Article Update (26th June 2019): There has been some more news that has come out in the last week or so that suggests that the law has been delayed (For a third time), and thus will no longer be implemented on July 15th 2019. Multiple sources have suggested that it's been delayed for 6 months, others say indefinitely and a few of them are saying it's been withdrawn. I will be leaving this article up however for prosperity, and in case it does come back. As usual, I will keep you all updated. - @Temaelrin on 26th June 2019 @ 22:00hrs
Article Update (17th October 2019): After repeated delays to implement this; the UK government has decided to scrap this stupid idea after all. What it will be replaced with, we don't know. But for now, this is a big win for us, and a big win for online privacy. There will be no age verification and this whole article is now moot and pointless. - @Temaelrin on 17th October 2019 @ 15:25hrs (UTC)
I've been trying to put this off for quite some time now, however I've recently had it made clear to me under no and uncertain terms that I cannot put it off. This is something I didn't want to talk about, and I had hoped that
citizens subjects in the United Kingdom would have raised their voices and told the Government to go fuck themselves, but apparently that's not going to happen and now we (as an industry) have to deal with it.
I am of course talking about the UK's Porn Pass - A.K.A: Government Permission to Wank. If I am going to be forced to implement this - which is looking increasingly likely at this point, then I will be speak very fucking candidly about it at the end of the serious thing, I will deliver my thoughts – open, raw and uncensored.
On July 15th 2019; the United Kingdom’s age verification law for pornography sites, will go into effect. The aim is: The UK Government want its
citizens subjects to prove that they are over 18 to access adult content, and apparently putting in your Date of Birth will no longer suffice anymore. To prove that you’re over 18, you’ll either need to enter your credit card, passport number, mobile phone number or by an age verification pass from one of your local newsagents/shops. This is part of the 2017 Digital Economy Act. This law surrounds adult content, I believe it also applies to gambling sites, and tobacco/alcohol, but I’m not sure on that. In the adult site category, it applies to media (Pictures, videos and so on), cartoon porn (Hentai), and text (Roleplays for example. Sex Stories, etc).
Sites that do not comply with law will face fines of up to £250,000 (At the time of writing this works out to be around $318,000 USD) and/or getting their website(s) blocked in that country.
I want to make this clear that I do not like this, and I find this is to be an obviously unacceptable overreach by the UK Government, and as I’ve said previously, I’ve been told that I cannot ignore it. I also want to make this clear: This isn’t a Brexit issue. This isn’t a left/right issue. It seems that all mainstream political parties are in favour of this because of the age-old pearl-clutching trope of “Won’t somebody think of the children?!” That and the UK seems more fixated on being first in the world to do something like this, and that somehow makes it good, which is a logical fallacy in-on-itself.
This announcement isn’t to talk about how we can resist it or block it. But what will happen and what I am looking into going forward. I will be speaking candidly after this to share my thoughts and concerns on the matter. But for now, I will share with you what my choices and options are. I will say that I have no intention on purging EcchiDreams of all smut-content and confine it to EcchiTexts, so I am not going to start deleting all images, public sex side stories, sex stories, etc. This isn’t an option.
I could refuse to comply, in which case I think EcchiDreams might just end up getting blocked in the UK, but let’s face it, if I do comply the UK Government will probably find a way of doing that within the decade or so, at current course. I could also be fined a quarter of a million GBP, that is not a small amount.
Realistically if I want to keep EcchiDreams accessible from the UK, I will need to comply and believe me – I don’t want to for reasons I will share at the end of this. There are a lot of concerns that I have; such as:
- Privacy Concerns – Will the details of porn users be held on some kind of database? With cybercrime so bloody rife nowadays… Do we really want to support something like that?
- Liberty Concerns – They came for X but it didn’t affect me, so I didn’t say anything. They came for Y but it didn’t affect me, so I didn’t say anything. They came for Z but it didn’t affect me, so I didn’t say anything. They came for me, and there was no one left to say anything, kind of thing. Let’s not delude ourselves that this is for protecting children – this is straight up nanny-state bullshit.
- This is Government Overreach – There is a reason that this is being dubbed as the “Wank Permit”, “Permission to Wank”, and so on. This is the Government telling us what to do because apparently parents in this country aren’t responsible, or the current block system isn’t working.
- It is draconian – I’d expect this in ‘The Peoples Republic’ of China or North Korea; not in a liberal democracy, and certainly not in the United Kingdom.
- Boomerville – This is obviously created by boomers who have no idea how the internet works. What next? Will VPN’s become illegal? Or TOR? What about proxy buying cards? Will this really stop those that are dedicated enough from accessing porn? I think not.
