Mozilla Firefox users might be able to get around the porn block – here’s how

Mozilla Firefox users might be able to get around the porn block – here’s how
Firefox may use encryption to hide its users' browsing. Photo: Shutterstock

Internet browser Mozilla Firefox could allow users to dodge the upcoming porn block in the UK using encryption software, according to reports.

It is predicted that the browser, which has seen a decline in popularity in recent years against the rise of Google Chrome, could be set to make a comeback thanks to the feature.

Users of the browser would be able to access X-rated sites freely on Firefox, rather than submit their details as the ‘porn ban’ requires.

Ban comes into force in July

The ban is set to come into play on July 15. It will require users of adult websites to verify their age using their passport details or bank card.

But Firefox may roll out DNS encryption to keep users’ browsing secret, Daily Star Online reports.

DNS (Domain Name System) encryption hides the IP address, which identifies which devices are accessing certain sites. It allows more privacy, but has drawn criticism for its security risks as it makes it harder for the Government to track terrorists or paedophiles online.

The function can also be used to navigate around parental controls.

Fears over internet safety

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) – representing firms including BT, Virgin, and Sky – has expressed concerns over the implications the encryption on Firefox could have on internet safety.

A spokesperson said, “We remain concerned about the consequences these proposed changes will have for online safety and security, and it is therefore important that the Government sends a strong message to the browser manufacturers such as Mozilla that their encryption plans do not undermine current internet safety standards in the UK.”

However, those in favour of greater freedom and reduced internet censorship spoke favourably af the move by Mozilla.

Support for the encryption

The Adam Smith Institute’s Daniel Pryor told The Sun, “This Government is looking to lead the Western world in internet censorship.

“Anyone can bypass the upcoming porn block and other content restrictions using a VPN or optional browser settings, but the Government is worried that rumoured changes to Chrome and Firefox could make it even easier.

“Millions of Brits want security and privacy when they go online—especially when the parent company of a porn age check provider has a long history of data breaches.

“Hopefully Google and Mozilla will stand by their customers rather than bending to Government pressure.”

This originally appeared on our sister site the Edinburgh Evening News.