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You’re soon going to need to buy a ‘porn pass’ from your local newsagents

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Harvey Day
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Why you might soon need to buy a 'porn pass' from your local newsagents

The Goverment is planning to bring in strict new porn age verification laws and “porn passes” are one strange part of the proposed scheme

There’s been a whole lot of controversy recently over the Tory government’s plan to crack down on underage people watching porn online by bringing in compulsory age checks.

According to the plan, which has now been delayed, British porn watchers would have to prove their age – and potentially even give over their credit card information – before, ahem, getting off.

First of all, the government hasn’t put forward any concrete plans about how the age verification system, part of the Digital Economy Act, would work but instead has said it will be up to the porn industry itself to come up with a solution. 

You know… that highly reputable and not at all seedy porn industry. Sounds like a plan without any flaws.

Why you might soon need to buy a 'porn pass' from you local newsagent

Could your days of carefree masturbation soon be over? 

And then thinking more long-term, what happens when all our porn data is inevitably leaked? Do I really want my mum knowing about all my embarrassing, highly specific fetishes?

The latest development in this saga is a plan to allow high street newsagents to sell “porn passes” that will let adults over 18 visit dirty websites anonymously.

According to the Independent, the 16-digit cards will allow browsers to avoid giving personal details online when asked to prove their age.

Instead, they would show shopkeepers a passport or driving licence when buying the pass.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: “We are in the process of implementing some of the strictest data protection laws in the world.

“A wide variety of online age verification solutions exist, or are in development, and they will have to abide by these high standards. We expect data security to be a high priority in the BBFC’s guidance on age verification arrangements.”

To decode that: this statement means they still don’t have a clue what they’re doing or how the new online porn rules will work.

And the good people of Twitter weren’t impressed.

The BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones agreed that this proves the government is struggling with the new laws.

And Radio 4 Money Box presenter Paul Lewis added: “’A pint of milk, the Telegraph, a lottery scratch card and, oh, I better have a porn pass Mrs Wilks.’ How could that not work smoothly?”

Finally, one commenter made the very good point that the days of being asked by kids to buy booze and cigarettes could soon be replaced by requests to pick them up a cheeky porn pass. Yeah, this is definitely going to happen. 

(Images: Unsplash / Getty)

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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