Iceland considering ban on Internet porn

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Imperator_DK:
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.

They're not being very accurate reporting it though. They mention the Netherlands having banned insults, but that's just not true. You can insult whomever you like, you just can't engage in racist extremely grieving insults that reach a large audience.

There's been exactly one case that was questionable. Someone annoyed by Christian zealots picketing the concerts he went to (like Waldrock, they went there once, really annoying) he made a poster with a burning church and an insult, hanging it on a sidewall in his living room.
Police claimed to have seen (while you needed to enter his front garden to be able to see) and fined him € 250, and somehow, I don't know how, it stood in court.
I am certain though that if he had appealed it would've been scrapped. Typical example of an unlawfull ruling by a court. Typical example of where you need an appeal. It's the kind of stuff that would have a lawyer go 'ha! nice, home before lunch today'.

Especially since 2008 (another part that site missed) there's now jurisprudence from the supreme court. A neonazi from Valkenswaard hung a poster to his windows that said that 'Islam is a cancer on this world' and more insults towards Islam. He got fined, lost a case and an appeal, but then it went to the supreme court. The supreme court ruled in the man's favour, on grounds that you can't insult groups or people by insulting things, ideas or philosophies. Basically it said you can't insult (as defined in article 137c of the criminal law book) Muslims by insulting Islam.
This is really significant, because it means that insults that could be punished for, have to be specific to a person or group of persons. Basically the ruling dismissed any form of case that wasn't already slander to begin with.

They also misrepresent the case against Geert Wilders. The case wasn't inquisitory in nature; a bunch of militant racists and politically correct action groups filed the suit. The prosecution then refused the case. Using what I can best translate as a 'ground procedure' the racists then continued to have a court force the prosecution to pursue the case, in what was widely regarded by the Dutch legal community as a total screwup. The verdict mentioned Wilder's guilt, while that is ab-so-lu-tely prohibited in ground procedures, which are solely about the question 'is this a valid court case or not?'. I've heard said judge has actually been made to resign over that mistake (which is unconfirmed, but would make sense because it was a political ruling).

In between that point and the actual suit against Wilders, that jurisprudence I mentioned earlier came along, and basically smashed any basis the case might've had.
This since a major part of the case was over Wilders using a figure of speech where he compared the quran to Mein Kampf, citing hatefull content being present in both books, the similar agenda of controlling society, and concluded with "So I say, why don't we ban that fascist book?"
The prosecution then continued the suit against Wilders as they were forced to do, but their demand for punishment was acquittal. So there was no demand for punishment or a verdict of guilt. The case would've been ruled dismissed on day 1 after that, were it not that Geert Wilder's defense proceeded to stall the proceedings and draw them out as long as possible for publicity reasons.

Basically it's fair to say there never was a case.


So hatespeech laws? Yep. Laws that limit freedom of speech? No. In order to get in legal trouble over expression you'd need to use very grieving insults, only towards specific people or groups of people, and really go public with that.

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

The fuck.

I'm not loud. Who you CALLING LOUD, HUH? FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK I'M LOUD. CAPS.

Batou667:
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.

No its not, it makes perfect sense. Geographically isolated locations are a spawning pool for crazed nationalism and "exceptionalism".

Imperator_DK:
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.

I'm still skeptical. The first is the link to an advocacy group with the explicit goal to get rid of hatespeech legislation most notably on the grounds that it tries to "silence" critics of Islam and associated organizations. Second is a clear-cut case where I'd agree with you but I'd dispute generality on the grounds that this just exemplifies how much lack of knowledge, understanding and consistent treatment still persists in the official legal sphere with regards to the Internet and social media. The last is a link to a court case of 25 years ago...while I explicitly condemn the court ruling here I'm not convinced that this can so easily extend to a general trend. Especially since it seems to have sparked some protests and reevaluation of those laws in question - which is how it should be as laws are hardly a completely fool-proof construction.

That said, this whole question nicely highlights the problems inherent in libel and hatespeech laws - for one having legal protection for the society itself by giving any ruling body a clear legal handle in case of hatespeech or the individual through libel laws seems a reasonable proposition. On the other hand abuse through interest groups and the occasional mistake in ruling makes those laws highly dependent on their actual implementation.

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.

That looks like a slippery slope argument if I ever saw one...

What is wrong with you Iceland? First banning Strip clubs and now this?

MacNille:
What is wrong with you Iceland? First banning Strip clubs and now this?

Its been years since strip clubs were banned. Though they were never that popular anyways.

I have an idea: Ban porn, but legalize prostitution.

Everybody happy =D

Movitz:
I have an idea: Ban porn, but legalize prostitution.

Everybody happy =D

You can't download prostitutes... ;)

ClockworkPenguin:
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.

Free speech most certainly does cover pornography. It wasn't just meant to prevent government censorship of ideas or whistle-blowers and critics, it is meant to prevent government from making any judgement about the validity of any idea or cultural work period. Because if government has the power to decide pornography is undesirable and ban it then they have the power to do that with absolutely anything they disagree with, particularly if they have popular support for it. But they shouldn't have that right. So long as no real harm is coming to any party involved in the production, distribution, or viewing of pornography, they have no right to intervene at all.

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'.

And how does banning pornography actually prevent any of these? Because if history has taught us anything it's that things usually get worse when you ban something consumers want, since you leave production and distribution to criminals, and force other wise law abiding citizens to deal with and support criminals in some way to get it.

But even putting that aside, issues of human trafficking and coercion are crimes and should be dealt with as such. Pornography is not a crime and there is no harm inherent in it's production and distribution. Crimes should be dealt with, not scapegoats.

What are you supposed to do in Iceland without Internet porn?

2012 Wont Happen:
What are you supposed to do in Iceland without Internet porn?

Thinking of more ways to spend stolen European savings money?

i really don't understand why goverments decide they can choose wheather are not people and watch porn. Really its theri own personal life not yours.

Verbatim:

Movitz:
I have an idea: Ban porn, but legalize prostitution.

Everybody happy =D

You can't download prostitutes... ;)

The future is now good sir... the future is now...

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