Iceland Moves to Block Porn

If you're a porn fan living in Iceland things could get a whole lot more difficult to access porn sites online if Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson has his way. According to an article in the Daily Mail "Iceland's bid to ban web porn" (February 13, 2012) Jónasson has set up working groups to prevent minors from accessing "violent porn" through their computers, games consoles, and smartphones.

On the table so far is blocking IP addresses of porn sites and banning the use of Icelandic-based credit cards to join porn membership sites. China is well known for its war on porn, and last year both Indonesia and Egypt started blocking pornographic sites. And while the UK is looking at measures to keep porn away from minors, if successful, Iceland would be the first Western democracy to block porn completely -- or try to.

What isn't clear is what is going to be blocked. Jónasson starts off talking about "violent pornography", but then drops the "violent" and simply discusses "pornography."

But Iceland could be successful, at least in adopting measures. It's already illegal to print and distribute porn in the country, and two years ago, the Icelandic Parliament banned strip clubs.

Most citizens of the world agree that minors should not be exposed to porn; that's what parental control software is for. The Icelandic government could buy subscriptions for every citizen who wanted or needed the software and it would be cheaper than the army of bureaucrats Iceland is going to have to hire to monitor the ban and plug holes in the system.

Why does protecting minors from porn always have to come at the cost of the people who want to access it?

The ban won't work. There are lots of ways of surfing the Net without anyone knowing who you are or where you're surfing from. And an attempt to ban online porn will only create an underground cottage industry of people burning and trading pornographic DVDs.

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