Iceland considering ban on Internet porn

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

As the first western nation, Iceland is looking into how to draft legislation which'll allow the government to block its citizens from accessing websites with any sort of pornographic content. Means under consideration are internet filters, as well as making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards on such sites.

Creation and distribution of any kind of pornography is already illegal in Iceland, but so far private citizens have been allowed to access and acquire it from international sites. Due to concerns over how it affect young people and the women who appear in it, it is this way of accessing it which is sought censored. So far, there's no suggestion that circumventing the blockade or possessing ordinary pornography will be made a criminal offence though.

It's truly worrying to see how little respect European nations have for Freedom of Information, how puritanism has reinvented itself as "Objectification", and how "Please think of the Children!" sentiments are being used to override basic individual rights. It's of course very doubtful how efficient such a blanket ban will actually be - a political advisor stated "...surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet", to which one can only say "That's no Moon" - but that it's even on the table speaks volumes.

Source

I don't have anything against the censorship of pornography per se, but it does concern me that this may be the first step towards a wider censorship of the internet.

But to address the OP, a) I'm not convinced watching porn is a 'basic human right'. Free Speech is supposed to allow for the free exchange of ideas, and to protect whistle-blowers and critics. I don't think it covers watching people doing it.

b) normally, I would apply the harm principle and say that if it doesn't hurt anyone, people should be allowed to view whatever they like. But again, I'm not convinced the sex industry as a whole is harmless. There are valid criticisms regarding coercion, trafficking etc. which can't be dismissed by simply rolling your eyes and snorting 'prude'.

Surely the icelandic government has heard of proxy servers? Internet filters are useless.

But the mere fact they want to do this is beyond absurd.

Hey, if Egypt pulled it off, Iceland can surely try. Fuck, Iran has built its own little internet service. Why should I care?

Like penguin said I am worried its just a spring board for more internet censorship. As a man I personnely think porn has negative effects on young men and relationships that can effect an individual permenetly. No, I don't have research on that its just a hunch.

That's pretty nasty. There are some reasonable limitations that should be put on porn and the internet, like child porn and its online distribution, as they actually result in, motivate or are the result of criminal actions. Just... porn, though? In general? That's an extremely unreasonable limitation if I ever saw one.

I don't see porn as a human right, or somesuch, but I can't fault people for wondering what else this will be applied to.

Iceland - now main destination for porn addiction treatment.

But anyway, surely with their little population if the people have objections they can just walk over to their prime minister's house and have a little talk with her or her wife over tea.

ClockworkPenguin:
I don't have anything against the censorship of pornography per se, but it does concern me that this may be the first step towards a wider censorship of the internet.

But to address the OP, a) I'm not convinced watching porn is a 'basic human right'. Free Speech is supposed to allow for the free exchange of ideas, and to protect whistle-blowers and critics. I don't think it covers watching people doing it.

It does, as if we disallow 'watching people doing it', we can disallow things like 'movie about two young homosexual men' or 'movie about two men waiting for another man that never shows'. Point isn't that somehow necessarily conveys a deep message, but that any limit to what is alright to watch will be arbitrary, and if we put that down, then we can start censoring anything.
Though honestly, if PORN is illegal in Iceland, then the fact that they can censor Internet-porn isn't very disturbing. Afterall, child-porn is illegal everywhere, and thus illegal online. So it's the idea of porn being illegal that really bothers me, I guess.

Realitycrash:
Though honestly, if PORN is illegal in Iceland, then the fact that they can censor Internet-porn isn't very disturbing. Afterall, child-porn is illegal everywhere, and thus illegal online. So it's the idea of porn being illegal that really bothers me, I guess.

Wasn't pornography illegal in various western nations (the UK comes to mind) up until relatively recently, though?

thaluikhain:

Realitycrash:
Though honestly, if PORN is illegal in Iceland, then the fact that they can censor Internet-porn isn't very disturbing. Afterall, child-porn is illegal everywhere, and thus illegal online. So it's the idea of porn being illegal that really bothers me, I guess.

Wasn't pornography illegal in various western nations (the UK comes to mind) up until relatively recently, though?

Eh, was it? I wouldn't know. I know that the first Swedish porno was made in the 1960's, so it can't have been illegal then. Most nations, as far as I know, have just been very strict on WHERE you can buy it.

