Porn television channel evades government ban: Homes with satellite dishes will need only smart-cards to pick up Danish broadcasts

Click to follow
The Independent Online
THE COMPANY that has brought the pornographic satellite channel Red Hot Television to Britain has discovered a means of evading a proposed government ban.

The European Commission said yesterday that the Government could press ahead with plans to outlaw the channel. But Continental Television said it was switching to a new system that can deliver pictures to all 2.4 million homes with satellite television, making it immune to government action.

Peter Brooke, the Secretary of State for National Heritage, plans to make it illegal for anyone to trade in equipment that unscrambles the Red Hot signal, broadcast from Denmark. That would have covered the Save encryption system, until now used to decode its signal.

But Mark Garner, who runs the channel, said yesterday that it is abandoning the Save system and introducing a new encryption system, Enigma, which uses a smart-card that is compatible with Videocrypt, the standard satellite decoding box in households with satellite dishes.

Mr Garner said the new system meant the channel would be cheaper to receive and would keep one step ahead of the

Government.

The company would immediately begin marketing the system from its Dutch sales offices, mailing the smart-card from there.

Boosted by publicity over the proposed ban, it claims 3,000 subscribers have joined in the past fortnight, making a total of 28,000. It has doubled its output to six nights a week.

Subscribers pay pounds 149 for a year's membership and must fit a cheap device called a Transarm to their dishes to pick up Eutelsat, which broadcasts Red Hot and eight other channels.

'We believe that Mr Brooke is bringing in a law that the British people do not want,' said Mr Garner.

In a parallel development yesterday, Johannes Voecking, a German Interior Ministry official, wrote to the Department of National Heritage to enlist British support to halt a satellite pornography service from Britain.

A sex video and magazine firm in Hanover, run by a former porn actress, Teresa Orlowski, has announced plans to broadcast 'adult' films to Germany via the legal British satellite soft-porn Adult Channel, which is licensed in the UK.

Computer porn, page 6

Comments