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Iceland preparing legislation to ban Internet Pornography



/ 4 years ago

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Iceland isn’t exactly a “Big Brother” state when it comes to censorship but things look set to change slightly as Iceland’s Interior Minster Odmundur Jonasson has proposed legislation to ban access to internet pornography. Iceland already has a ban on physical pornographic media such as DVDs and magazines but now its ministers want to extend this to internet services.

The proposed legislation comes from what the Icelandic government sees as social unrest and negative impacts on young people caused by watching porn, particular that of a violent nature. The method of blocking expected to be used is that of a simple IP ban on all pornographic addresses. The use of Icelandic credit cards to purchase pornographic content will also be deemed illegal.

“If we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the Internet. It is anti-violence because young children are seeing porn and acting it out.  That is where we draw the line.  This material is blurring the boundaries for young people about what is right and wrong.” said Halla Gunnarsdottir, political advisor for Ogmundur.

The Icelandic government claim this is not anti-sex legislation but an attempt to stamp out sexual violence among its population. My concerns with this legislation come mainly around the fact that any censorship tends to infringe upon civil rights and that access to pornography is something that you can’t simply stop with an IP ban, people will always find a way around it. Just like torrent and peer to peer websites, if you take one down then another will surely pop up to take its place. The ban on strip clubs the country previously enacted was successful because it was enforceable – you can shut a strip club down, however the internet is virtually extensive and policing it is near impossible.

Surely good parenting and strong education should be enough to prevent most sexual violence and teach people the difference between right and wrong. Let us know what you think. Is this a good move by the Icelandic government? Is it achievable? And more importantly will it even work?

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  • Xav :)

    The effort and motive is good, just not the way of doing it.