the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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shevek
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the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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Mr. Vee on the UK "wank licence": "In the UK where...the government thinks everything is a hate crime, you want the government to tell you what websites you're allowed to visit and what websites you're not. And now you've got a password..Very few people are willing to criticize it... and that's how they're trying to sneak in this type of legislation, which is nothing but adding another layer of censorship.."

Concerns include the creation of a registry (list of users) which can then be used against people on the list, as well as the extension of such a list to other types of internet content.

Here's also an article about it in Wired. It was supposed to go into effect in 2018 but it looks they may implementing it soon in 2019 if they haven't already.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/porn-bl ... cation-law

Pardon me if this has been discussed before, but this is first I've heard of this, and I can't find anything about it at all on the Wikipedia page about Internet censorship in the UK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_ ... ed_Kingdom

If I understand correctly, this law isn't like the US, where you simply click on a front page "Yes" or "No" to indicate your age, and then proceed to the site. It looks like a pass (essentially a license tax) will have to be purchased, and some kind of password entered, and that would be obtained through the use of a national ID or other proof of ID.

Is Vee being too hyperbolic (by expressing a slippery slope argument for censorship) or is his trepidation about the UK real?



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by Dogfish »

It's tricky because right now the UK doesn't technically have a functioning government. In practical terms we haven't for the last two years since the Brexit vote, because understandably everything is tied up with Brexit. So whatever is going to happen, if anything, needs to wait until after Brexit and probably after another general election.

That being said, the problem stems from how technologically backward the Tories are. Our current government are giant prudes, obviously, because all right wing politicians firmly believe that God doesn't want anybody to fap. And as such the Tories have decided to stop porn being a thing.

But, as I said, they don't have a clue how to stop porn being a thing, because they're completely illiterate with technology. But then the folks at Mindgeek got in touch with the Tories and gave them some money. You might know who Mindgeek are, they own Pornhub, and pretty much everything else. They're offering to help the UK government police porn by implementing some sort of pass/verification system.

Mindgeek are basically colossal scumbags. They make their money from Pornhub and the data it gathers. And Pornhub makes its money from stealing from small scale porn producers who don't have the time or resources to lawyer up and fight over every bit of content. You wouldn't be able to run a site like Pornhub stealing content from Disney or Fox or Nintendo, but because nobody gives a fuck about sex workers Mindgeek have been allowed to flourish with a business plan based on stealing from them. And because they've flourished they've got enough money to pay the Tories to allow them to run the British online porn system.

That's right, the Tories are basically selling the ability to create anti-porn legislation to one of the world's largest pornography producers. So essentially they're going to package the British population up, or at least the porn viewing section of the population (which is most of us) and sell us, our data, our viewing habits, to a single porn company. That company will then be the gatekeeper for British porn, in effect.

This isn't unprecedented by the way. The British government are big fans of letting vested interests police the interests they are vested in. We let the media police the media, we let bookies police gambling, we let banks police banking. We haven't had a government in decades that hasn't been willing to roll over for a big sack of cash.

Ironically Mindgeek also run VPN services so if you want to bypass their monopoly on access to porn in the UK you can pay Mindgeek some more money and get around their system.

It's all a big shit sandwich.

Realistically the only thing that stops this plan from coming to fruitition is the Tories getting voted out of office, because they have been bought and paid for. Plus nobody in the Tory party has a fucking clue about technology, so they don't know what they are doing, all they know is that they got paid.

So, wankers of the UK, next time there's an election, remember that Labour's current are surprisingly progressive on sex worker rights and are not on the Mindgeek payroll. Simple as that.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by swampy170 »

No politicians have much of an idea, not just the Tories.

And Theresa May's stance on privacy was a major reason to vote against the Tories at the last election.

.

HOWEVER, Labour remain entirely unlectable - even less electable than previously in fact.

Should they ditch Corbyn that could rapidly change - otherwise whomever is in charge of the Conservatives at the next election will likely be Prime Minister.

Corbyn is a lovely guy, but a terrible leader.

So the filter is likely to take effect, unless voters lobby their MPs.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by Dogfish »

It's a specifically Tory-centric problem because the party is quite small and the average age of members is around seventy. Other parties with younger members tend to be less anachronistic, even if they could all stand to be much more on the ball in general.

Labour's situation is complicated because of Brexit. The leadership wants to do it. Labour consituencies wanted Brexit. The party doesn't. There's a very hard decision to be made for the future of the party in the near future that's for sure.

There is of course every possibility we get another hung parliament. In which case it might fall by the wayside.

I get the impression that the longer the failure to act goes on, the more people find out about this legislation and the less popular it gets.

Of course there is also every chance that there's no money for it, or no expertise to do it. We might end up with a situation akin to somewhere like Turkey where the Internet is strictly controlled but every child over the age of about ten understands how to bypass it. I mean the UK apparently already has all manner of strict controls but, well, hasn't stopped any of those of us that are here I guess.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by lionbadger »

Conservatives are quite big on censorship (and fucking it up). Thatcher tried to ban the book Spycatcher which was written by a former MI5 officer even though it had been published around the world (thus ensuring everyone heard about it) because it embarrassed the Government.