Denmark was the first country to lift the ban on visual porn back in 1967, I am not happy the world is going backwards in progression.

Realitycrash:

ClockworkPenguin:
I don't have anything against the censorship of pornography per se, but it does concern me that this may be the first step towards a wider censorship of the internet.

But to address the OP, a) I'm not convinced watching porn is a 'basic human right'. Free Speech is supposed to allow for the free exchange of ideas, and to protect whistle-blowers and critics. I don't think it covers watching people doing it.

It does, as if we disallow 'watching people doing it', we can disallow things like 'movie about two young homosexual men' or 'movie about two men waiting for another man that never shows'. Point isn't that somehow necessarily conveys a deep message, but that any limit to what is alright to watch will be arbitrary, and if we put that down, then we can start censoring anything.
Though honestly, if PORN is illegal in Iceland, then the fact that they can censor Internet-porn isn't very disturbing. Afterall, child-porn is illegal everywhere, and thus illegal online. So it's the idea of porn being illegal that really bothers me, I guess.

Whether its valid to use the slippery slope argument depends on them having the same motive behind the censorship. If its 'Censor this because we disapprove' then you have a very good point. If it is banned because there is cause to think it is harmful, you would also need evidence of harm in the other cases.

I don't have a problem with people watching porn, if there is no exploitation going on in its production. But that seems to be very hard to guarantee, especially given the global nature of the internet.

You use the example of child pornography, which I think helps illustrate my point. There are clear reasons why it is harmful and deserving of a ban, which do not apply to other forms of pornography. They are different cases which require seperate arguments, and the same is true between pornography and the examples you gave.

Imperator_DK:
As the first western nation, Iceland is looking into how to draft legislation which'll allow the government to block its citizens from accessing websites with any sort of pornographic content. Means under consideration are internet filters, as well as making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards on such sites.

Creation and distribution of any kind of pornography is already illegal in Iceland, but so far private citizens have been allowed to access and acquire it from international sites. Due to concerns over how it affect young people and the women who appear in it, it is this way of accessing it which is sought censored. So far, there's no suggestion that circumventing the blockade or possessing ordinary pornography will be made a criminal offence though.

It's truly worrying to see how little respect European nations have for Freedom of Information, how puritanism has reinvented itself as "Objectification", and how "Please think of the Children!" sentiments are being used to override basic individual rights. It's of course very doubtful how efficient such a blanket ban will actually be - a political advisor stated "...surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet", to which one can only say "That's no Moon" - but that it's even on the table speaks volumes.

Source

Puritanism, as in the religious movement? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3hanna_Sigur%C3%B0ard%C3%B3ttir

I'm amazed Puritanical's would allow an openly lesbian (the first world leader to be so) into power; but then maybe you're just trying to get a religious angle because as usual, 'religion is evil and all bad stuff in the world springs from it'.

Isn't Iceland the country that banned strip clubs? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_club_ban_in_Iceland

Why yes it is.

So why is this move surprising to anyone, really? If you're willing to shut down strip clubs int he name of 'equality'
( http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2010/03/24/Bill-in-Iceland-makes-stripping-illegal/UPI-19411269468866/ )

I mean, it's not like they claim it's for feminism oh wait. ( http://www.salon.com/2010/03/26/iceland_bans_stripping_strip_clubs/ )

To put it in short, this is not a religious movement, it's a feminist one, so get off your high-horse so you can see whats going on on the ground, right? It has NOTHING to do with religion, NOR does it have anything to do with 'Think of the children'.

It is openly being declared across several regions as a 'feminist move', not a 'religious move'. And even then, some people disagree, such as the writer of the Salon article.

ClockworkPenguin:
I'm not convinced watching porn is a 'basic human right'. Free Speech is supposed to allow for the free exchange of ideas, and to protect whistle-blowers and critics. I don't think it covers watching people doing it.

Pornographic imagery does fall under the European concept of Freedom of Information. It's just that European free speech protection isn't absolute. So Iceland might still get away with it.

...There are valid criticisms regarding coercion, trafficking etc. which can't be dismissed by simply rolling your eyes and snorting 'prude'.