And that’s just to name a few…
What I’m looking at is a company called AVSecure who have AgePass - https://avsecure.com/ which apparently secures age verification by using blockchain (Based on Ethereum Chain). They say:
The AgePass Platform uses a zero knowledge proof system in combination with our customized version of the Quorum Blockchain (an Ethereum-based chain with added privacy features) which is capable of processing thousands of attestations per second.
Our core concept delineates 'creating trusted statements about a known person' and 'the use of those statements'. Users go through a one-time initial validation process to produce their credentials which they can onward use in a way that will only be known to them.
The user’s credential then generates ‘one-time’ use tokens when they visit websites in the future. These tokens are passed to the website providers which enable them to demonstrate compliance with the Law whilst also ensuring that their consumers leave no additional traceable information.
I am considering using this as we won’t be holding your personal data in that regard, and UK Subjects can buy anonymous cards for £10 which from what I can tell will give you a one time use code or something that you can use for an anonymous account on any AgePass wall. They have other age verification means too, so it’s really up to you how you’d go about it. If you don’t care about your privacy, they can do credit/debit card verification, mobile, and various others.
I think this is best thing we can do given the circumstances… I don’t think this will trigger for anyone outside of the UK, so if you’re an American for example, you won’t get ID’ed on the landing page for EcchiDreams, and you won’t be affected. But if you’re from the UK you will see something similar to this:
When you come to EcchiDreams, if I can get it coded in time. If not then we might be forced to close our Digital Doors to people from the UK until such a time that it is coded and properly integrated. If this does happen you might want to seriously consider our other option:
Get a VPN
I personally use Private Internet Access as a VPN, and I’ve found it to be quite reliable and fast, I am not affiliated to PIA (Private Internet Access), nor am I receiving money from them, but I personally like the fact that PIA lets you tune the data encryption, authentication and handshake protocols of your connection, and does a damn good job of anonymising your browsing. I’ve been using it for a year and I’ve never had any problems with them.
This can also be used on smartphones (Apple and Android alike), although the only criticism I have of it, at least from my perspective and experience is that on mobiles it can be a little temperamental especially when switching between WiFi and Mobile Data, has a habit of disconnecting every now and then, and finally the battery is drains quicker. But that might not be a problem for you.
I’m not shilling for PIA; there are other solutions out there such as; NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhostVPN, IPVanish, SurfShark, Hotspot Shield, and so on, I’ve not used them so I can’t attest to them. So I ask that you please do your research and find one that suits your needs. EcchiDreams doesn’t block VPN’s, and we never will. This has other benefits, that you might want to consider this as a viable option. Please take a look at: https://thatoneprivacysite.net/ to find the VPN of your choice. I highly encourage everyone to do this.
You can also use TOR, but EcchiDreams does actually block TOR registrations (But you can easily use TOR after you register).
I just wanted to give you all a heads up, and UK Dreamers will receive an email in June letting them know about this as well.
Now… My personal thoughts on it? The gloves are coming off, and this is going to get quite political.
You’ve just got to love the sheer hypocrisy, ladies and gentlemen!
The politicians tell us what to do and say 'you must live a wholesome puritanical life, that's rude, you can't look at that, citizen’ like they have the power to run and control our personal lives, telling us what do, what to say, what to feel and what to think. Nanny-State doesn’t even cut it anymore… At the same time as them trying to act like our moral superiors, they are misusing their expenses, having affairs with their staffers and other high ups... Orgies and kinky sex parties that include some of the richest in any given industry who are doms and high-class escorts, who have a LOT of clients who are top police chiefs, politicians, judges, lawyers, officials and so on. It’s nothing short of Hypocrisy at its best. Welcome to Brave New World.
