XXX in Tech

Brits Will Soon Have to Inform Their ISPs If They Want to See Porn

And you thought it was bad when your password got hacked.
Not who I want to talk porno with, really. (Photo by David Bebber - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Not who I want to talk porno with, really. (Photo by David Bebber – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While everyone in America frantically cracks jokes about the spawn of Will n’ Kate on Twitter, actual Britons are a little distracted. The Guardian reports that their prime minister is about to introduce a broad crackdown on Internet pornography, which he believes is “corroding childhood.”

Soon, anyone who wants access to the dirty stuff will have to formally inform their ISP; otherwise, it’ll be blocked by default. For the children. Because repressing everything naughty sure made the Victorians healthy and normal and definitely not weirdly preoccupied with spanking.

Nor are the filters the only part of this crackdown. It’ll be illegal to possess “extreme pornography” featuring simulated rape, for example.

There’s at least one plank that’ll sound universally reasonable, though: Child pornography will also be targeted with a renewed push to investigate the dark web, as well as through moves like a blacklist of forbidden search terms–though there’s some skepticism about the effectiveness of these measures).

David Cameron doesn’t want to hear any yammering about “technical challenges” from search engines, either. He’ll reportedly say in a speech later today:

 “I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this – and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don’t just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.

Mr. Cameron talks a big game, but it’s hard to believe that any series of filters can really, effectively scrub the Internet of wank material. Even if they block XTube, YouPorn, PornHub and the like, there’s Tumblr (for now, anyway), Vine and if you get really desperate, the depths of Wikipedia.

At any rate, hopefully this means a spike in demand for naughty vintage postcards.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com