In continuation of Lady Ness’s post discussing the Digital Economy Bill. I’ve been reading about an amendment that was tabled on the 1st November that will allow the government to block web sites that do not comply with the age verification rules for UK citizens. If this amendment makes it into law then even sites abroad containing pornographic material that fail to comply with the UK AV laws will be blocked totally by all UK internet service providers.
It’s highly likely that the amendment will pass into law as there is cross party support and acceptance that blocking web sites is a reasonable step to take. I personally have an issue with the government controlling the internet and then telling ISP’s that they have to pay for it. It’s a known fact that GCHQ has been working on a national firewall which can be used for exactly the same thing without burdening ISP’s with extra costs and therefore us.
There is serious privacy and security issues with each ISP having to maintain an independent blocking software and user logging. These systems may well become a target for hackers where as a centralised firewall will still be a target but being GCHQ will be protected by the best in the world with access to vast resources. Otherwise I can see many service providers being forced out of business due to the burden of extra costs. As you can see certain aspects of this new bill are not business friendly at all and will stiffle innovation long term in my opinion.
The amendment also conflicts with twitters policy of allowing some pornographic content to be posted. Twitter just won’t introduce age verification to pander to the wishes of the UK government and are likely to either 1. Ignore the government and be blocked or 2. Spend a tonne of money on filtering software and banning the posting of such material for the UK only or 3. Totally banning posting such content across the entire platform for everyone. All these choices will damage twitters current business, independence and revenue streams. I can’t see them rushing to comply.
We all accept there needs to be child protection from unsuitable content. This should be the governments cost to bare rather than 70% of the population whose homes don’t contain children and would like to have a choice what to watch. It’s about fundamental human rights and what it means to belong to a democracy rather than a communist country where state controlled media is the norm.
Service providers already provide child protection filters but on the whole there has only been a 10-30% take up, which is about right. So what is the real purpose of this bill? State censorship and surveillance that will aid in the facilitation of the Investigator Powers Bill that will allow the police to check on which sites you visited and when without probable cause or oversight from a court is my guess.
The future of online femdom will have to change without a doubt and to some degree will be pushed underground. There will be a drift back into real time encounters as the findom side of the business will be decimated too. However people will still be camming and selling clips. There may be more live events and parties as the industry reacts to the changes and finds new ways to replace lost revenue.