ATVOD have published minutes from a board meeting on 25th March 2015. This includes a few snippets about various strands of internet censorship.
The censorship of hardcore porn on the internet has previously been included under the following heading. New rules include mandatory age verification and the banning of porn beyond R18, eg fisting and golden showers.
DCMS Strategy Paper
The Board NOTED that DCMS had confirmed the intention to legislate in relation to UK services through secondary legislation. The details will be discussed with ATVOD on 3 April 2014.
The Board NOTED the action taken by DCMS and Ofcom with media regulators to create a common framework for media standards.
Restricting payments to non-UK websites
The Board NOTED the report of the third summit meeting on 6 February with representatives of the payments industry. The decisions reached at a further meeting on 25 March were reported; the preferred mechanism for the payments industry would be a
licensing regime for providers of websites, similar to that to be used for the gambling industry.
Presumably the IWF don't want to jeopardise their 100% support for action against child porn by taking on the unpopular job of being a good for nothing internet censor. It seems that ATVOD are greedily looking forward to taking on the dirty work.
It was noted that the IWF had published a report recommending that it give up its work in relation to adult obscene content. It was possible that ATVOD might be approached in relation any such move. It was AGREED that ATVOD would take no action until and
unless an approach was made.
And it appears that the authorities are working out how to spin a report that presumably does not quite support ATVOD's case.
Research on underage access to adult websites
The Board considered the confidential report, together with a recent letter to DCMS, and welcomed the considerable preparatory work undertaken by Ian McBride, Ruth Evans and Nigel Walmsley. The process for publication and anticipated coverage
post-publication were discussed.
Labour's Helen Goodman, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, has tabled a number of amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill which will be debated by MPs in Parliament on Monday, May 12. Goodman said:
Goodman's amendment proposes that foreign porn submit themselves to a UK licensing scheme complete with criminal sanctions if they don't.
I haven't spotted anything coming of Goodman's proposals so far.
Comment: Authoritarian bullshit
22nd May 2014. From Alan
The mind boggles!
How does this idiot hope to enforce this nasty piece of authoritarian bullshit? I bet the pornmakers of California are wetting themselves with fear that they are committing a criminal offence in England. The only potential victims are British
people who run a porn site but have the good sense to host it in a sane and rational country.
And isn't it time somebody stood up for younger consumers of pornography? I bought my first mucky magazine when I was about fourteen. I wouldn't have thanked some daft old besom who said I couldn't buy it until I was eighteen. Half a century on, I would
hope that the modern lad (or girl) is capable of evading parents and parliamentarians to get hold of a bit of smut
No censorship plan could be complete without fearmongering. And as is often the case, the enemy these days is dirty, filthy, child-corrupting, woman-defiling, enemy-of-the-family, soul destroying sex. Well, porn, to be precise.
BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky have launched InternetMatters.org. Another website which provides tips and resources on internet child safety. The sponsors hope that it will become a household name and encourage parents to talk to their
children about keeping safe online.
The companies involved have also committed to the ongoing marketing of Internet Matters in communications with existing customers using emails, displaying the logo on bills and having information about the initiative on their websites.
Internet Matters is not the first cross-industry initiative developed to promote children's safety online. But such sites seemed doomed to obscurity as, by design, they are targetting people who haven't taken much interest so far. And the information
provided is old hat and basic to those that have already taken an interest in these things.
Broadband ISP TalkTalk has come under fire for blocking access to the women's rights website sherights.com.
One TalkTalk customer quipped via Twitter:
TalkTalk_UK blocks me from sherights article on 'dude feminism.' Reason: 'Pornography.'
Turns out the whole sherights.com site is blocked. Heaven forbid kids learn about gender equality, right?
The efficacy of censorship through website blocking has been brought under scrutiny in recent times, as rather than block porn as advertised, the algorithms block more or less anything with a few adult terms.
When the negativity got too much, TalkTalk predictably unblocked the website but no doubt there are millions more that have not achieved the necessary outrage and are quietly being suffocated by the blocking.
It would be interesting to see if the crap blocking is affecting take up. If parent's favourite websites get blocked then surely they will be likely to turn it off entirely.
Government censors have announced that legislation will be introduced by the end of 2014 that will require British adult websites to verify the age of visitors.
Government internet censors at the Department of Censorship, Media and Sport have announced their intention to initiate legislation that will require age verification by credit card (not debit cards, which are used for the large majority of porn
purchases). Alternatively visitors can provide highly personal details that are simply best not provided to porn sites).
Unfortunately there is currently no other viable technology that allows viewers to conveniently and safely verify their age.
However Chris Ratcliff of TVX, speaking for the Adult Provider Network, an adult trade group representing 30 adult companies, said that a system is being developed that will hopefully allow some level of security and privacy for viewers. It seems that
age can be verified once, hopefully by a trusted party, and this will provide a token that can be conveniently used to gain access to British adult websites.
Unfortunately this will not be available until the end of 2015.
In the meantime it looks likely that British adult websites will be hit impossibly hard, and that British customers will be driven overseas, at least until the DCMS can come up with a practical way to try and stop this too,
Perhaps Brits would be advised to download enough porn in the next 8 months to last a lifetime...just in case.
Comment: Laughing at an Etonian Pillock
21st April 2014. From Alan
How is Cameron proposing to identify a British porn site? Many general sites use models/actors/actresses from several countries. A site based in California that includes some pics/vids of British models is likely to laugh at the Etonian pillock.
Most sites price in US dollars and use foreign-based payment processors, most obviously CC BIll. All such processors promise discretion, not indicating to credit card providers the nature of the service provided. One hopes they would tell Cameron to take
a running jump.
The worst case scenario is that totally innocuous organizations will have payments blocked by over-zealous twats like the idiot in Oxford who didn't know what a passion play is. Come to think of, that might actually be the BEST case scenario :--
if sanctimonious authoritarians succeed in stopping payments to a breast cancer awareness campaign or researchers into erectile dysfunction, it would make censorship a laughing stock.