UK Gov't Prepares Ambitious Censorship Plan to Restrict Porn Access
October 11, 2011 5:20 PM
"Would someone please think of the children!" UK officials argue
These days free adult entertainment is
just a click away
for most with internet access in the U.S. and Europe. Some argue that sexual liberation is a sign that society has at last overcome its shame over what is an essential biological function. Others argue it's a sign of moral degradation and a terrible corrupter of youth.
I. Britain Prepares to Disrobe Anit-Porn Plot
British Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the UK's Conservative Party, is reportedly siding with those who argue that porn is a "nasty, bad, naughty" social apparatus. The UK-based
, the second most read English-language online newspaper in the world, is
that PM Cameron will announce plans to
whack unfettered access to porn off the net
The politican-cum-activist borrows his anti-porn agenda from a report by UK-based nonprofit
. As one might imagine this "moral conservative" group is upset about sexualization of society and hopes to return the nation to a more platonic, repressed era.
Elements of its proposed plan, which PM Cameron plans to put, at least partially, into law includes:
Age restrictions on music videos (akin to ESRB ratings on video games).
Bans or quotas on teen-aimed clothing with "sexually suggestive" messages.
A new website -- Parentport (to be launched at
) -- which allows parents to directly complain about internet content. Suggestions will be forwarded to the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, The BBC Trust, Ofcom, the Press Complaints Commission, British Board of Film Classification, and other censorship affiliated organization, which may opt to censor the internet comment, denying UK citizens access to it.
A mandatory opt in for adults to view pornographic content.
II. Replacing Parenting With Gov't Censorship
The mandatory opt-in is a particularly thorny issue. BT (
), Sky Broadband, TalkTalk (
) and Virgin Media, Inc. (
) -- some of the UK's largest ISPs -- have reportedly agreed to participate in such a scheme. It is unclear whether existing subscribers would be required to opt in, or merely new ones.
The plot is the culmination of years of lobbying by close colleague of PM Cameron, Conservative Member of Parliament Claire Perry. Ms. Perry, a mother of three, argues that parents should not have to put the effort in to police their childrens' internet use. Rather she feels that the government should thrust itself into the role of playing parent. She argues that censorship has
benefited many other aspects of British society
, and censoring internet porn fills an important hole in the nation's comprehensive censorship legislation.
Conservative Party MP Claire Perry [Source: BBC News]
, "As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet. We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, High Street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the internet be any different?"
III. America Next?
The idea of America's former colonial master censoring the internet may seem offensive to many Americans, but some in America are making similar arguments in favor of beating back the sexually liberated nature of modern society.
Prominent Republican "Tea Party" politician Christine O'Donnell has long suggested that masturbation is a sin,
, "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust."
Prominent Republican "Tea Party" politician Christine O'Donnell has argued for banning sex ed in the U.S. [Source: Getty Images]
She supports banning sexual education in schools, suggesting it leads to children being sexually abused. She comments, "[Sex ed] breaks down the natural modesty that exists within children to protect them. Then suddenly talking to that stranger with candy on the playground is not so creepy."
And anti-pornography efforts have some support from corporate America. Late Apple, Inc. (
) executive Steve Jobs bragged of his crusade to
offer i-device owners "freedom from porn"
Clearly many fundamentalist U.S. Christian "moral conservatives", like their old world peers, feel that pornography is sinful. And many of these individuals have already effectively argued that the U.S. should be a theocracy, governed by Christian laws and politicians. Thus it might not be surprising to see moral conservatives in the States in the next few years follow in step with the Old World's anti-pornography crusade.
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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