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UK newsagents to sell £10 passes for adult site access

by Mark Tyson on 14 May 2018, 12:01

Tags: UK Government

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A month ago HEXUS reported that the government's compulsory age verification system had been delayed. The system was being put in place to prevent children accidentally stumbling over explicit content online, however the behind-the-scenes tech wasn't going to be ready in time, according to a contemporaneous BBC report.

To be effective, age verification would require various / multiple forms of ID (perhaps passport info, credit card info, and/or others) being input by someone who wishes to browse a pornographic website while based in the UK. However, the sharing of such data rang alarm bells with many web users, for both privacy and security reasons. With data leaks and hacking activity in the headlines all the time, it is easy to imagine registered 'porn pass' users being ripped off and/or blackmailed.

Over the weekend news broke that there will be a rather more anonymous way to get an age verification code. The Independent reports that anyone who wants one of the 16-digit 'porn pass' cards will be able to pick one up at a high street newsagent by taking along ID such as a passport or driving license. Passes will cost around £10. There was no information provided about whether the 16-digit number would be tied to your ID on some database or other.

Websites that don't comply with the age verification checks face their sites being blocked by major UK ISPs and fines of up to £250,000 (US$350,000). Our last report on this government initiative said age verification checks would be in place by the end of the year. Before implementation the guidance needs final clearance by parliament.

HEXUS Forums :: 70 Comments

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If I were to be interested in this sort of thing - which I'm not - then this would be the way I would want to set things up. No holding of details, no hackable database, no reference back to a payment method. Looks like it took the BBFC to sort out something the Home Office had no idea about.

It's not my bag though. I don't go on those sort of sites. Not me. That was just a misspelling that one time.
so basically anyone can buy a code and that code can be used umpteen times by anyone? so one kid at school gets a code from an older friend or brother or dirty uncle and he rakes in a quid per time he gives the code out to someone else. what a waste of time
It's a shame that the UK Government wastes so much time and money doing things they think will help rather than doing things that actually will. how much has this project costed wherein the money could have gone elsewhere?

I think thought the mandatory porn switch on everyones internet connection was enough…
Oh great, so now the kids hanging around outside the shops will want porn passes as well as fags and cider…

Such a pointless idea, there are countless ways of accessing smut online, the most insidious/dangerous/unsuitable of which are definitely not the established brand-name porn sites.