Banning all sorts of pornography doesn't seem to address foreign coercion/trafficking issues either. If anything, it'll make it easier for Icelandic citizens to get in contact with things like child porn, when forced to circumvent DNS-blockers, stealth their IP's, rely on darknets etc. etc., all to just get ordinary porn. Breaking the law is to most a significant psychological barrier; Breaking it further to most quite easy. Then there's of course the old Danish legal sociology studies, from when it was originally decriminalized here (1967/1969), which showed a significant subsequent drop in all types of sex crimes.

Bentusi16:
...
Puritanism, as in the religious movement?

No, puritanism as in "Scrupulous moral rigor, especially hostility to social pleasures and indulgences". Which for once isn't religiously founded.

Imperator_DK:
Which for once isn't religiously founded.

That seems to have a different connotation then it does in my nation; here 'puritanical' refers directly to the strict doctrines of the puritanical religion; alternatively it can mean someone who sticks to a set of seemingly outdated rules rigorously.

See, I think you have less issue then you think you do, and more problem with 'dogmatism'. While I'm sure you can (and will) argue religion is automatically dogmatic, so is this feminist 'We must ban the porns because it is bad for women' mindset.

I am happy they at least said "It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold." and not just 'women'. That shows a little forward thinking anyway.

I can understand a opt-in filter but are they just going for a generic block on pornography? That sounds completely fucking ridiculous and is only going to end up including further censorship.

How about they pass a law that requires parents to determine at the point when they buy internet access whether they want to opt-in to filter certain sites, and educates them how to teach their children to browse the net responsibly? Because unhackable systems are always hackable.

This is backwards, Puritanical bullshit. Enough said.

wonder where the very loud icelandic poster on the escapist is now.
Still shouting his country is the best out there

I think it's a little interesting how things seem to be moving in circles.

Correct me if I'm wrong here because I wasn't around back in the 60's and certainly not in the 40's. But wasn't sexual liberation for everyone but especially for women a big thing for feminism in the past? Women were equal to men and could do anything they could do and deserved the same respect and rights. And that included being able to indulge in your sexuality in the same way men can.

I think it is interesting that this seems to be moving in reverse. At least from what I can see in Sweden. Self proclaimed feminists are very eager to paint women as victims in all sorts of situations. Group pressure is worse for young girls than young men, we need to shut down strip clubs because women are being exploited, porn is bad because women are being exploited. A lot of the time it seems the consensus is that women are fragile beings that need to be looked after or they will be taken advantage of by the much more able but also much more wicked men. To me this doesn't seem like feminism, the belief that women are equally as able as men. To me this seems like plain old conservatism dressed up in progressive slogans.

And if you do believe that women need to be looked after by, if not men the state then fine. Argue that point. Just don't pretend you're so damned different from those old fat rich men that believed women needed to be looked after by their husbands. Because you're not. And you're certainly not a feminist.

Imperator_DK:
snip

I have mentioned our nation's porn laws on many threads on the past. I can't be arsed to repeat all of it though.

Anyways, this is never going to happen.

Our current government is easily one of the worst and most unpopular ones in the history of the republic. Combine that with the fact that the next election is only a few months away and this won't materialize.

thaluikhain:
Wasn't pornography illegal in various western nations (the UK comes to mind) up until relatively recently, though?

BDSM and rape porn is illegal in the UK right now.

Practising BDSM is also a crime in the UK to begin with, since British law, unlike any normal law system, doesn't know the ability to consent to harm, established in the outrageous Spanner Case.
Which is of course applied very selectively only to those who sin against Christianity, because you can still practise fighting sports legally in the UK (during which you consent to harm).

True, true, the bobbies aren't going door to door arresting all kinky people they can find, but it is illegal in principle.

D Moness:
wonder where the very loud icelandic poster on the escapist is now.
Still shouting his country is the best out there

Do you just so happen to be talking about ME?

:)

Iceland has undergone a bit of a "quiet revolution" recently. its well worth looking to read about if you don't know this as the English speaking mainstream press basically haven't reported on it. they've been rather forcibly making some interesting decisions/demands as a people; they threw out two governments, let "the banks" collapse, arrested "the bankers" and defaulted on the debts they had ran up...

and have had one of the best performing economies in Europe in recent years...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932011_Icelandic_financial_crisis#Aftermath_.282012.E2.80.932013.29

interesting that's not been reported much huh ?

anyway i think...i think they probably have a bit of "mob rule" to work out their system after recent events...."mob rule" being fine for "revolutions" but rather infamously not so fine for lasting government based on "principals"...

