The UK government’s porn block was a dead man walking for months, if not years. It is long overdue that this attempt to curb children’s access to online pornography is scrapped. Almost two years ago, a close colleague and I sat in a meeting with one of the policymakers who had recently been asked to implement the proposal. The pained look on his face when we queried his progress confirmed our suspicions that it was an impossible task. It was clear to many that the block could – and would – never come to pass.

The plan did not have just one achilles heel – it had many.

First, there were privacy concerns. By requiring identification such as credit card details to access online pornography, it would have created a potentially explosive data set linking personal identification to private sexual information. A gold mine for leaks and hacks.

Anyone who was a teenager, or knows one, also recognises how quickly such a block would be circumvented: you would only need a parent’s credit card, a virtual private network…

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Farewell the ‘porn block’ – a PR exercise but lousy policy | Amy Orben | Opinion
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