ICELAND LOOKING TO BAN ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY – Could Iceland become the first Western democratic country to block pornography on the internet? According to sources, the Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson is seeking to do just that.
The battle to keep our children from accessing online pornography has been raging in the UK with many child advocate groups petitioning the government to force ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to block access unless the subscribers specifically asks for access.
A studying has been undertaken in Iceland which shows the damaging effects that viewing pornography has on the young, especially when the pornography is of a violent nature. Physiologists believe that a child viewing such material leads to the trauma of being actually abused.
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Iceland has always had very stringent laws regarding pornography and even today it is illegal to print or distribute pornographic material, however these laws have never been applied to the internet, a situation that the Icelandic government wishes to address.
It was only two years ago that the then Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir passed a law that banned all strip clubs as it was viewed that this type of activity was a clear violation of a woman’s civil rights.
A number of Icelandic ministers also clearly pointed out that parental control simply wasn’t feasible as a deterrent as pornography could now be viewed on any mobile device, making it impossible for parents to monitor their child’s use of the internet at any given time.
This move goes to show you that there are some politicians who are willing to go out on a limb for the greater good, instead of hiding behind privacy laws and civil rights laws.
While this move, from the Icelandic Government, is both bold and admirable, it does go against the grain of a democratic society somewhat, unless of course this action is what the majority of Iceland’s population wants. If there is a split and the government force through such legislation then the very idea of democracy is lost.
I have to admit I think this is more than commendable but I also feel that people should have a free choice and therefore the idea of ISP blocking that requires the subscriber to request and unblock is more in tune to people’s civil rights and rights under a democratic country.
It will be interesting to see, if any, what the UK, Europe and other Western Governments make of this move by Iceland and whether they would introduce a similar system, although no doubt watered down.