UK government will deputise newsagents to collect and retain identity documents from the nation's pornography viewers

Originally published at:


I’d like to make some sort of 1984-esque “Thinkspeak Dept of Porn” joke here, but my mind is kind of boggling. I mean, what is the endgame here? To outlaw porn in the UK by making it just inconvenient enough?


Of course this will never come back to bite them in the ass with embarassing revelations or endanger / disenfranchise / rip off the public due to undue influence from blackmail …


The people I really feel sorry for are the writers at The Onion.


Or even the more simple ass-bite: absolutely no-one who works in UK government would look at pornography. Ever. And if they did, such information certainly wouldn’t become public. Ever.


UK government will deputise newsagents

1 Like

Maybe it’s only a misunderstanding, they were trying to address the problems with the USENET alt.binary.* hierarchy

If the Conservative Leadership are so eager to tell the world what porn they watch, they could just take a page from the Ted Cruz playbook and tweet it.


That’s my question too. A prominent UK tabloid has a long history of scantily clad photos of women and that’s just okay, but “all we need is a registry of everyone who ever looks at porn on or offline” seems like the bizarre voyeuristic fantasy of some deeply disturbed government official. What’s the supposed benefit? That kids won’t see porn? Well that’s great, that just means more teenage mothers and sexual violence, and kids will still be able to see porn.

For that matter, just seeing pornography isn’t very likely to “ruin” a kid. Case in point: most kids see pornography at some point before they’re of legal age and turn out fine. I was first exposed to pornography around the age of 5 and it had no effect at all. By the time I was old enough to start understanding the value of the stuff, what it was for and the like, I already had an innate understanding that it was a fiction meant to suspend disbelief, rather than any kind of realistic representation of normal sexual mores.

Lack of sex education, and the taboo/fetishization of sex in general, along with family life are what shape a kids’ attitudes about sex. When you starve kids from adequate sex education and then make sex and sex-related things a forbidden taboo, you’ve got yourself a recipe for teen pregnancies and worse.

So to answer the question, I’m guessing “more babies for Jesus.”


Maybe he just means that ‘people’ think it will be completely impossible whereas he just thinks it would be very, very difficult but not absolutely impossible given a few non-existent, yet to be invented pieces of technology?

That seems to be popular these days…


The people of the U.K. are children who are incapable of deciding what to do, how to protect their own children, and require the state to look after them. So says the U.K. government which the people of the U.K. chose for themselves.

1 Like

“More babies for Jesus, and more votes for me!” Now if some kind cartoonist would just put this in a word balloon above a caricature of a UK government official, I’d appreciate that, thanks. A twirl-able mustache and black top hat/cape combo are strictly optional.

1 Like

That’s horseshit however you read it, but I do hope he wasn’t trying to conflate “data protection” with “cataclysmically intrusive surveillance”.


Your source does not make any mention of the newsagents “collecting and retaining” identity documents, or copying them. Could you provide some evidence that this is actually part of the plan? Because as it stands, my understanding is that one of these “porn numbers” is simply another thing you have to show ID in order to purchase, just like a bottle of beer or a lottery scratch card.

It’s still dumb as fuck, mind you, but I’m not seeing anything about them actually retaining the identity information.

1 Like

Two of them in fact, and both of them have editorial policies supporting the authoritarian right.

I’m not including the Sunday Sport because that is more like the Weekly World News with softcore porn.


Hey, we voted for Brexit. What more evidence do you need?


Overly bureaucratic as usual.

You want to “prevent” underage porn viewing? Make free porn illegal.

If all free porn is technically illegal, and you can’t legally pay for it if you are under 18, then anyone under 18 who is paying for it is breaking the law. Anyone providing or consuming it for free regardless of age is breaking the law.

Of course there will still be free porn everywhere. You can’t stop it. But you can then say “look, free porn isn’t supposed to exist here, we can’t control who’s watching it… but we’re doing all we can to make sure no one underage is watching the porn that we can regulate.”

Ultimately, you can say it’s working when you don’t really have to do anything.

It is usually the person distributing the age restricted product who is breaking the law, not the child.

However, technically it is legal in the UK to give six year old kids shots of vodka as long as you aren’t selling it to them and they aren’t in a public place, but in practice you will probably be arrested for abusing children.

Depends on the substance. You can get cited for underage drinking in the US. Pretty sure the same applies to tobacco and cannabis (in the places it is legal)