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Age verification enforcement delayed

Posted at 19:16 on 13 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Age verification for online porn has been delayed

The news broke on Sunday, with as quiet a splash as the Government could manage. Over the weekend the Government issued a press release about their digital strategy, with a focus on the rollout of 5G for mobile. It also sneakily contained the news that implementation of the age verification requirement has been delayed from 27th April until 'the end of the year'. It was buried in an unrelated announcement, presumably, because they didn't want too much of a fanfare about the climbdown. 

Our priority is to make the internet safer for children and we believe this is best achieved by taking time to get the implementation of the policy right. We will therefore allow time for the BBFC as regulator to undertake a public consultation on its draft guidance which will be launched later this month.

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Tags: age verification, Digital Economy Act

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Fucking against Fascism

Posted at 16:38 on 12 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Fucking Against Fascism DIY porn film screening flyer

I'm super excited for this queer porn screening that's touring Europe right now! The headliner is Fucking against Fascism, a collaboration between Courtney Trouble and Chelsea Poe, which is screening alongside selected films by Bishop Black and the Sluts4Sluts Collective. The UK event is a week tomorrow, Saturday 17th March from 5pm-10pm. Here's the Facebook event. If you're in London you should come!

Courtney Trouble is a rad queer porn director, one of the pioneers of queer porn; they run QueerPorn.tv and RealQueerPorn.com. Chelsea Poe is a gorgeous transfemme performer, known for her work with Gods Girls, Trouble Films and TrenchcoatX.

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Tags: Bishop Black, Courtney Trouble, DIY porn, events, film screenings, queer porn, Sluts4Sluts collective

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Women's Strike this Thursday - see you on the streets!

Posted at 21:00 on 6 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Womens Strike 8 March London Programme

This Thursday a Global Women's Strike is being held, to coincide with International Women's Day. 

From the Women's Strike website:

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Tags: gender politics, International Women's Day, patriarchy, sex worker's rights, Women's Strike

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DIY porn - how to make it and feel good doing it

Posted at 18:00 on 5 Mar 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Pandora Blake presents DIY Porn - how to make it and feel good doing it

I didn’t spend Valentine's Day with my lover this year. I spent it supporting curious couples and individuals to express themselves sexually on camera. I’m not complaining. I saw Felix the following night - and I really love my job.

I was teaching an adult sex education class on DIY Porn: how to make it and feel good doing it. The event was produced by The Book Club in Shoreditch, the same people who hosted my talk a few months ago on feminist porn. This one was intended as a provocative evening out for couples who wanted to have a go at making their own sex tapes, but also open to anyone who wanted to try their hand at shooting porn. I was contacted on Twitter afterwards by an escort friend considering making the move into shooting clips, who said that the class inspired her, which delighted me; I’m pleased that the class wasn’t just useful to hetero couples, but to queer sex workers too!

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Tags: Bright Desire, Cookie Cosmos, Dante, DIY porn, Emma Celeste, Lilith, Nimue Allen, Nimue's World, public speaking, talk, The Book Club, workshop

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Behind the scenes with Myles Jackman

Posted at 09:32 on 21 Feb 2018 by Pandora / Blake

On Friday I got together with obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman and some like-minded friends to create a new campaign video for Backlash and raise awareness around age verification. Look out for the completed film coming in the next few weeks. We recorded this short and sweet video blog after the shoot to tell you what we've been up to. 

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Tags: age verification, AgeID, Backlash UK, Digital Economy Act, MindGeek, privacy, security

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Privacy threat posed by AgeID hits the mainstream news

Posted at 19:53 on 9 Feb 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Pandora Blake talks about age verification on Sky News

One of the difficulties of campaigning in the arena of sex and sexuality is how difficult it is to get mainstream attention. Even when issues potentially affect the privacy and freedom of a majority of adults, most publications will post stuff related to sex as a lightweight "lifestyle" feature rather than as serious news.

