Category Archives: Reddit

Upvoted: The U.K. ‘pornography ID check’ looks like straight-up internet censorship via /r/KotakuInAction

I've been connecting some dots recently. And here's what I got:

Multiple websites are reporting on the UK internet ID thing. And they're all talking about credit cards being used as a source of identification.

For ease of links, I'm going use the telegraph as my primary source, but I can always add a dozen different websites if people don't like that publication.

Here's the report on them about the age checks. What limited information has been aired (which is in itself a little bit scary considering they want to have this functional in nine months) says that the onus would be on the website to verify the age of consumers, by way of taking their credit card numbers.

I want to point out, specifically, the paragraph here in that article, which is repeated by other publications:

Under new powers contained in the Digital Economy Act, which passed through Parliament earlier this year, a regulator will be able to block porn websites that fail to show that they are denying access to under-18s, for instance by demanding credit card details.

Bolding mine.

The first thing that comes to mind is: Porn websites aren't going to be taking your credit card details in nine months. They don't have enough time, enough warning to get this kind of system up and running just for UK citizens.

The second thing that comes to mind art articles like this:

Banks, credit card companies and the like, swinging their dicks, or being asked to swing their dicks, to remove funding from porn websites that don't comply with UK policy.

For a porn website to function in the new gleaming UK internet era, it will have to have mandatory credit card checks on it. I.E. They will have to pay a banking institution to handle credit card verification, at their own expense, just so people in the UK can access their website.

Now let me tell you all the ways this can be abused.

Say you run a website like pornhub, with BDSM. The UK government can now send you an email saying 'Hello sir, chip cheerio good day old son. If you don't remove the BDSM from your website, we're going to tell the banks and credit card institutions to remove your access.'

When said website tells the UK government in no uncertain terms to 'go fuck yourself', the UK government will tell the banks to remove their credit card access and ban them in the UK.

In this way, the UK government has effectively banned legal pornography from law-abiding citizens.

But it gets a whole lot better if you think a little grander.

Reddit hosts pornography. Reddit hosts right-wing opinion. Reddit hosts stuff critical of the current (pants on head retarded) government. So they send a similar email to reddit. Please remove adult content from your website or we'll revoke your credit card privileges. Hell, they don't even have to to be that oblique. They can just say 'remove this content we don't like or we'll revoke your credit card clearance'.

When reddit doesn't comply, they ban it in the UK with the official reasoning being 'well, they failed to institute mandatory ID checks' while leaving out the crucial bit of information that they were the ones that that made it impossible for said website to work.

It's already pretty common knowledge that credit card companies hold a lot of power over the porn industry. Credit card companies won't do business with them, and this, in turn, makes it impossible for those websites to earn revenue. Why do you think there's so many porn websites that are for free but littered with ads? Quick, name me a porn website that has credit card access that isn't Brazzers!

The UK government wants to make it mandatory for these websites to work with credit card agencies that already prove unwilling to work with them.

And the few websites that do make it past this kind of draconian rule, will be completely under the thumb of the UK government if they want to not be banned in said censorship-happy country.

This is set to be the single most abusable law ever passed. It can (and you better believe me that it will) be a vehicle for blanket-censorship of the internet, and I haven't even bothered to mention the obligatory 'I'm not a porn site but I'm on the porn site list' problem that happens every single time the government tries to censor internet porn. Somehow, mysteriously, inexplicably, websites with unsavory opinions are labeled as porn and added to the blocklist.

Reading between the lines, this law, filed under 'won't anybody think of the children?!' is just a hamfisted attempt for the UK government to exert total control over the internet. At the bare minimum, it's going to effectively ban any kind of non-vanilla porn from the UK internet. At worst, it will be used as an effective internet-censorship vehicle for the UK government to 'legally' ban any website they deem unacceptable.

Submitted by Why-so-delirious
via reddit

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