I highly doubt that the main reason for this has anything to do with protecting children online, and everything to do with Government control over its citizens. They have forgotten that they work for us, not the other way around. I say this because it seems to be part of a wider problem with the Government which seems to be trying to take control over the internet. You only need to take a look at the UK’s white paper on “Online Harms” released last month. http://archive.is/3MuDH
Or the Investigatory Powers Bill; in where ISPs are forced to keep a full list of ICR’s (Internet Connection Records) for a year and make them available to the Government if asked. These ICR’s in effect serve as a full list of every website people have visited. Articles appeared about it in 2015/2016 – and there was silence. Hardly anyone spoke up about it. The full list of agencies that can now ask for any UK citizens browsing history (As laid out in Section 4 of the bill) Is as follows:
- Metropolitan Police Service
- City of London Police
- Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
- Police Service of Scotland
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
- British Transport Police
- Ministry of Defence Police
- Royal Navy Police
- Royal Military Police
- Royal Air Force Police
- Security Service
- Secret Intelligence Service
- Ministry of Defence
- Department of Health
- Home Office
- Ministry of Justice
- National Crime Agency
- HM Revenue & Customs
- Department for Transport
- Department for Work and Pensions
- NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
- Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
- Competition and Markets Authority
- Criminal Cases Review Commission
- Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
- Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
- Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
- Financial Conduct Authority
- Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
- Food Standards Agency
- Food Standards Scotland
- Gambling Commission
- Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
- Health and Safety Executive
- Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
- Information Commissioner
- NHS Business Services Authority
- Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
- Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
- Office of Communications
- Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
- Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
- Scottish Ambulance Service Board
- Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
- Serious Fraud Office
- Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust
Or even the UK Digital Economy Bill of 2017. I am rather cynical. At the risk of sounding conspiratorial; I think Brexit is a convenient smoke screen for all of this, a nice little distraction, including all of the current PM’s blundering and fuck ups.
So a little history shall we? We’ve always had some kind of national webfilter and I didn’t have a problem with that because it targeted Child Pornography and stopped people from accidentally wandering in on a site back in a time where it was a very easy thing to do, and be exposed to it. I have no problem with that to a degree. It drove child pornography underground, and never wiped it out, but I don’t think that was the intention. I firmly and fervidly agree that we should eradicate child porn, and prevent its access. It is a noble goal. Even if it’s not totally achievable.
But things started changing after 2010 at the hands of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Government.
At first David Cameron wanted ISP's to implement a child safety web filter at an ISP level that would be an opt-in thing, so that parents could use it could use it to block adult content for their children, and promote applications that could protect devices. This is good because it affirmed that it was the parents responsibility to protect their children, it was more of an order to ISP’s to make tools available for parents to protect their children. I have no problem with that. However it very quickly morphed into “Oh no; this will be an ‘Opt-Out’ thing. So people had to make an ‘Unavoidable decision’ to protect children.” Well I wasn’t happy about this… But I told my ISP that I wasn’t interested and they respected my wishes. Clearly - this hasn't worked either because apparently lots of people have either opted out or bypassed it.
Now they're introducing this Age Verification thing.
The UK has had a firewall of Great Britain installed almost a decade ago now. There was an uproar, but we were told that it will only be used to block sites like Pirate Bay, torrent sites. Originally we were told that this would be an open and transparent thing (As far as I can recall) that would have to be done by a court order… By the following year (2013) hundreds of sites were on it, including non-torrent sites - like TV Streaming sites, MP3 Download sites, etc. By two years after that it encompassed a metric fuck tonne of sites, oh and good luck getting a list of sites that has been blocked. That’s kept secret now as well. So we have no idea what’s censored or not. Some sites that are blocked have an ISP blocking screen that says that this site isn’t available because it’s been blocked by court order. Some sites however don’t show this and show an error message in the browser, but are magically there and online if you use a VPN.
Now they're threatening to start blocking sites that aren't in violation of copyright. I’m sorry but it is not the Government’s job to implement these draconian actions it’s the damn parents of these children be the ones who are responsible for their children.
And we're already seeing what else they're doing in terms of the online space. People getting arrested for jokes, sex stories that they've written, lyrics that they've posted online, expressing opinions on Twitter will apparently get you a visit from the local police (Such as there are only two genders) and so on. I’m not going to lie. I am quite worried about this increasing encroachment on our rights online. There seems to be an increasing curtailment of our rights online, and I honestly think it’s only going to get worse. As they justify the reasons to censor sites, it seems to be getting increasing easier for them to keep doing it which is exactly what I said would happen in 2009 on the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. I don’t think this is going to get better and with the Online Harm’s white paper, I think it’s going to get much worse.
I won’t even go into how AgeID is owned by MindGeek which also owns several of the largest porn sites and porn companies so yeah… We’re not using them. No conflict of interest there…
EcchiDreams has always upheld one of its oldest rules: Section 8 Paragraph 1, we have a zero tolerance towards members who are underaged, and upon discovery they get banned extremely quickly. We don’t want people who are under 18 on this site. We’ve always been responsible about this, and it honestly seems like we’re being punished for doing so, because “It’s not good enough.” I suspect that it will never be good enough for the industry at all.
I think we need a digital bill of rights. Urgently.
Who knows I could be overreacting, but as someone who’s been using the internet since the 90s, I don’t like the direction it’s gone in, and I don’t like the Government’s increasingly draconian laws to attempt to regulate something that they clearly have no idea of how it works.
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