Government Repeals the Porn Laws

In good news for online voyeurs, the new Government has announced it will not press ahead with Theresa May’s planned porn laws, legislation that would have brought in draconian restrictions on what websites people can freely access. In a written statement today, DCMS Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

“The government has concluded that this objective of coherence will be best achieved through our wider online harms proposals and, as a consequence, will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification for online pornography”

“The Digital Economy Act objectives will therefore be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime. This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care.”

The Adam Smith Institute, which helped lead the campaign to abolish the authoritarian policy is delighted with the policy reversion, which was it has to be said was a long time coming , telling Guido

“Millions of Brits can rest easier tonight as the government finally takes its sticky fingers out of people’s private lives. The porn laws were destined to fail and were a PR nightmare for a party that says it believes in individual liberty, personal and parental responsibility.”

“It’s great news for all of us that the government is no longer in the grip of patrician politicians that don’t understand the Internet.”

Freedom is winning….

Government Cocks Up Porn Laws

The Government is continuing to have a hard time getting their ludicrous Porn Laws through, this morning Jeremy Wright came to the Commons to confirm Guido’s report from last month that the Porn Laws will not be coming into force on 15th July. The problem apparently is that DCMS forgot to notify the EU of the change in the law, a cock-up which Wright says he only noticed last Friday, meaning the turgid legislation will be delayed for at least a further six months. Beautifully sums up May’s dire premiership – she can’t even get her grossly authoritarian legislation enacted because she hasn’t managed to leave the EU…

If anything this looks like a convenient excuse for ministers who have belatedly realised just how counterproductive and unenforceable the legislation will be, not to mention how deeply unpopular it will be when the unsuspecting public get caught with their pants down. Guido has spoken to MPs and ministers who were genuinely taken aback when they realised just how much of a mess the Government’s bone-headed policy is. DCMS won’t give a hard deadline following this third delay, by the time a new PM takes over the legislation will be so limp they should just toss it out…

Freedom Victory: Porn Laws Could Be Delayed

Theresa May’s porn block was originally set to be introduced last year, first it was delayed to the start of April 2019 and then moved back again to July 15. Now the Daily Star is reporting that it could be delayed yet again after Government figures acknowledged they will be unable to enforce the totalitarian Porn Laws if browsers such as Firefox and Chrome roll out DNS encryption, which both major browsers are reportedly working on. Kleenex shareholders will be breathing sighs of relief…

The freedom lovers at the Adam Smith Institute are naturally very pleased too:

“A delay isn’t quite a drop, but this dreadful policy is clearly losing support in government as MPs wake up to the reality of how unpopular blocking their constituents’ porn is. The next leader has to be someone who understands the state has no business in how voters choose to get busy.”

The last thing that’s going to endear politicians to voters when they’re having time to themselves is the hand of the state reaching in instead…

Porn Laws Catch Public With Their Pants Down

New polling by YouGov has revealed that a whopping 76% of the public are completely unaware of the tossing tax, set to come into force in just two weeks time. This massive Government power grab is going to catch people completely unawares…

Disconcertingly, the majority of people who watch porn “most days” do not know about the policy and could end up in a sticky situation as prime targets of countless fraudsters asking for their credit card details amongst the confusion. People may then be too embarrassed to report the scammers…

When told about it, people who watch porn at least once a week oppose it by 56% to 38%. A majority of 18-24 year olds oppose the policy, although this flips as respondents get older, with three quarters of pensioners supporting the policy. Those who are most supportive of the tossing tax are the people who didn’t grow up with the internet…

Theresa May’s Tossing Tax

Amongst the Brexit drama it’s easy to miss that an extraordinary anti-freedom, anti-personal responsibility set of regulations under the Digital Economy Act come into full force next month. From April, any internet service will face fines and consequences if pornographic material can be accessed on them by anyone under the age of 18. This means if anyone wants to watch porn in the UK, they will have to do one of three things…

  1. Give your credit card details to a government approved company
  2. Buy a Government approved porn pass from a newsagent for £8.99
  3. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

This means that anyone under the age of 18 will not be able to access pornography safely. Teenagers will have to either nick their parents credit cards, get an older person to buy a porn pass for them, or download the kind of VPN software used by dissidents living under authoritarian regimes, drug dealers, and child pornographers. Sexting will undoubtedly rise, with a ban making it easier for teenagers to send explicit pictures to each other than finding some on the internet, raising a swathe of new child safety concerns. Any politician thinking teenagers simply won’t watch porn is living in a fantasy world…

The consequences for platforms like Twitter or Reddit, some users of which post pornographic content, are disconcertingly ambiguous. When this has happened on some sites in the past, indiscriminate crack downs have accidentally hit vital resources for struggling teens, particularly LGBT services…

Quite apart from the child safety concerns, adults will also be driven to VPN use and the dark web audience will massively expand. People will be rightly concerned about handing over credit card details to porn companies’ age verification checkers. The leading age verification service, AgeID, is owned by the company that also owns PornHub, YouPorn and RedTube. Creating an enormous database of literally millions of credit card details linked to pornographic preferences. What could possibly go wrong..?

Having to humiliatingly purchase a government approved ‘porn licence’ is the kind of nonsense Guido would expect from an authoritarian regime. Instead of sheepishly shuffling in to a newsagents to hand over their £9 ‘Tossing Tax’, less technologically savvy adults will inevitably stumble into giving out their credit card details to nefarious actors, or downloading viruses instead of legitimate VPNs. This legislation is a fraudster’s dream…

The electoral implications will be bigger than politicians realise. The Tories suffered huge consequences from younger voters over fox hunting. Thanks to the prudish cowardice of most MPs, there hasn’t been a big uproar over this egregiously draconian legislation yet. But self reported polls suggest that three quarters of men admit to watching porn and the true number is likely to be higher. If politicians are brave enough there could be huge electoral mileage in a campaign to Repeal the Porn Laws…

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