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Friday, February 15, 2013

Iceland considers censoring XXX content

"If we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet." Those are the now immortal words of Halla Gunnarsdottir, the political advisor to Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson.

A law forbidding the printing and distribution of pornography is already on the books in Iceland, but Ogmundur's proposal would extend the ban to the Internet, according to the Telegraph. Methods for the ban being considered include enacting laws making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards to purchase porn, and filtering all Icelandic internet traffic.

The measure would make Iceland the first Western democracy to institute China-grade censorship filters - all in the name of protecting women and children.

As Gizmodo pointed out:

It's ironic that the porn industry started in Scandinavian countries during their sexual revolution in the 60s. While the rest of the world would be in shock at the sight of a nipple, Swedish and Danish porn companies were producing films and magazines, which were viewed by young adults and adults in their home countries and other countries in Europe.
Now, by banning access to internet porn, Iceland will join countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other temples of democracy widely known to protect women and children rights.

The Icelandic government argues that easy access to online porn increases the frequency and severity of sexual violence against women and causes longterm damage for children who view it at an early age. But is pornography really such a threat? A 2010 study compared sex-related crime rates before and after the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) lifted its strict prohibition against porn as it transitioned to democracy after 1989. The researchers found no increase in reported sex-related crimes, and an actual decrease in reported cases of child sex abuse, after the ban was lifted.

A 2009 study from the University of Montreal examined the influence of pornography on a small group of heterosexual men whose sex practices were considered conventional, and found the participants' use of porn affected neither their support of gender equality, nor their real-life sexual experiences.