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David Cameron to Ban Porn In Britain

by TonyBerkman (editor), Costa Rica, July 23, 2013

Credit: Wikipedia
David Cameron's official portrait from the 10 Downing Street website

In an either naive or smart political maneuver David Cameron will have "extreme pornography" banned in Britain by the end of 2014.

The Prime Minister of Britain David Cameron is banning "extreme pornography," that includes scenes of simulated rape, and intends to create blacklist of "abhorrent" terms that are or could be used by pedophiles searching child pornography. The ban on porn, will take effect by year end 2014, and by default, block porn on almost all computers, smartphones and tablets.

"I'm not making this speech because I want to moralize or scare-monger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come," Cameron said. "This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence."

British wireless and UK Internet Service Providers have agreed to put in place adult-content filters on phones, public Wi-Fi networks and home computers during the upcoming months. By the end of the year, the filters will become default for all people with internet service. Cameron has also search engines, such as Google and Bing to comply, by blocking terms that pedophiles are likely to utilize. If they fail to comply Cameron plans on enacting legislation to enforce compliance.

Despite the applaudible desired outcomes of the measure, the actual results are certain to fail for many reasons including the following:

Censorship is a "slippery-slope" type issue. Where does acceptable skin begin and "extreme porn" start? This is a challenging area for beings to agree upon. What constitutes pornography has been debated for centuries and likely will til the end of mankind's skin-clothed body exits from this planet. Will this measure ban movies such as "The Accused" a movie in which Jody Foster is raped and one for which she was awarded an Oscar?

The problem with this is that terms in one context may be perfectly legitimate and serve a positive purpose in another. Blocking terms like 'vagina,' 'anus' or 'penis' as examples, will likely lead to numerous health related sites focused on sexual health issues being blacklisted from the search results. Furthemore, while the outcome of the ban is to protect women it is also likely that important feminist topics will be caught in this net.

Furthermore the course of action to ban internet porn does not end at simply determining the identification of porn that violates the laws - whether by computer identity algorithms or by human. That's just the tip of the issue. Peak back into history as well as at regimes that enforce laws such as this one and you will discover multitudes of examples where substances being banned, from porn to drugs where the result is always the same. Black markets for these goods and services form. Even worse is that these markets typically result in an increase in crime related activities, as cartel like structures develop that are usually run by crime related organizations.

Cameron's plan is akin to the Ostrich that puts his head in the sand while the lion approaches believing that she is safe. It is no secret to law enforcement that there exists a "hidden web" that is far larger than the web most of us utilize to do our searches.

This hidden web is dramatically larger than the legitimate web and is primarily used by organizations and individuals for illegal activities, It is also the place where Government intellgence agencies spend inordinate amounts of time attempting to identify crime related activiteis. The challenge with this part of the web is that almost all aspects are password protected and user identifications are hidden. The "hidden web" is an economy unto itself, having its own currency and packed with sites and marketplaces where buyers and sellers enter into agreements for the sale and purchase of illegal services and products.

It would be extremely naive to assume that criminals, peodiphiles and the character of person that Cameron is attempting to "go after" will use brand name search engines, such as Bing and Google to find the type of porn that he is attempting to make illegal.

Google already utilizes sophisticated porn related filters that enable it to not show ads besides articles that it may consider pornographic. This article is one that Google has automatically identified as being unsuitable to show an advertisement next to so it will be relatively easy for the search engine to prevent porn related articles from showing up in search results. Despite their tech sophistication they miss the mark as is evidenced here.

Why would Cameron enact this measure that is doomed to create more problems than it solves? According to Leo Mirani at Quartz, Cameron ".. may be trying to appease the highly influential right-wing British newspaper, The Daily Mail, which has been running a campaign against online porn for months," now.

What do you think?



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2 comments on David Cameron to Ban Porn In Britain

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By Shaun Gibson on August 04, 2013 at 01:54 am

I am in two minds over this. Here in Scotland this alreayd applies, this is for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But he has taken it a step further with ALL porn.

I don't know if this is a good thing of a slow stripping of a freedom. I am not into porn (No laughing at the back there, lol)

But to get the porn you must ask your ISP (Internet Provider, I knew you all knew this) if you can get the porn, and you get the porn. But then you look and feel like a "big dity pervery" as we say here in Scotland

As I say Tony, I don't know. If I did porn I be mad, I know my Brother and 2 sons are (Son's are 19 and 21, I was a VERY young Father) They are all gutted and moaning. Oh my brother is nearly 50. Many will be scared to ask for the porn as they go on a "Big Dirty Pervert" list...

I could, for my son, say "My son's are developing young men and I feel they need porn at this age" My Brother can't do this. So I might ask just to annoy him haha.

Good blog mate

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