UK delays introduction of on-by-default porn blocker, again

The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has delayed its porn age verification scheme which was intended to be switched on from July 15. The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Wright, announced the decision in parliament saying that the delay was due to the fact that the DCMS had failed to notify the European Commission.

This is not the first time that the government has had to delay the filter, back in March 2018, the government announced that it was pushing back the decision to launch the filter in April so that it could ensure it got the implementation right. Then, in April, it was announced by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) that the system would go live from July 15; that will no longer be the case.

While the government hopes that the age check filter will stop children accidentally stumbling on pornographic content, critics have said that the database that has been built to store credentials could be hacked and people’s viewing preferences could be leaked. The Open Rights Group, for example, stated in a document that:

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community may be forced to deal with the fact that they are ‘outed’ by the leaking of such data. This could have devastating consequences, particularly those who are dependent on family members or who are members of religious faith which are less accepting of LGBTQ+ identities.”

For those concerned about the initiative, today’s news is good as the project has been further delayed with no new launch date, however, Wright did confirm that it was still the government’s intention to bring in the new system in the future.

Source: BBC News

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