UK’s porn block dead for now but might come back even worse

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Plans to introduce a nationwide age verification system for online pornography have been abandoned by the UK government after years of technical troubles and concerns from privacy campaigners.

The climbdown follows countless difficulties with implementing the policy, which would have required all pornography websites to ensure users were over 18. Methods would have included checking credit cards or allowing people to buy a “porn pass” age verification document from a newsagent.

Websites that refused to comply with the policy – one of the first of its kind in the world – faced being blocked by internet service providers or having their access to payment services restricted.

The culture secretary, Nicky Morgan, told parliament the policy would be abandoned. Instead, the government would instead focus on measures to protect children in the much broader online harms white paper. This is expected to introduce a new internet regulator, which will impose a duty of care on all websites and social media outlets – not just pornography sites.

Despite abandoning the proposals, Morgan said the government remained open to using age verification tools in future, saying: “The government’s commitment to protecting children online is unwavering. Adult content is too easily accessed online and more needs to be done to protect children from harm.”

Read on…

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Queer News

Harry Styles lights up in a bisexual anthem

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 6 Comments

Harry Styles dropped pretty steamy video for Lights Up, his first single in more than two years ― and fans have a lot of questions. In an August interview with Rolling Stone, he said his new music was “all about having sex and feeling sad,” and to that end, “Lights Up” certainly does not disappoint.

Released on National Coming Out Day, the track features Harry singing about “step[ping]into the light” of a new identity and “never going back”. Fans put two and two together and are hailing the song a bisexual anthem.

Deep End

milkboys Film & TV, Films & TV 9 Comments

Deep End is set at the end of the ’60s in a decidedly unglamorous and unswinging London (though actually filmed, very persuasively, in Hamburg), Skolimowski’s pleasingly skewed variation on the coming-of-age sex comedy posits a bizarre, totally unsentimental education for its adolescent protagonist.

The somewhat naïve school-leaver Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike does his best to sabotage the relationship, to the extent of stalking both her and her fiancé. Mike becomes increasingly desperate to have Susan for himself, with tragic results.

Often very funny, and blessed with pounding Can numbers on the soundtrack, it’s an original and offbeat delight whose mix of eccentricity and gentle social satire have ensured its enduring status as a cult movie. It’s good to have it back in this new digital restoration.

Periodical Political Post *119

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