The UK Government Plans to Block Thousands of Porn Sites Within the UK

Less than a week after the controversial 'Snoopers' Charter' was passed by both Houses of Parliament, the UK government has announced plans to force Internet Service Providers to block any pornographic websites that fail to ask it's users for age verification.

The plan is part of the Conservative government's initiative to restrict what young people can access online and is largely in reaction to a poll released last year by the NSPCC concerning children accessing pornography online. The survey claimed that a tenth of British 10-13 year olds fear that they are 'addicted' to pornography while one in five 11-17 year olds have seen images online that have 'shocked or upset them.'

The plan is to be included in the new Digital Economy Bill which is on track to become law in Spring 2017. The rule will apply to all websites, not only those based in the UK, and is to be enforced by the British Board of Film Classification.

The legitimacy of the NSPCC survey, however, has been criticised by many who have pointed to the fact that the poll was conducted by market research group 'One Poll' who are famed for creating polls with click-worthy and often inaccurate headlines such as 'Fifty percent of British adults think Mount Everest is in the UK.'

Moreover, critics of the new legislation have also expressed worry about how this law will be enforced without forcing consenting adults to share their personal information with pornographic sites. Ofcom, the communications regulation organisation, hinted that adults trying to access porn websites from within the UK may first have to prove they own a credit card or may also be checked against the electoral register.

However, anyone concerned with privacy should be alarmed by this suggestion as this will ultimately lead to the creation a database of all people who are accessing porn from within the UK. Since the passing of the Snoopers' Charter has shown that the UK government does not shy away from spying on it's citizens, the UK public should be worried about this information being collected and stored by the authorities. In addition, there is also the worry that this information could be released in a hack, as happened with the controversial dating site Ashley Madison.

Overall, this legislation seems to be the next step in an alarming trend from Theresa May's Conservative government as they try to gain greater control over the British public's online behaviour. Unfortunately this means that privacy-seeking Brits will need to become a bit more savvy if they want their online actions to remain unknown by the UK authorities.

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