Note that I completed the post to follow while mildly drunk.

First, I'm reluctant to buy this story as presented here. Case in point this excerpt from the second article

Telegraph article:

"We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," he said.

...which specifically talks about a ban of violent pornography and not internet pornography in general. I remain sceptical that any legal framework would go so far as to ban internet access to porn - I can't think that any democratically elected government can do so without risking a serious clash with the electorate. On the other hand, since we are dealing with a nation that has already banned porn distribution that point might very well be moot. I'll wait for further sources on this one, though.

That aside, I doubt any feasible technical implementation can be applied to actually make this work. I mean, everybody knows that one of the primary things to do on the net is share fucking porn. I don't think that any amount of censorship is going to be able to make this go away - people will find a way to indulge in it. Especially if they are horny teenagers. As such, this thing just seems like a giant waste of money and manpower. Moreover I really doubt that the link they presume to exist between problematic behaviour in children and pornography is really as evidenced or as significant as they want it to be aside from, perhaps, certain fringe practices.

Aside from that, I don't have any objection per se about limiting the accessibility and salience or flat-out banning of certain kinds of hate speech or certain kinds of pornographic material. It depends strongly on what one considers and if or if not such is to be implemented by the state or by, say, the parents of a child - which would be far more preferable solution when it comes to these kinds of issues. I do, however, agree with the OP that the law and the reasoning behind it seems awfully like a PR stunt designed to pander to the conservative voters - it's reasoning and wording seems to be far too convenient and optimistic. That is also the reason why I don't think it's fair to extend this little gem of short-sighted lawmaking to a general trend of "...how puritanism has reinvented itself as "Objectification", and how "Please think of the Children!" sentiments are being used to override basic individual rights." as the OP put it - that seems like a very bold extrapolation at best.

Blablahb:
BDSM and rape porn is illegal in the UK right now.

Practising BDSM is also a crime in the UK to begin with, since British law, unlike any normal law system, doesn't know the ability to consent to harm, established in the outrageous Spanner Case.
Which is of course applied very selectively only to those who sin against Christianity, because you can still practise fighting sports legally in the UK (during which you consent to harm).

True, true, the bobbies aren't going door to door arresting all kinky people they can find, but it is illegal in principle.

Whilst you are correct, I just thought you might want to know, there was a recent court case here in the UK in which a man was found not guilty of assault against a woman in a BDSM relationship, as she consented to being "his slave" and that it meant she would "suffer pain" in writing beforehand.

http://www.ukcourtsnet.co.uk/steven-lock-found-guilty-fifty-shades-grey-attack-partner-signed-slave-g561364616-p2?language=en

So really, the authorities pretty much only prosecute you for BDSM-related activities if you are gay or have children (the Spanner case is still one of the most retarded legal rulings I have ever read) - unless times are a'changing, which I somehow doubt given that equal marriage has caused such a fit in just recent weeks (although 50 Shades was really popular...and now everything kink-related is being referred to as "50 Shades Style" which is just bloody annoying).

Also, I apologise for some of the linked comments on that source, particularly the "Celebrity Gossip" one - it was just a quick Google grab.

Realitycrash:
'movie about two men waiting for another man that never shows'.

That was a play, not a movie! *snicker*

But um, first of all...

Imperator_DK:

It's truly worrying to see how little respect European nations have for Freedom of Information, how puritanism has reinvented itself as "Objectification", and how "Please think of the Children!" sentiments are being used to override basic individual rights.

Well, Iceland is a bit self-isolated as a European nation though, the way I see it. I can't see how this could reasonably set an EU precedent. Maybe some wishful thinking on my part, but I'd be more alerted if this happened in, say, Spain, Sweden, Germany or Poland.

Chromatic Aberration:
First, I'm reluctant to buy this story as presented here. Case in point this excerpt from the second article

Telegraph article:

"We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," he said.

...which specifically talks about a ban of violent pornography and not internet pornography in general.