Of course english court orders don't apply in Scotland so all you had to do to get around that one was drive a couple hours north (or hop a ferry to republic of ireland).



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by tallyho »

^^^ Ahhh yes, that was a gem. You could buy it everywhere except in England & Wales. Which begged the question, just who were we keeping the 'secrets' from?


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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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And now I've heard that India's government just blocked more than 800 porn sites a couple weeks ago. Apparently, their government can't actually get any anti-porn laws passed because the population is such a huge consumer of porn. India has been the fastest growing market for it in the past five years. So to get around that the moralists in charge (BJP, I imagine?) are requiring the country's telecom services (mostly a huge corporation named Jio) to block the URLs of 800+ sites.

I didn't find out about this from any news reports - there was nothing about this anywhere in the news, not from the likes of The Guardian or the Intercept and not from the likes of Daily Wire or Breitbart, either, even though both the left and right are doing some complaining about corporate censorship in the US and goverment censorship in the UK.

I found out because Valik posted about his Heroine Peril catalog being on C4S. Upon which a customer from India complained that he could no longer see C4S to buy those clips, because of the new porn blockage. So I looked up the issue, and came up with this article from India:

https://qz.com/india/1441110/how-indian ... -porn-ban/



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by GeekyPornCritic »

People are too concern about things that should not concern them. Who cares if your neighbor watches porn? It does not negatively impact society. Our world has serious issues such as poverty, gun violence, hate groups against races of people, political corruption, and the environment. Yet world leaders have a problem with porn.

I can understand IF these governments were focusing on sex trafficking and under aged victims. However, this is not the case. Politicians are attacking legal porn with consenting adults.

Porn is not different any other form of entertainment. If you don't like it, then you may watch something else. You may criticize it, and that's fine. There is no need to banish it as it is harmless.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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I'm obviously not saying I agree with them, Geeky, but the proponents of the ban in India of course don't see it that way.

It's an interesting alliance of feminist activists and conservative-values Hindu politicians leading the charge for the ban.

The feminists don't like it because there is a lot of sexual-based violence in India (everything from gang rapes to acid attacks on women's faces),
and recently one of the perpetrators blamed watching porn for his misdeeds, so the progressive activists seized on that.

Of course on the other side, traditional Indian culture is fairly conservative when it comes to sexual proclivity, despite the Hindu goddesses and the whole Tantric tradition, and you don't even want to broach the subject with the Muslim segment of the population. So you can't discount a backlash against things that are seen as decadently Western, which porn certainly is.

The point is, I doubt that your average middle-class tech-bro in Bangalore agrees with the ban, and they're probably figuring out ways to get around it.

As for the British, besides being all proper and uptight :) I would imagine some of the same forces hold true: a combination of 1) anti-sexual exploitation third-wave feminism, 2) right-wing conservative Christian values and 3) fundamentalist Muslim tendencies all can conspire against the porn industry. This is another consequence of what has been called the "red / green / brown alliance", the tendency for the left, right, and Islam to converge on certain common interests (which also can include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism).



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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As for the British, besides being all proper and uptight :) I would imagine some of the same forces hold true: a combination of 1) anti-sexual exploitation third-wave feminism, 2) right-wing conservative Christian values and 3) fundamentalist Muslim tendencies all can conspire against the porn industry. This is another consequence of what has been called the "red / green / brown alliance", the tendency for the left, right, and Islam to converge on certain common interests (which also can include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism).
It's second wave feminism that is anti-sex worker/porn. The third wave feminists and modern intersectional types are almost all pro-sex worker. This bodes well going forwards because it means that the puritanical wave of feminism is likely to end up in the dumpster of history before too much longer as younger folks get into politics. Millennials are the first generation to grow up with access to online porn and they don't have any of the hangups about it that Boomers have or that Gen Xers pretend to have when their Boomer parents are around. Which means if we can protect our precious online freedom until the Boomers are in the ground there's a good chance the generation who are used to it will be more inclined to defend it.

The conservative right wing are a big threat and there's an insidious reason for this which we've seen with recent legislation in the USA. That is to say that 'anti-porn' legislation is being used as a back door (fnah) for anti-gay and anti-trans legislation. Anywhere that is scrubbing content for being 'adult' or 'pornographic' you can bet is also being leaned on to remove LGBT content as well. In the UK especially there is a very long and fucked up tradition of trying to pretend that gay or trans people don't exist. We also had a King who tried to fight the sea, so we've got a strong history of people attempting to do the impossible.

Fundamentalist Muslims don't have any influence on this whatsoever. Cannot stress that enough. The people who have influence on this matter are Tory MPs. Fundamentalist Muslims don't vote Tory.

