This is serious stuff - the only hope we have is that every time this exact wording has been tried before it has failed. However, we are in 2016 where stupidity reigns at every level of government in all of the major countries of the world.
The proposed amendments to the Digital Economy Bill are detailed by Open Rights Group here.
So two issues.
1. That a filtered internet *must* be offered by ISPs unless the subscriber “opts in” to subscribe to a service that includes online adult-only content; the subscriber is aged 18 or over; and the provider of the service has an age verification scheme which meets the standards set out by OFCOM in subsection (4) and which has been used to confirm that the subscriber is aged 18 or over before a user is able to access adult-only content.
Now some of that is OK as EVERY SINGLE A&A CUSTOMER HAS OPTED OUT OF ALL FILTERING and confirmed they are 18 or over. We have no interest in contracting with under 18's as that is much harder to enforce and hence get paid. The only issue there is the "age verification" aspect - that has a shit load of issues as explained at length by ORG. I really hope that at least that bit is ditched - otherwise all out signup for new services will have an extra cost for us to pay some age-verification provider to check you are over 18.
REMEMBER! THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH USERS OF THE SERVICE! This is only for subscribers, which we want to be over 18 anyway. Their kids can be accessing all the porn they like and we would be 100% compliant.
2. The other worrying clause is CENSORSHIP of the internet at court order. We have this a bit for copyright law now, but A&A is too small to have ever had such an order, and it has been proved time and time again that such orders simply do not work.
There is NO TECHNICAL WAY for any ISP to actually PREVENT access to some part of the internet. If we allow ANY PACKETS in and out, even just DNS, then ACCESS will be possible so it is IMPOSSIBLE to comply with such orders. This needs knocking on the head now. It is nonsense.
Let's be clear here - if every ISP has to pay some third party age-verification service before they can sign up any customer, that will cost, probably several pounds, and that will be added to cost of signing up. For us it would not change our service, we ONLY do opt-out of censorship and ONLY do 18 or over, so nothing changes but paying an extra fee. Why do that?
P.S. Seems like the amendment has been withdrawn - but why do they keep trying to throw this in to legislation - what is the point?