Our femminists are so stupid and ignorant that they consider all forms of porn to be violence against women. This means that they consider "violent pornography" to be the only form of pornography. So your wrong here, I am afraid.

Chromatic Aberration:
I can't think that any democratically elected government can do so without risking a serious clash with the electorate.

Our government is already fucked and there is a 99% chance that they will be voted out during the next election in a few months, so they have nothing to lose at this point.

Chromatic Aberration:
the reasoning behind it seems awfully like a PR stunt designed to pander to the conservative voters

The current government and the people who want to do this are the leftist parties. Iceland actually has this weird political scene where its actually the left (social democrats and socialists) that are for the most part social conservatives while the political right doesn't care as much and is mostly focused on economic matters rather then social ones.

Superbeast:
Whilst you are correct, I just thought you might want to know, there was a recent court case here in the UK in which a man was found not guilty of assault against a woman in a BDSM relationship, as she consented to being "his slave" and that it meant she would "suffer pain" in writing beforehand.

http://www.ukcourtsnet.co.uk/steven-lock-found-guilty-fifty-shades-grey-attack-partner-signed-slave-g561364616-p2?language=en

So really, the authorities pretty much only prosecute you for BDSM-related activities if you are gay or have children (the Spanner case is still one of the most retarded legal rulings I have ever read) - unless times are a'changing, which I somehow doubt given that equal marriage has caused such a fit in just recent weeks (although 50 Shades was really popular...and now everything kink-related is being referred to as "50 Shades Style" which is just bloody annoying).

That's definately news. Didn't know about that.

Well, if a guy with three prior convictions for assaulting women gets acquitted under such circumstances I guess one can say bdsm's been made legal again in the UK.

It's like Iceland is becoming Europe's version of Saudi Arabia. What the heck?

Batou667:
It's like Iceland is becoming Europe's version of Saudi Arabia.

...

No, it's really, really not. Big difference between "a repressive theocracy" and "a government that bans porn and strip clubs".

Vegosiux:

Realitycrash:
'movie about two men waiting for another man that never shows'.

That was a play, not a movie! *snicker*

I know, but it has been filmed.

Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland's interior minister, is drafting legislation to stop the access of online pornographic images and videos by young people through computers, games consoles and smartphones.

Oh, so it's only young people who access pornography. Never mind that a significant amount of pornography viewers are 30+.

"Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried," said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. "It is looking a pornography from a new position - from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights."

Because banning people from viewing images and videos of other people naked is a very forward-thinking policy... and not authoritarian nanny state repression which decides what people can and can't see at their own leisure for their own good.

No, the only "progressive" way about this is to be more open about sexuality, and sex, and break down the taboos which bind people.

Chromatic Aberration:
...I do, however, agree with the OP that the law and the reasoning behind it seems awfully like a PR stunt designed to pander to the conservative voters - it's reasoning and wording seems to be far too convenient and optimistic. That is also the reason why I don't think it's fair to extend this little gem of short-sighted lawmaking to a general trend of "...how puritanism has reinvented itself as "Objectification", and how "Please think of the Children!" sentiments are being used to override basic individual rights." as the OP put it - that seems like a very bold extrapolation at best.

Pretty sure PR-stunt legislation isn't an exclusively Icelandic phenomenon.

Still, it would obviously be an unreasonable extrapolation to a general European trend, if it was a view based solely on this one example. It's not though, as there have been plenty of examples to go around of free speech and sexual rights being challenged in North Western Europe alone.

Vegosiux:
...
Well, Iceland is a bit self-isolated as a European nation though, the way I see it. I can't see how this could reasonably set an EU precedent. Maybe some wishful thinking on my part, but I'd be more alerted if this happened in, say, Spain, Sweden, Germany or Poland.

And while Iceland matters little in itself, it could further fuel the flames of the regressive development in nations like Sweden and the UK. Which are capable of influencing EU precedence.

thaluikhain:

No, it's really, really not. Big difference between "a repressive theocracy" and "a government that bans porn and strip clubs".

Between this and the "ban on non-Icelandic names" malarkey it's starting to give Saud a run for its money. It's bizarre to see such isolationist/nationalist behaviour from such a geographically isolated place (Iceland). But hell, they can do what they want, I wasn't planning a visit anytime soon.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked