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"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 Guardian, the second most read English-language online newspaper in the world, is reporting 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 Mothers' Union.  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 www.parentport.org.uk) -- 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 (BT), Sky Broadband, TalkTalk (LON:TALK) and Virgin Media, Inc. (VMED) -- 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.

MP Claire Perry
Conservative Party MP Claire Perry [Source: BBC News]

She states, "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, commenting, "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust."

Christine O'Donnell
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. (AAPL) 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.

Source: Guardian



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RE: No way
By Aloonatic on 10/12/2011 2:54:37 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get your point. You can still get pr0n if you want, and they are allowing you to decide?

All they are doing, in essence, is making an option that is already available more obvious. When you sign up for your broadband deal your will just be made aware of an option (that already exists) to block adult material (not just porn) from reaching your home.

If you want to fap away, then just ignore it.

They aren't forcing anything on anyone. It's not even active by default, forcing you to make a potentially embarrassing phone call to your broadband provider, to ask to have have your porn back.

They simply listened to a group of people and come up with a plan to make it so that they can get what they want, and you can still get all the porn that you want too.

What's your problem?

I can see why parents might want this too. We've all see comedies make the joke of the parent struggling to install censorship software on their PC, then giving up and asking their teenage son to do it as he's the only one who understands computers. A lot of kids can get passed the current filters pretty easily, so having it blocked at source makes sense.


RE: No way
By bah12 on 10/12/2011 10:41:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's your problem?
Dude WTF!!! Really all you could do yesterday was rant about how bad the police state in England was regarding some dude taking a picture on private property, and now you're advocating MORE police state?????

I'm truly confused, I can live with the fact that my belief system may clash with yours, but for the love of god pick a side already!!!

How can you spend endless posts one day complaining about too much government involvement, only to start today with the exact opposite stance. The only logical conclusion is you are a troll just looking to be controversial.


RE: No way
By Aloonatic on 10/13/2011 3:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
You're confused? Damn right you are.

Confussed by an already available option for people signing up to a broadband line to have adult content blocked at source more obvious, with a "police state".

I don't know if you think you're trying to be clever, subversive and wild by saying "police state" at any given opportunity, as if you're some kind of rebel, but you've not picked a very good story for it in this case.

FYI, I don't (and nor do you) have to agree with everything or nothing that someone or a group (such as the government, or Apple or whoever) says or does, I can agree with some things and not others. What are you, a talk show host who only listens to ridiculously polarised views?

Pick a side? Really?

Grow up.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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