October Teacamp – Age Verification and Porn with @mxpanblake

Welcome back to Teacamp folks, the heat of summer may be dissipating but we’ve been keeping the Teacamp fires stoked and have a scorching hot topic for October’s Teacamp. We are very lucky to have Blake this month and they would like to talk to you about unintended consequences of the Digital Economy Act and Age Verification.

Age Verification and Porn

The Open Rights Group wrote about the then Digital Economy Bill back in 2017, which is has now become the Digital Economy Act – “The Bill is an example of how not to legislate for the Internet and complex social issues. Among other things, the DEBill, attempts to address the issue of under 18s seeing pornography, by forcing porn sites to implement Age Verification (AV). This ‘simple’ solution has been fraught with problems from the start.”

Age verification for online porn is coming – but this child protection measure threatens unintended consequences for the privacy of internet users.

Soon you will have to show ID to look at online porn, and the companies offering age checking services will have access to both your identifying details, and your porn browsing activity.

Some of these companies are more trustworthy than others.

Rather than sensibly legislating to protect this sensitive data, the Government are failing to adequately regulate the age verification market they have created. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, what do porn viewers and politicians (who may well be the same people) need to know about the risk of porn data leaks – and what can we do about it?

About Blake

Blake is a genderqueer independent scholar, feminist pornographer, sex worker and sexual freedom campaigner. They are non-binary and use the gender neutral pronouns they/them. Their films have won multiple international awards, and they have prevailed in defending their work in legal battles against porn censorship in the UK.

Blake is an active campaigner for sex work decriminalisation and labour rights, obscenity law reform, civil liberties and human rights. They were awarded Publicist of the Year at the Sexual Freedom Awards 2015 for their efforts advocating for sex workers’ rights. They are official spokesperson for Backlash, and sit on the Advisory Council of the Open Rights Group. They crowd-fund their political work via Patreon.

Age verification on the internet affects us all, will this change your browsing habits? Are there websites that you will no longer visit because your browsing habits are being tracked? Come along to Teacamp on Thursday and be part of the discussion with Blake.

Hope to see you there!

When is Teacamp?

Time and date: 4pm – 6pm, 1st Thursday of every month

Location: Mezzanine, Curzon Victoria, 58 Victoria street, London, SW1E 6QW

How does teacamp work?

If you want to come to teacamp, just turn up on the day, it is open to everyone. It is upstairs in the cafe, very informal and friendly. If you are coming for the first time or on your own, ask for James or Sarah and we will introduce you to some teacampers.

  • 4.00 – 4.30pm:  tea and cake
  • 4.30 – 4.40pm:  intros and plug your events, projects, etc
  • 4.40 – 5.10pm:  speakers slot
  • 5.10 – 6.00pm:  Q&A, group discussion
  • 6.00pm: #beercamp in nearest pub

Contact info

@baskers Sarah Baskerville
@jaCattell James Arthur Cattell