UK porn block will drive Brits underground to ‘dangerous sex websites’, as experts warn over extreme ‘dark web’ pages

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UK porn block will drive Brits underground to 'dangerous sex websites', as experts warn over extreme 'dark web' pages



BRITS could soon wind up browsing “dangerous” corners of the internet to find smut, experts have warned.
There’s growing concern that the upcoming UK porn block – which will hide adult websites behind an 18+ age wall – will push internet users onto the dark web, and even seedier sites online.
Getty – Contributor Brits will soon have to verify their age to log onto adult websites
The age-checking system – which could roll out in a matter of weeks – is designed to stop children accidentally accessing online porn.
Major porn sites will be locked behind an age-gate, and you’ll only be able to access them by handing over some kind of ID – like a passport or driving licence.
But experts have warned that some users won’t want to cough up their info for privacy reasons, and will instead look for ways around the block.
“A censored internet will force users to circumvent the enforced controls,” said John Fokker, McAffe’s Head of Cyber Investigations, speaking to The Sun.
Getty – Contributor Experts have warned that Brits may use dodgy tools to circumvent the ban – and end up on dark and “dangerous” corners of the web
“On the hunt for the content they want, it is likely they will search in even more dangerous places online.
“It’s paramount that people take responsibility to check the authenticity of websites before sharing any personal information,” he added.
The plan was first approved as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, and was earmarked for an April 2018 launch.
However, the Government pushed this back to December 2018, and then again to early April 2019.
Now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says that it plans to announce a new “commencement date shortly”, which is expected to be later than the April 1 deadline previously reported.
We’re also expecting a 90 day “grace period” from the BBFC (which will regulate the porn-blocking process) before penalties are doled out to offending sites who don’t offer age verification.
Portes You’ll be able to unlock the pornography by handing ID – or purchasing a Portes Card from a shop
However, we spoke to Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, who warned that the technology would be ineffective.
“It’s pretty unlikely that this is really going to reduce teenager’s access to pornography,” Jim told The Sun.
“What it could do is increase risky behaviour, like using free proxy sites which might install spyware.
“So it’s quitter possible that teenagers may end up doing same thing in a more risky way with potentially quite devastating consequences.”
Porn BLOCKED in UK from April 1 – but you can unlock it by buying £5 ‘porn card’ on your local high street
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard warnings about the risks of pushing Brits – including children – onto extreme corners of the web.
Last year, we spoke to Myles Jackman, a lawyer at the Open Rights Group, who was concerned that children would be negatively impacted by the block.
One of his major concerns is that young people could try to find ways around the blocks – using VPN software, which tricks websites into thinking you’re browsing from outside the UK – and end up on the “dark web”.
That’s a dangerous corner of the internet accessed using VPN software that’s rife with crime, illegal pornography, and extremist materials.
“There is an argument that there is a deep hypocrisy with regards to extremism,” Myles told The Sun.
Young people should not be looking at the dark web. However, this policy – if implemented in the way it’s intended – will almost certainly have that effect.“VPN sales will go through the roof.”
He said the solution isn’t to put more of the web behind a “firewall”, but to put more emphasis on “parental responsibility.”
“Some prefer the idea of the government doing it for them, but that shouldn’t be the way it is.”
He suggested rolling out “proper sexual relationships education in schools”, including teaching about “how porn is not a realistic depiction of sex”.
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Last week, we revealed how the UK porn block risks creating a “sex tape black market”.
Experts warned that Brits may soon start trading porn on Twitter, WhatsApp and even USB sticks in significant numbers.
We also warned of a risk of “porn block” scams that could see unsuspecting Brits conned out of hundreds of pounds.
Do you think the porn block is a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

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