Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2018

BY APRIL 2018 the age verification control of the Digital Economy Act should have been implemented in the whole of the UK after receiving royal assent on April 2017. The implementation of one of its most controversial items, though, was postponed, yet it might be implemented by the end of the year. That gives us more time to debate it’s dreadful consequences for freedom of expression.

The law will oblige any internet user from the UK to provide its credit card number in order to pass an age verification system that will prevent minors from accessing sexual content of any free and free-based porn website – at least that’s what the government expects. The law, that is considered a form of censorship by many, and technically unworkable by a large number of specialists, will require that even websites hosted outside the UK implement measures to age-verify users from the islands.

There’s obvious problems with this law – the fairly ridiculous demand of a credit card to access any kind of website or content in order to verify someone’s age, the censorship and the almost impossible task technically speaking. But beyond this, it relies on the immense breach of privacy of everyone in the country who will be forced to identify themselves while giving up information such as personal tastes, sexual behaviour and navigation patterns to the UK Government and to a large bureaucratic black hole.

Full article at CommonSpace’s website. Date of publication: 16/10/2018

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