The UK government is proposing tracking online users' porn browsing habits in a move that will make "The Minority Report" and George Orwell's 1984 look weak as we head into a dystopian surveilled Orwellian society.
1984 wasn't an instruction manual but governments keep thinking it's a play-by-play of how to spy on civilians; but this time they may have crossed the line violating users' privacy rights.
Last summer, the British government passed the Digital Economy Act of 2017, which updated laws and regulations for broadband services. One provision of the bill was designed to prevent underage kids from accessing pornography, requiring visitors to porn sites to provide proof they are over 18 years old mandatory by April 2018.
The British Board of Film and Classification (BBFC), will oversee the implementation of the regulations, but the government will leave this up to the pornography industry themselves to implement.
Under the new law, porn sites are threatened with a fine of £250,000 ($335,000) if they are caught failing to verify the age of any of their users. Payment processors such as Visa, Mastercard, etc. could be notified if their client is breaking the law, and might be ordered to terminate payments.
Numerous options for confirming a person's age are being considered. For example, porn sites could ask credit card companies to validate birth dates, or contract a third-party company to follow an individual's social media feed. But they all involve keeping a person's private information on the website, which could pose a potential security risk given past hacks of porn sites and more notably the hack of Ashley Madison, an extramarital affair website which hackers were able to link online accounts back with account holders through just an email address. That hack included the outing of bankers, civil servants, UN peacekeepers, firefighters, NHS staff, BBC journalists, police officers and even Vatican employees, The Telegraph reported.
The UK for years has been trying to ban certain genres of pornography from being produced, but this is an abhorrent privacy violation and puts citizens of the UK at risk for blackmail simply from their porn-viewing habits.
In 2014, the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations introduced a series f restrictions on the pornography produced and sold in the UK as an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act, The Independent reported. These sex acts included spanking, caning, aggressive whipping, penetration by any object "associated with violence," physical or verbal abuse (regardless of being consensual), urolagnia (known as "water sports"), role-playing as non-adults, physical restraint, humiliation, female ejaculation, strangulation, facesitting and fisting, with the last three being labeled "life threatening."
One year prior, disgraced UK prime minister David Cameron tried but failed to block porn all together in households in the UK by setting up a law where Internet providers would be required to censor all porn unless users chose to receive it, using the reasoning that porn was "corroding childhood," BBCreported.
I want to talk about the internet, the impact it is having on the innocence of our children, how online pornography is corroding childhood.
And how, in the darkest corners of the internet, there are things going on that are a direct danger to our children, and that must be stamped out.
I'm not making this speech because I want to moralise or scaremonger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.
Last year a report stated that while UK law should be used to prosecute for genuinely non-consensual porn, child pornography, revenge pornography, bestiality, and necrophilia, it does not mean those who are engaging in consensual adult fetish, kink or BDSM should face jail.
"The extreme porn ban criminalizes depictions of sex acts even if they are safely performed by consenting adults," Nick Cowen, author of the report, wrote. "We have seen the law used, in particular, to target and expose gay men. Each such case represents a personal tragedy and a disgraceful use of our criminal justice system's scarce resources," he added.
The bill is marketed as a way to protect children; and while some of the affirmed acts mentioned above may seem extreme, if it is between two consenting adults it should be no one's business but their own.
"The government is committed to keeping children safe from harmful pornographic content online and that is exactly what we are doing," Karen Bradley, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said. "Only adults should be allowed to view such content."
This new proposal, combined with existing laws, seems to be a way for the government not only to police content and who watches content but to keep a database on what is being watched and by whom. It seems "insane" that this is even being considered.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Steemit, andBitChute. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
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