Are you aware that your freedom to view what so ever you chose on the internet is being curtailed by the British Government?
Are you aware what your Members of Parliament are doing in your name and this is not limited to the right wing Tory government but is backed also by the Labour party?
The Investigatory Powers Bill is on track to becoming UK law after being approved by the House of Lords, despite facing strong opposition. What does this mean for you:
To prove you’re over 18, you’ll have to type in sensitive personal details such as your legal name, credit card details, date of birth, address or phone number. That data will be visible not to us, but to whatever age verification system we use. Private companies will be involved they are free to operate unregulated, and without having to safeguard the security and privacy of your personal data. It will force internet service providers (ISPs) to store people’s web history data (known as Internet Connection Records, a list of websites you visit, but not the individual webpages you click on) for up to a year. Spy agencies will also be granted the power to collect bulk personal datasets, including information of people not suspected of any criminal activity. They will also be permitted to undertake large scale hacking operations, though they must first obtain a warrant from the secretary of state.
Web users in the UK will be banned from accessing websites portraying a range of non-conventional sexual acts, under a little discussed clause to a government bill currently going through parliament.
The proposal, part of the digital economy bill, would force internet service providers to block sites hosting content that would not be certified for commercial DVD sale by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
“Many of the sexual activities prohibited from R18 [the BBFC’s most explicit certification] are normalised and accepted aspects of healthy sexuality, and are proudly celebrated by the feminist, queer and ethical porn movements internationally,”
It is contained within provisions of the bill designed to enforce strict age verification checks to stop children accessing adult websites. After pressure from MPs, the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, announced on Saturday that the government would amend the bill to include powers to block non-compliant websites. In order to comply with the censorship rules, many mainstream adult websites would have to render whole sections inaccessible to UK audiences. That is despite the acts shown being legal for consenting over-16s to perform and for adults in almost all other liberal countries to film, distribute and watch.
Free speech campaigners labelled the move a “prurient” invasion into people’s sexual lives. “It should not be the business of government to regulate what kinds of consensual adult sex can be viewed by adults,” said Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship.
Pictures and videos that show spanking, whipping or caning that leaves marks, and sex acts involving urination, female ejaculation or menstruation as well as sex in public are likely to be caught by the ban – in effect turning back the clock on Britain’s censorship regime to the pre-internet era.
“There has been no discussion of the censorship provisions of the digital economy bill by MPs during its committee stage, where debate has largely focused on age verification rules. But sources within the adult industry seemed aware.”
The scale of the restrictions only became apparent after the BBFC, which has since 1984 been empowered to classify videos for commercial hire or sale, agreed to become the online age verification regulator last month. A spokeswoman for the BBFC said it would also check whether sites host “pornographic content that we would refuse to classify”.
“In making this assessment, we will apply the standards that we apply to pornography that is distributed offline,” she said. “If a website fails on either of these [age verification or obscene content] tests then a notification of non-compliance will be sent to the site.”
There is no definitive list of sexual acts proscribed by the BBFC, but many adult film producers who have worked with the regulator have been forced to cut scenes, said Jerry Barnett, a free speech campaigner and author of Porn Panic!, which details the rise of a new pro-censorship movement in the UK.
“Although it is nominally designed to enforce the [Obscene Publications Act] guidelines of the Crown Prosecution Service, in practice it draws far tighter lines, many of them inexplicable. The ban on female ejaculation is a particularly strange example,” he said.
The censorship regime has led to bizarre understandings between the producers and regulators, Barnett said. One is the “four-finger rule”, which limits the number of digits that can be inserted into an orifice for sexual stimulation.
This whole act is going to make the UK the most heavily censored country outside North Korea and put us on an equal footing to tin pot dictatorships which find arbitrary reasons to stop its citizens viewing the internet of their choice. Please sign and share the petition against the censorship of legal adult content. You can find out more information from the open rights group https://www.openrightsgroup.org/support-org We take this infringement on our human rights very seriously, so should you. The passing of this legislation opens the door to wholesale blocking of websites the government do not approve of, not only this, they are infringing upon your freedom to please yourself what you see or hear.
To summaries: Parliament has voted to create a new national censor, that can block websites without a court order. The government wants it to censor adult websites that don’t offer “age verification”—and censor “non-conventional” content on those sites that do
The Digital Economy Bill now has powers to force Internet Service Providers to block erotica and pornography websites that don’t verify the age of their users. It can also tell those sites what kind of material is acceptable—it says it will censor “non-conventional pornography”.
This equates to censorship of legal content – potentially affecting tens of thousands of websites and millions of people.
The policy is meant to enforce the use of “age verification” technology. Most websites won’t add these checks, or will choose to use simple but bad methods.
Age verification could itself lead to widespread credit card fraud, if publishers ask people to share their card details just to access random websites. Collection of porn browsing information would create risks of Ashley Maddison style data leaks. There no privacy safeguards in the Bill.
Once censorship is in place, politicians will think of plenty more things they can ban. We have heard discussions around this bill asking why more material is not being censored to make the Internet safe for families.
Blocking websites is a disproportionate, technical response to a complex, social issue. The UK’s children need education, not censorship, to keep them safe.
“Campaigners label bill targeted at online pornography a ‘prurient’ intervention that will take Britain’s censorship regime back to pre-internet era”.