around Easter (April 21st). But I’d wager that date comes and goes as well with zero new porn filters. The UK government only knows what it wants. It has no idea how to get it. If UK citizens are lucky, the porn filter will end up being government vaporware — a minor annoyance only noticed every time a ship date is cancelled.

Filed Under: , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “UK Government Misses Another Ship Date On Its Porn Filter”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
28 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

Not that that's a high bar to meet...

"This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online," a spokesperson for the Department for Digial, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

Yeah, hate to break it to you, but I’d put good odds that the majority of the ‘children’ you’re trying to ‘protect’ are much more tech savy than you and the other pearl-clutching prudes trying to ‘protect’ them, and will blow past any blocks with ease.

This is ‘look at us, we’re doing something!’ legislation at best, with some potential power-grab of internet platforms mixed in.

PaulT (profile) says:

"UK Government Misses Another Ship Date|"

The UK government goes over budget and over schedule on an IT related project? I’m shocked…

Although this panders to the moralistic and totalitarian whims of the Tory voter, it’s likely just a way to pay whichever public school chum a minister wanted to throw a bunch of money to.

"This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online"

Yes, far better than parents actually moderating the things they willingly give to their own children… sigh…

Oh, and just to remind everyone who keeps saying that the UK will be magically free of silly tyranny once the disaster of Brexit comes forth – this is the kind of thing the UK can come up with all on their own. It will get worse if left unhindered by other voices.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: It's the principle, damn it!!!

As an Irishwoman I’m bemused at the prevalence of "principle above all" thinking that permeates the British mindset. Did you catch that documentary about the people duped into thinking they’d won the El Gordo lottery despite never having bought any tickets who went to court to try to claim their "winnings" off the scammers?

Then there was the chap who hired me as a temp to clean up the mess left behind by an administrator who had her own secret filing system that I was expected to decipher. I advised I would start the filing from scratch and file in alphanumeric order and that it would take a few days but items would thenceforth be easy for anyone to find. "No!" quoth he, "The new girl will make up her own way of doing it." Sigh!

Now we’ve got mad people declaring that the will o’ the people must prevail despite the blue skies, rainbows, and extra money for the NHS that we were promised that turned out to be lies, even if the economy falls off a cliff and people die for want of meds, etc.

Never underestimate the extent to which a determined idiot will go for the sake of principle, facts and reality be damned.

/End rant

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: It's the principle, damn it!!!

"As an Irishwoman I’m bemused at the prevalence of "principle above all" thinking that permeates the British mindset."

I very much doubt the "british mindset" has much to do with it. John Bull really isn’t the best characterization of the brits of today.

The real reason for shit like this can be blamed on the fact that most of the body politic of the UK pulls a Poe’s Law on that old british sitcom "Yes, Prime Minister". I’ve always suspected the real reason why you can’t show the deliberations of the UK parliament on BBC is because it exposes that shit-show for the cruel and spiteful kindergarten it is.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's the principle, damn it!!!

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Commons

RE: mindset

I submit the scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur Dent lies in front of the bulldozer about to destroy his home even though the earth is about to be demolished in minutes for your perusal.

The personal experiences I’ve had of this are many, I just used a few by way of example. I’ve not seen my fellow Irish people do it, nor anyone from overseas. This is very much a British thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

"This is a world-leading step forward to protect our children from adult content which is currently far too easy to access online," a spokesperson for the Department for Digial, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

That protection should be the parents job, and there is software available that allow them to do that job, at least until their children figure out how to bypass it, and have the desire to do so, at which time they are probably ready to start learning about the adult world.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Fail at All The Things!

Quoted from the linked article:

"“The lot of Brexiteers who are willing to work with Theresa May and aren’t bonkers is quite small,” said Rob Ford, a politics professor at the University of Manchester. “And one can argue he’s incompetent, but he’s not a flaming ideologue.”"

The funny part is that after reading the article about the facts of Grayling’s career I’m left with the impression that Professor Ford was massively diplomatic in his analysis.

What is less funny is that Cameron and Grayling can be seen as a fairly normal standard of competence in UK politics.

Anonymous Coward (user link) says:

Stories Uncle Arun and Nisha’s assets

It was getting late and she was tired. She was wondering why these people weren’t at home with their families on Christmas Eve. Why would anyone choose to spend Christmas in a motel in the middle of nowhere? She had no choice. Her dad owned the motel and she’d been the receptionist/bartender since graduating high school half a year earlier. She sighed longingly as she thought about the exciting first semester her old friends had had at college, but there’d been no money to send Nisha to college. Since her mother had died she’d had to take over running the motel with her dad. It was just the two of them now.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...