The House of Lords has given a second reading to the Digital Economy Act 2017 (Commencement of Part 3) Bill [HL] which is attempting to resurrect the failed law requiring age verification for porn websites. The bill reads:
Commencement of Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017
The Secretary of State must make regulations under section 118(6) (commencement) of the Digital Economy Act 2017 to ensure that by 20 June 2022 all
provisions under Part 3 (online pornography) of that Act have come into force.
The full reasoning for law to come into force have never been published but this is most likely due to the law totally failing to address the issue of
keeping porn users' data safe from scammers, blackmailers and thieves. It also seems that the government would prefer to have general rules under which to harangue websites for not keeping children safe from harm rather than set to an expensive bunch of
film censors seeking out individual transgressors.
The 2nd reading debate featured the usual pro-censorship peers queing up to have a whinge about the availability of porn. And as is always the case, most of them haven't been bothered thinking
about the effectiveness of the measures, their practicality and acceptability. And of course nothing about the safety of porn users who foolishly trust their very dangerous identity data to porn websites and age verification companies.
the Earl of Erroll seems to be something of a shill for those age verification companies. He chairs the Digital Policy Alliance ( dpalliance.org.uk ) which acts as a lobby group
for age verifiers. He excelled himself in the debate with a few words that have been noticed by the press. He spouted:
What really worries me is not just extreme pornography, which has quite rightly been mentioned, but
the stuff you can access for free -- what you might call the teaser stuff to get you into the sites. It normalises a couple of sexual behaviours which are not how to go about wooing a woman. Most of the stuff you see up front is about men almost
attacking women. It normalises -- to be absolutely precise about this, because I think people pussyfoot around it -- anal sex and blowjobs. I am afraid I do not think that is how you go about starting a relationship.