The British Board of Film Classification is sticking to their word when it comes to regulating porn in the UK; this month the BBFC announced a new piece of legislation currently in parliament that will further prevent people from viewing “nonconventional” porn online, among other things.

What does “nonconventional” mean exactly? According to British lawmakers, anything that contains content depicting “sexual fetish material, including bondage or sadomasochistic activity, urination and other bodily functions.” The definition (as interpreted by the standards for R18 ratings and prohibited visual materials) is rather vague, and can potentially, mean the banning of just about anything.

The new legislation, introduced to Parliament as amendments to the Digital Economy Bill, call for internet service providers to block online access to noncompliant websites – those that depict prohibited content, as well as those which do not require site visitors to accept their 18+ viewing policy. This particular amendment (NC28) will additionally, block access to allowed content from websites also containing banned content – potentially deeming entire websites inaccessible.

That is, if you’re browsing the web through one of the UK’s DNS servers.

Critics of the legislation (and most of the general population) cite a projected increased use of workarounds as a primary reason why the new amendments would be ineffective in banning web content. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are already commonplace in nations such as Turkey and Russia where government bans restrict internet use. If these amendments are passed in the UK, this trend will continue there.

What makes the Digital Economy Bill’s new amendments notably different from the bans passed back in 2014, are their ability to censor well beyond adult content produced in the UK. Under the new proposed regulations, no adult audiovisual content deemed inappropriate for distribution and consumption will be made accessible by the UK’s internet service providers – including that produced overseas. The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations of 2014 aimed to halt productions of adult media in the UK, new amendments to the Digital Economy Bill seek to stop its distribution – regardless of where it comes from.

The proposed amendments trail closely behind the Investigatory Powers Act, which passed through the House of Commons and House of Lords earlier this November. This bill is perhaps the most aggressive surveillance measure the UK has proposed in recent history. If it receives royal assent, the legislation would provide security services with access to virtually any individual’s personal data. Internet use in the UK is now shifting into a much more regulated era, overall.

Since the initial amending of laws regarding the distribution and consumption of visual content (particularly as it pertains to the adult industry) in The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations of 2014, the UK has continued writing into law new ways to restrict freedoms of sexual expression, and ultimately, set new societal standards for what is considered good and bad sexual behavior.

Many of the terms and definitions cited and expanded upon in such legislation dates back to the Communications Act of 2003, the Video Recordings Act of 1984, and even as far back as the Obscene Publications Act of 1959. As a result, the premise behind recent bans on adult content are archaic. In the very least, lawmakers would ideally revisit these definitions and restrictions to update them for a modern and more informed populace, as opposed to applying old ideas to modern times.

Amendments to the Digital Economy Bill are scheduled to be reported in the House of Commons this coming week.

If you want to stick it to the man in light of forthcoming bans, you can play Squirt Alert!, an adult game about saving female ejaculation available only in the MiKandi store.

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