Written evidence submitted by Myles Jackman and Pandora Blake (DEB 61)
1 This evidence is submitted jointly by Myles Jackman and Pandora Blake. Myles Jackman is a solicitor specialising in obscenity law, who obtained Not Guilty verdicts in two landmark obscenity trials in 2012, R v Walsh and R v Peacock. The same year, he was awarded the Law Society’s Junior Lawyer of the Year Excellence Award. Pandora Blake is an independent scholar and multi award-winning feminist pornographer, whose ethical porn site was unsuccessfully censored in 2015 by ATVOD under the AVMS Regulations 2014, and reinstated in 2016 after a successful appeal to Ofcom. Both have significant concerns around the impact of obscenity law on sexual minorities, and are active campaigners for civil liberties and sexual freedom.
2 We have serious concerns about the impact of the age verification policy outlined in the Digital Economy Bill, regarding: the potential for loss of personal privacy; credit card fraud and identity theft; increased state surveillance; misuse of data by private companies; embarrassing data leaks; adults prevented from viewing legal materials; and serious and significant infringement of freedom of expression. We argue that this policy is unnecessary, disproportionate, unworkable, and unintentionally risks vesting more harm rather than good for the following reasons: