After the Digital Economy Act passed in July 2017, implementation of age verification has been repeatedly delayed. We were initially told it would start being enforced in April 2018, but it was put back till the end of 2018. In November the Minister for Digital, Margot James, claimed that it will come into effect
This is a cross-post from Notes on Liberty. Brexit isn’t the only ridiculous thing happening in the United Kingdom. In April, the British government is rolling out statutory adult verification for pornography websites and content platforms. This requires all adult content providers to have proof of age or identity
Is your porn legal?
Did you know it is illegal to possess some types of pornography? Did you know that this includes adult pornography depicting acts between consenting adults? Since the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act, it is illegal to possess pornography that depicts;
• an act which threatens a person’s life,
• an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,
• an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse, or
• a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive).
This includes pretend acts and acts that are both legal and consensual to perform. Police have charged people over images of fisting, urethral sounding and (bizarrely) the wearing of gas-masks. No alternative sex act is entirely safe.
Backlash advises countless people and supports court cases that keep law-abiding sexual minorities out of prison.
Since early 2015 possession of fictional depictions of rape has also become a criminal offence. This includes images depicting rough sex and fantasy rape scenarios that are enjoyed safely and consensually by countless people throughout the UK.
Criminalising 16 to 18-year-olds
A politically charged moral panic over young people’s attitudes to sexuality is leading to Internet censorship and the labelling of ordinary young people as sex offenders.
Backlash will campaign for a change in the law so that prosecutions intended to halt child abuse are not used to instigate the abuse of children through the criminal justice system.
What can I do?
• Learn the law and your rights.
• Write to your MP telling them about the damage that porn laws do to ordinary people (and voters)
• Spread the word in newspapers and on the web about how porn bans cause much more harm than porn itself
• Donate what you can to Backlash’s campaign and legal defence fund
• Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter
Backlash related victories
Itziar Bilbao Urrutia – artist, video producer and owner of website, the Urban Chick Supremacy Cell, pulled from the internet by government-backed British censor, ATVOD. OFCOM ruled the site exempt from regulation, August 2014.
#TwinkTrial – A gay man of high professional standing, charged by CPS in November 2012 with possessing indecent images. Case dismissed with help from Backlash after evidence demonstrated images were legal to possess, 1 November 2013.
Walsh (#Porntrial) – former aide to Mayor Boris Johnson and barrister specialising in police misconduct. Prosecuted for possession of fisting images from a private adult sex party, in which he was a participant. Found not guilty by jury in Kingston Crown Court in August 2012.
Peacock (#ObscenityTrial) – sex worker, prosecuted for distributing gay fisting pornography. Found not guilty by jury in Southwark Crown Court in January 2012.
K – Charged with possession of images of erotic horror, including contrived death scenes. Backlash developed expert evidence showing that images lacked realism. Acquitted by a jury in Stafford Crown Court in January 2011.
Holland (#tigerporn) – Charged with possession of extreme pornography, including depiction of a woman having sex with a tiger. Case dropped when it was revealed tiger ‘talked’ during the video, proving lack of realism. Case dismissed in Mold Crown Court in January 2010.