UK Porn Fans Look For Ways Around New Anti-Porn Law: Here Are Two

CYBERSPACE—In the days of old, before the internet, getting ahold of porn was a far more onerous task than it has become for today's fans. The neighborhood newsstand, which usually carried a variety of porn magazines—often encased in plain brown wrappers—was one of the few ways to purchase adult material. Now, at least in the United Kingdom, those days may be returning, albeit with a high-tech twist, as U.K. porn fans try to adapt to set to take effect sometime this year.

The law is designed supposedly to stop minors from stumbling across online porn “by accident,” in the words of one government minister, by requiring porn fans to provide some sort of proof that they are over 18.

But the new law, part of the U.K. 2017 Digital Economy Act, has raised fears about how user data will be used and stored. The new requirements to upload personal information could even lead, cybersecurity experts say, to a serious national security risk, if the porn-viewing habits of government, military and business leaders fall into the hands of hackers from hostile foreign governments—not exactly an unusual occurrence, as events over the past several years indicate.

But one proposal for getting around the requirement for porn viewers to upload sensitive data would get newsstand operators back into the business of selling porn, or to porn, just like in the pre-internet days.

According to a report in newspaper over the weekend, British adults who want access to online porn will be able to purchase a “porn pass” from their local news vendor on the street or corner shop. All they’ll need to do is present proof of age to the clerk behind the cash register.

The pass will take the form, according to the media reports, of a 16-digit code that can be entered online on any porn site, or any type of online business that sells age-restricted products such as tobacco or alcohol. According to the proposal, now in front of the British Board of Film Classification, which is in charge of enforcing the new age restrictions, the passes would cost U.K. porn fans £10, or about $14 in United States cash.

Currently, the “porn pass” proposal is only that: a proposal. But according to the tech , there is another possible “workaround” in the works for British porn consumers: porn by email.

In fact, created by internet anti-censorship activist Gareth Llewellyn, the Porn By Email service already exists, at . Users may even state a preference for, say, a specific performer, and the service will automatically email a selection of porn fulfilling those requirements.

Llewellyn told The Register that his software, when perfected, will be made “open source,” meaning that anyone, including entrepreneurial porn performers, can customized porn email delivery services.

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