How will the courts decide what constitutes porn?
The question of what exactly constitutes pornography, as always, is problematic no matter where such laws might be implemented. Sex is sex is sex, you say? People pay to watch fully-clothed women do unspeakable things to bowls of jelly specifically for
the purposes of sexual arousal. The I know it when I see it obscenity argument, aka the Hicklin Test, is indicative of the sort of thinking that usually surrounds such issues. Would we have to appoint a Pornfinder General?
What about your own naughty photos? Would they be banned too?
People would rightly be concerned about the status of private entertainment. Would partners taking naughty pictures of each other for their private consumption be prosecuted? Or is it only paying for it that's considered problematic? In that case what
about the people in Iceland who pay to advertise on swinger's websites or go to fetish club nights? Britain's culture of swinging, dogging, and fetish clubs is leaps and bounds beyond Iceland's, by the way. How can you tell the difference between images
produced for free and images produced for pay, or who the intended audience is? And who gets prosecuted?
How do you delete people's hard drive?
Finally there is the reality of porn consumption in countries like Iceland and Britain that have had longstanding access to internet porn: people who view porn online don't just stream it, they save it. Would it be possible to eliminate the porn already
in the country? Of course not. Would it be feasible to stop people from being able to share it through peer-to-peer applications, email attachments, and the myriad other ways of transferring files? Unlikely. Is any government prepared to institute and
pay for a system by which all of the country's electronic traffic passes through some checking bottleneck?
People can and did exchange contraband information long before the advent of the internet. They always will. And if so, be prepared for early-90s computing skills re-emerging - you know, back in the pre-World Wide Web days when internet porn collectors
used to share and decode files. Simply applying some iteration of a pink block filter wouldn't stop this.
Extract: Even Russia Today has published an article about the stupidity of porn blocking
24th February 2013. See article
A former MI5 agent Annie Machon warns, this could be a slippery slope to even more censorship from the government.
RT: If Iceland introduces this ban, what effect would that have on the rest of the world?
AM: I think it is unlikely that they will introduce it. But if they do, then I think it is very quickly going to be seen as failed. As I said people will find a way to tunnel around it, they will be up against the innovation of the porn industry. So, it
would probably be a failed experiment within a year or two. But I think if a western country seen to be doing this it will be a justification for other more totalitarian regimes to say Well, you know, Iceland's doing this. So we can do it, too. And of course it might well encourage ill thought out policies in other western democracies.
RT: Critics have been pointing out that censorship technology is linked to surveillance technology. If Iceland gives the green light to this ban, can we be sure it will be just about child protection?
AM: We absolutely can't. As soon as you start allowing certain technologies to be input onto the internet to stop and censor certain information they will be misused by police, by intelligence agencies and as soon as we are aware that the internet is
being censored and we might be being watched or monitored all times, then we start to self-censor as well. We will not download books or information as freely as we might in case it might be deemed radical or subversive and we are going on some domestic
extremists hit-list. And then, of course, we self-censor what we say on the internet as well. So, it will be very quick to slide in some sort of Orwellian big brother dystopia.
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