The Government has quietly banned ‘extreme porn’, will impose tighter age restrictions

The new Digital Economy Act will come down hard on porn sites.

The UK Government has quietly passed an act that will outright ban what it would deem ‘extreme porn’, but privacy groups have already criticised the law as “unworkable”.

The new rules – which will come into effect next March – will see porn sites forced to check if the viewer is 18 years or over.

But it will also see the British Board of Film Censors classify and block what has been described as ‘extreme pornography’.

What type of adult movies fall under that umbrella?

According to the Digital Economy Act – which received Royal Assent last month – it will be any films that realistically depict rape, or sexual acts that would be likely to cause physical harm, or even death.

“The definition of sexual acts likely to cause death is incredibly vague and could include fictionalised practices like asphyxiation, for example,” Myles Jackman, legal director of Open Rights Group, told Mashable.

Other critics of the Digital Economy Act have warned that the model could see legal porn sites accidentally banned in the process.

“The DEAct may result in legal pornographic content being blocked – either because a site has failed to implement age verification or because the BBFC decide some of a site’s content falls within the definition of extreme pornography,” a spokesman for Open Rights Group said.

“This has implications for the freedom of expression of thousands of UK web users.”

As for ensuring that porn sites are only viewed by adults over the age of 18, new measures could be introduced to implement the restriction.

That could mean anyone of age will have to prove their date of birth by inputting credit card details, mobile numbers, or even register at a local Post Office.

“If the government wants to have Age Verification in place, it must mandate a system that increases the privacy and safety of end users, since the users will be compelled to use Age Verification tools,” said Jim Killock of Open Rights Group.

“Also, any and all Age Verification solutions must not make Britain’s cybersecurity worse overall, e.g. by building databases of the nation’s porn-surfing habits which might later appear on Wikileaks.”

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