U.K. Anti-Porn Law Poses National Security Risk, Experts Say

UNITED KINGDOM—The recently passed United Kingdom law that slaps porn sites with hefty fines if they fail to age-verify their users was back in headlines this week, when the investigative news magazine raising new and serious fears about the U.K.’s 2017 Digital Economy Act—fears that the government could be compiling a Big Brother-style database of porn fans.

, porn sites may use a variety of methods to validate a visitor based on age—but any option requires collecting personal data from users, and once that data is collected, the government must be able to access it in order to make sure that sites are complying with the Digital Economy Act. Or perhaps even worse, the personal data which could include a record of porn sites visited by each user, would be vulnerable to hackers.

That means the law poses not only a risk to the privacy of individual visitors to porn sites, the data becomes “a monumental national security risk,” according to cybersecurity expert Matt Tait, as quoted by Mother Jones.

Data breaches by hackers, often acting on behalf of hostile governments, have become common occurrences in recent years. The United States earlier this year in connection with a massive infiltration of the internet platform Yahoo! in 2013 that compromised the personal data of Yahoo! users.

In 2014 hackers from a group calling itself “Guardians of Peace,” but who were government agents according to the FBI, broke into the internal servers of the Hollywood movie studio Sony Pictures, stealing and then leaked online thousands of private emails and sensitive personal and financial data about numerous Sony employees and big-name celebrities.

Earlier this year, the credit reporting Equifax, whose computers store highly personal financial information on almost every American who has ever used a credit card or taken out a bank loan, was who stole information on more than 145 million Americans. The hackers remain unidentified, but investigators say that available evidence points to the Chinese government.

And of course, during the 2016 presidential election campaign, the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign, stealing and weaponizing thousands of private, internal emails.

With those large institutions, and numerous others, proving vulnerable to catastrophic data breaches, how secure is user information on a porn site?

Tait when a British government official will have to give the following message to the Prime Minister:

"Sorry Prime Minister, Russia now knows what porn every MP, civil servant and clearance holder watches and when, and we don't know how much of it they've given to Wikileaks.”

The porn-watching data of every Britisg citizen who visits a porn site will not only be vulnerable to hackers, but also to internal turncoats who might take it upon themselves to release the data for reasons of their own.

“The Brits are going to have to ensure numerous redundancies are built in so that a single Snowden-type person can’t run off with all the data,” Washington D.C.-based national security lawyer Brad Moss told Mother Jones.

As AVN.com reported earlier this year, users are already figuring out ways to circumvent the potentially dangerous and intrusive age-verification system, including such methods as disguising personal internet addresses by using a Virtual Proxy Network (VPN), or , a service that encrypts internet data, allowing users to browse online, including porn sites, with full anonymity.