I know there's going to be a big effort made by a lot of folks on the political right to present this as a 'both sides' issue, but it isn't. We have a Tory government. We've had a Tory government for eight years. What happens in the UK on their watch is entirely on them.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by lionbadger »

I know there's going to be a big effort made by a lot of folks on the political right to present this as a 'both sides' issue, but it isn't. We have a Tory government. We've had a Tory government for eight years. What happens in the UK on their watch is entirely on them.
Yes the conservatives have a thumping hate boner for social oppression but in fairness on this one I recall Jaqui Smith was all for something similar when she was Labour Home Secretary (until it transpired that her husband had billed a couple of hotel porn flix, which should in itself show out of touch these pensioners are, on her parliamentary expenses)
We also had a King who tried to fight the sea, so we've got a strong history of people attempting to do the impossible.
Poinrt of order, he was king of Denmark, Norway and England because the UK has only been a thing since 1707.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by Dogfish »

Yeah Labour were shithouses as well with Blair in charge, and I even did a bit of campaigning against what they were planning back in the day, but I'm a firm believer that you can only beat what's in front of you. There are still some second wave feminists kicking around but the general SWERF/anti-porn mentality seems to be in retreat, especially given the recent swathes of ordinary/younger folks joining the party. If the next Labour government did do a heelturn on civil liberties then I'd fight them as I did before, but for now it's Tories to contend with.

Ironic twist I recall from my time opposing the last time a government tried to fuck around with this kind of censorship, my MP was a Liberal Democrat, a group who loved nothing more than chatting shit about the importance of civil liberties. So I got in touch to see what the deal was. Did she give a shit about the civil liberties of internet users? Did she fuck.



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

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Well, you know your particular government much better than I do, Dogfish (and Lionbadger, etc.).

But I think you make things a little too simple when you talk about the rocky relationship between feminism and porn.
Second-wave feminism wasn't against porn monolithically.
There was a faction that was OK with it (sex-positive) and a faction that was ardently against it (Dworkinist).
This conflict came to a peak during the 1980s. At the same time (at least in the States) we had the spectacle of liberal Democrats (like Tipper Gore) fighting against 'obscenity' in music, at the time that the Moral Majority (right-wing Christians) also had an issue with it. So the political lines were blurred about such issues in the second wave.

And yes, third-wave feminism - and the budding fourth-wave which is basically just third-wave with the Internet, using hashtags
and online activism etc - is generally pro-sex worker. But that doesn't mean they're for all porn, across the board. Third-wave
feminists tend to be advocates of feminist porn, where the woman makes the most money, the woman controls the means of production, and the female performers look like they're having a pleasurable time on camera. Hence, cam girls. They're also OK with gay porn, insofar as women like to watch it. Which is all fine.

But I don't think that the third-wave and fourth-wave feminists consider regular porn - the kind targeted towards males which satisfies the male gaze - to get away scot-free. I think they believe the mainstream porn industry perpetuates patriarchy. And though they're probably Ok with a lot of types of fetish porn - especially BDSM or femdom where the woman takes complete control - I'm betting that the more they knew about SHIP (and its related genres) the angrier they'd be about it. Because especially if there's a male producer and there's a woman on camera acting as if she's being forced and abused, they would attribute "internalized misogyny" to such an actress. The third wave's ability to segment all of these genres out is due to their obsession with "micropolitics", where none of them can agree with each other about anything because there are all of these minute points that need to be made and micro-oppressions to be decried. (That's why it's important to please NEVER tell a millennial feminist about SHIP).

So I think the third-wavers might be perfectly fine with restricting access to the certain kinds of porn that they would consider to be "toxic". And I don't think the third-wavers are against censorship, either - they certainly rejoice when people who don't share their point of view (i.e. right-wingers) get censored by Silicon Valley. So, unless the kind of porn being offered exactly corresponds with their current worldview, then sure, I think third-wavers might well be OK with some of this restriction, especially if it keeps white cisgender straight males from having fun.

And far as Islam and any other form of conservative religion, as minorities and immigrants, they may not vote Tory (or in the case of the US, Republican) in large droves, but the immigrant culture (whether from the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia,
Africa or Latin America) is almost always more conservative than the West. So while the population in those cultures is always
looking towards the West for decadent entertainment, which explains why the consumption of porn is rising incredibly in many of those regions (e.g. India), the people who control their culture and their government are probably not particularly thrilled by such developments. I'm pretty sure that would include religious leaders.

So overall, I think the attitude towards porn, and therefore the public reaction to porn restriction laws, is a little more complex
than just saying "Boomers are dying out, young people are joining politics, and everything will be fine." Although it would be very nice if that were the case, I think it's quite a bit more nuanced than that.

Feel free to disagree, though. I just feel sorry for anyone who has to buy a 'porn license.'



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Re: the UK "wank licence" and possible effects

Post by lionbadger »

Ironic twist I recall from my time opposing the last time a government tried to fuck around with this kind of censorship, my MP was a Liberal Democrat, a group who loved nothing more than chatting shit about the importance of civil liberties. So I got in touch to see what the deal was. Did she give a shit about the civil liberties of internet users? Did she fuck.
I suspect there is a tactical issue in that most MPs don't want to be seen as the guy/gal who was campaigning for more porn. In which case the way to fight something like this is not on a "more boobs" platform but on a "do you want a database held by nasty forrins (okay candaians, but not the good ones! the French ones!) to be recording everything you, and your kids do online!"



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