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March 06, 2019

UK Porn ‘Age Verification’ Law Finally To Take Effect In April

After a series of delays, a United Kingdom anti-porn law passed by the British Parliament in 2017 will finally take effect next month, requiring anyone who wants to watch online porn in the U.K. to upload their personal identification into an online system that will, in theory, work across dozens or even thousands of porn sites.The only other way to access online porn, for people in the U.K. who may be understandably wary of uploading their driver’s license or other personal documents to log in to porn sites—including “free” sites such as PornHub and YouPorn—will be to buy a special card with a login code. The cards will be sold at local shops for £5, or about $6.50.The parent company of PornHub, YouPorn and other “tube” sites, MindGeek, has developed what is expected to be the most widely use age verification software, AgeID, according to Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. Sites must comply with the age-verification rules—including offering users a “nom-pornographic” landing page—or face a fine of £250,000, or about $330,000. Sites that do not use the system could also end up permanently blocked by the government in the U.K.The law will go into effect nearly two years after it was passed, despite serious privacy concerns about the possibility that the law will create, in effect, a national database of porn consumers, as AVN.com reported. The law could also create a “a monumental national security risk,” according to cybersecurity expert Matt Tait, as AVN.com reported. Hackers, especially those employed by hostile states, could obtain records of the porn-viewing habits of U.K. citizens, including government officials, creating serious blackmail risks.But AgeID spokesperson James Clark, quoted by The New York Post, said that those concerns are unfounded.“When a user registers an AgeID account using an email address and password, both are protected by a salted, one-way hash. This means that at no point does AgeID have a database of email addresses,” Clark said. “AgeID does not know the identity or date of birth of its users; all it knows is whether a hashed account is over 18 or not.”Photo By Lunarbunny/Wikimedia Commons 

 
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