The UK porn block has been scrapped by Boris Johnson's government

uk porn block 2x1Samantha Lee/Business Insider

  • The UK porn block has been scrapped by Boris Johnson's government.
  • The law would have imposed age verification on porn websites viewed in the UK.
  • It had been repeatedly delayed due to concerns about its viability.
  • The UK government confirmed on Wednesday that they would explore alternative means of tackling use of porn by underage internet users.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A planned new law which would have imposed age verification on porn websites viewed in the UK has been scrapped by Boris Johnson's government.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed to Huffington Post on Wednesday that part three of the Digital Economy Act would no longer be implemented.

"The Digital Economy Act objectives will be delivered through our proposed online harms regulatory regime," DCMS Secretary Nicky Morgan told the website.

"This course of action will give the regulator discretion on the most effective means for companies to meet their duty of care."

The legislation behind the so-called "porn block" was introduced in 2017 as part of the Digital Economy Act. It was originally supposed to roll out in April 2018, but was subsequently delayed until July 15 of this year.

The new rules would have forced porn websites to implement systems verifying their users are over 18, or risk being blocked in the UK. In practice, this would mean anyone wanting to watch porn online would need to prove they are over 18.

The legislation left it up to the porn sites themselves to work out how to implement their age-verification. Solutions proposed included third-party verification via uploaded photo ID, scanning users' faces to biometrically guess their age, and even a so-called "porn pass" - a voucher which users could obtain from a shop by showing their ID.

The block received considerable pushback from privacy campaigners who say the legislation was irresponsible, since users' identities could potentially be linked to the porn they watch and would be vulnerable to surveillance or a data breach.

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