from the your-porn-is-showing dept.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
Enforcing age verification checks for online porn sites could be detrimental to smaller ISPs and significantly increase online fraud, the government has admitted.
The measures, which are due to come into force in May, will require UK residents to prove they are 18 or over in order to get access to porn sites.
[...] And the one for age verification (PDF) – slipped out over the Christmas break – is a doozy, reeling off a list covering concerns about privacy, online fraud and reputational damage to the government.
The document also set out the costs of the new measures, which includes a cost to the public purse of between £1m and £7.9m for the creation of the regulator.
Meanwhile, the estimated cost to large ISPs of blocking sites – on the assumption that this would be for between 1 and 50 sites a year on a DNS level – is in the range of £100,000 to £500,000, which they said would cover a system update to include the BBFC's chosen porn sites.
These providers told government it was likely they would be able to absorb ongoing operational costs, probably because many already have blocking systems.
But this isn't true for all providers, as Neil Brown, tech lawyer at decoded:Legal, pointed out: "If every ISP needs to block non-compliant sites, that will impact smaller ISPs, especially if they don't already have a blocking system in place."
The government acknowledges this risk in the impact assessment, saying that the requirement "could have a negative impact on smaller ISPs with a much smaller workforce and we will need to carefully consider the impact on them".
[...] The security measures of the age verification providers has also been questioned – especially as the frontrunner at the moment, AgeID, is produced by mega-porn-corp MindGeek, whose companies don't have a great reputation for security.
"It would be ironic if a mass exposure of people's porn proclivities... is what teaches the public about the importance of online privacy and security," said Jackman.
Faced with all of this, perhaps it's not surprising that the government also lists as a potential risk that people simply stop using online porn at all.
But, hey, perhaps that's what the government wants...®