20-25 Million UK Adults Risk Their Porn Habits Being Leaked Publicly
Derek Jarman’s notorious 1976 film ‘Sebastiane’ not only featured dialogue exclusively in Latin, it was also reportedly the first movie certified by the British Board of Film Censors (as they were then) to depict an erection. According to fellow British film-maker Alex Cox, Jarman claimed they "hid" the erection in question in order to smuggle it past the Censors; a claim which Cox states the former BBFC chief censor James Ferman completely refuted.
Forty years later and the British Board of Film Classification (as they are now, having replaced the totalitarian sounding ‘censorship’ with the more family friendly phrase ‘classification’) may face the more labour intensive erection inspection of ensuring that all commercial internet pornography consumed in the UK after April 2018 complies with the age verification requirements of the Digital Economy Act 2017.
This is because the DEAct prohibits “a person making pornographic material available on the internet” to anyone in the UK “on a commercial basis” unless that pornographic material is rendered inaccessible to children under the age of 18 by virtue of age verification software. The regulator will have the power to give notice to UK based Internet Service Providers “to prevent access to the ‘offending’ materials” by blocking material from appearing over those UK ISP’s. In free speech terms the groundwork for Hadrian’s Firewall has already been set in law.
Whilst the DEAct has now passed through Parliament, the age-verification regulator has yet to be designated (the BBFC are merely presumed to be the “regulator in waiting”) and the Act completely fails to address the users of age verification’s own privacy or data security. To put this in perspective, MindGeek (who reportedly own approximately 90% of the free adult “tube” sites on the internet such as PornHub) anticipate that twenty to twenty five million adults in the UK will sign up to MindGeek’s own age verification software “within the first month”.