So it was ground-breaking for Sky News to feature a report on the dangers of mandatory age verification, in particular the threat posed to personal privacy if MindGeek successfully establish a monopoly with their AgeID software. I watched the video as it was first broadcast live on the bus on my phone with my headphones on. It features an interview with me and - somewhat to my surprise - excerpts from my film trailers I had posted on YouTube. It's a trip to see (fully clothed) snippets from your indie porn films used to illustrate a mainstream news story - even more so when watching it on public transport!

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Tags: age verification, AgeID, Digital Economy Act, in the news, media, MindGeek, porn, privacy, security

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#metoo, patriarchy, sex, and consent

Posted at 22:37 on 6 Feb 2018 by Pandora / Blake

The #metoo movement is just getting started. Lately it seems that every time I come online, I see more excellent articles discussing the gendered dynamics and inequalities of sex, pleasure and consent. This is a much-needed conversation, and it's thrilling to see it taking place in mainstream publications, on an international scale.

Here are some recent highlights from my reading. Content note: sexual assault and consent violations.

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Tags: consent, gender politics, metoo, patriarchy, sex

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I don't endorse age verification

Posted at 10:12 on 25 Jan 2018 by Pandora / Blake

So you'll have noticed that I've been spending a lot of time campaigning around age verification, and working to mitigate the harms threatened by Section 3 of the Digital Economy Act. I've been giving talks and interviews, meeting members of the DCMS, lobbying Parliamentarians and speaking with companies who are preparing age verification software, to advise them around privacy and security. (This work is funded by my Patreon supporters - and if you believe in what I'm doing, every contribution is appreciated.)

This work puts me in something of a conflicted position. I don't endorse age verification as a policy; I think it's poorly conceived, a solution looking for a problem. It rejects the results of the government's public consultation, in which more respondents answered responded against age verification than in favour. It's based on false claims - that young children regularly 'accidentally' stumble across online porn and suffer terrible psychological damage as a result - based on shoddy evidence that does not meet peer-reviewed standards.

On the basis of these arguments and more I've argued against age verification as a strategy since it was first proposed. Nonetheless, the Digital Economy Act became law last year and age verification will be enforced very soon – on 27th April in fact, if the announced deadline is upheld. In its current form, it's a hugely problematic policy. Not only is it poorly implemented, and full of ambiguities and inconsistencies, but there are well-documented concerns over privacy and security which must be taken seriously. I've outlined risks around data collection and storage, possible identity theft, data leaks or breaches, and malicious misuse of data for advertising or profiteering, to name a few – would you want a list of porn sites you have visited saved under your email address somewhere?

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Tags: age verification, AgeID, Digital Economy Act, freedom of expression, MindGeek, privacy, security, sex education, young people

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DIY Porn - Valentine's Special!

Posted at 12:31 on 18 Jan 2018 by Pandora / Blake

DIY porn with Pandora Blake

What are you doing for this Valentine's Day? How do you fancy spending the evening with me? I will be back at the splendid Book Club in Shoreditch doing a talk and screening on DIY Porn, and I'd love you to join me. Whether it's for distribution or simply for your own pleasure, creating your own sex tapes can be a way to empower and nurture yourself through expressing yourself, enjoying your body, embracing your sexuality, and having fun! And if you have someone special to make it with, it's a hot opportunity to create some personalised smut with your favourite lover.

Porn is political - and in a world dominated by the fantasies of straight white men, what could be more radical than creating your own consensually-produced erotica? Porn can be (and often is!) queer, feminist, trans-positive, fat-positive, age-positive, and ethnically diverse. It can be respectful, sincere, intimate, romantic, sensual, artistic, loving, or whatever you want it to be. When you're shooting yourself, you have full control over how you present, and the story you tell.

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Tags: DIY porn, public speaking, talk, workshop

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DCMS pass the buck on age verification

Posted at 16:00 on 9 Jan 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Queer porn maker infiltrating Parliament: Pandora Blake visits the DCMS

Before Christmas I met the DCMS to talk to them about age verification, and try and get some answers out of them. Here's what I learned.

Who will have to comply?

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Tags: age verification, audio, BBFC, DCMS, Digital Economy Act, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, MindGeek, privacy, security

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