Sticky mess at DCMS: When are the porn laws coming?!?!

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are incapable of answering one simple question: when will they be blocking our porn?

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The Adam Smith Institute has launched a campaign to Repeal the Porn Laws: the introduction of an age verification filter on adult content, which can only be bypassed by buying a porn pass from a local shop or entering credit card details or photo identification online. This seriously threatens our freedom, undermines our privacy and won’t even work.

But confusion has emerged about when this is happening.

Today an article in The Times was “amended to remove reference to an April 1 launch date for the new regulations (italics original)”. Meanwhile, numerous news sources reported today that the scheme has been delayed until the end of the year – which also appears to be untrue. (This was based on the misreading of a media release from last year.)

This has been a long-running affair.

This delay is thanks to repeated incompetence. It wasn’t until February 2018 that the government selected the regulator, British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). The BBFC then took until October 2018 to consult on and release guidelines for the scheme which were not approved by Parliament until December 2018. Peers even raised concerns about giving substantial statutory powers to the BBFC, a private company, and that one organisation would both make determinations and be responsible for appeals

Today a DCMS spokesperson told the Mirror that the rollout plans “will be announced shortly”.

The simple fact is: DCMS is a total mess. We don’t even know when we will find out when the porn laws will be introduced.

Perhaps it’s time to abandon this sordid affair and just: Repeal the Porn Laws.