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UK porn block delayed
Illustration Marianne Wilson

The UK porn block has been delayed indefinitely

Legislation dysfunction continues

The government famously likes to ignore the public’s advice on policy, then swiftly change its mind as if it came to the correct conclusion itself. In today’s edition of UK Politics Is Burning My Brain, parliament has announced it will indefinitely delay the controversial porn block.

Due to come into effect on July 15, the block would have implemented identity checks to stop under-18s from visiting adult sites. Initially due to launch in April, the scheme was postponed following widespread criticism about privacy concerns. According to Sky News, the new delay is due to be announced in parliament today.

Though you might hope the government had taken on justified public objection, it turns out legal reasons are responsible for the delay after officials failed to notify the European commission of key details in late 2018.

Just last week (June 14), a report by privacy watchdog Open Rights Group slammed the proposed system as “pointless and misleading”. Despite the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) creating an age verification certificate – meaning all providers would have data security standards checked – the report suggested the scheme was “vague” and unfair, and could put millions of people’s data at risk.

Given the block would hurt more people than it was meant to help – making the future of porn precarious for creators and users – and the idea of buying a porn pass at your local corner shop is the stuff of nightmares, we wholeheartedly welcome the delay. Here’s hoping it actually is indefinite.