Free Speech, Google / Search Engines, Pornography, United Kingdom / Great Britain

With The Country Distracted By Updates From Kate’s Womb, David Cameron Tries To Take Away English Porn

I really don’t have anything to add on the Royal Baby beyond what’s been said by The Onion. The baby’s adorable; good job, England.

But while all England is hung up on this last vestige of monarchy, the real political power in the United Kingdom is busy trying to institute the kind of sexual censorship that would have made Queen Victoria proud. Under the cover of Will and Kate’s baby, British prime minister David Cameron is trying force people to “opt in” to pornography on the internet.

Or to put it another way, he’s trying to censor “porn,” even as he admits that he doesn’t really know how to define it….

You’d think if there would be one British story the American press would be obsessed with this week, it’d be the oppressive attempt to censor the internet on a massive scale, not the birth of somebody we haven’t been obligated to care about since our non-King George Washington was kicking butt in 1781.

Business Insider summarizes Cameron’s controversial anti-porn plan, which is supposed to be rolled out at the end of the year:

* Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will, by default, block pornographic search terms and websites. All devices that use the connection will be included in the ban. Internet users who wish to view pornographic terms on their connection will have to actively opt-out of the scheme by contacting their ISP.

* “Extreme pornography,” which specifically includes pornography that shows simulated rape, will be totally banned.

* The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is to draw up a blacklist of “abhorrent” search terms that will be blocked from search results. These terms will also be used in conjunction with a central database of images to catch those creating or sharing child pornography.

Are you kidding me? You have to ask the internet for porn now? And even if you do, David Cameron is now going to tell us what is too “extreme” to be put on the internet? Has Cameron been on the internet? Why should a picture of David Cameron getting “simulated raped” with a search engine be subject to David Cameron’s restrictions?

Censorship always causes ridiculous problems, and here Cameron already admits that he barely knows how this is actually going to work. From The Independant:

[H]is proposals were criticised by anti-censorship groups, who warned that sites about sexual health and sexuality could inadvertently get caught up in the ban.

Significantly, Mr Cameron admitted there would be “problems down the line” with the system – and appeared to rule out “soft” or written pornography from the scheme entirely.

Great, so know the Orwellian porn filters will tell us what “soft” porn is and what it isn’t. Just how much of Kylie Minogue’s ass are people allowed to see, Mr. Cameron?

Of course, to “opt in” to internet porn, Brits might have to have a lovely conversation with their significant others about why they’re making special calls to their ISPs. Business Insider reports that Cameron gave a ridiculous interview to British radio host Jeremy Vine in which Cameron admitted that his new filters could lead to endless embarrassment between spouses:

Jeremy Vine: Well — tell the husband? Tell the wife?

David Cameron: I’m not interfering in those conversations.

JV: But it’s a shared household decision now isn’t it? That’s the thing.

DC: But that’s if the parents choose it to be. They can, if they want, turn these filters off.

JV: But they’re not always in sync. Let’s take, for example, the bloke wants to watch pornography and his wife doesn’t know. This policy means he’s got to ‘fess up.

DC: Yes it does. But what we’re saying is that the protection of children is so important that these filters should be effectively pre-ticked as on. If the parents want to change that they’ve got to make a decision.

So, this man who doesn’t evidently doesn’t know what the word “interfering” means is now to be trusted to define “extreme” pornography for an entire nation.

Oh, and speaking of things that most people would probably agree are extreme, like child pornography, yeah, Cameron’s new censorship regime isn’t actually going to be effective at stopping any of that:

[T]he former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP), Jim Gamble, said Mr Cameron’s plan to tackle child abuse images by removing results from search engines like Google would be “laughed at” by paedophiles.

“There are 50,000 predators…downloading abusive images on peer-to-peer, not from Google,” he said. “Yet from CEOP intelligence only 192 were arrested last year. That’s simply not good enough.

“We’ve got to attack the root cause, invest with new money, real investment in child protection teams, victim support and policing on the ground. Let’s create a real deterrent. Not a pop-up that paedophiles will laugh at.”

What a joke.

But censorship is always a joke. It’s never about “protecting” anybody. It’s always about controlling people. Here, Cameron thinks he can control how British people behave.

Which is really the kind of way monarchs used to always think. Maybe with the Royal Family getting all of the attention, Cameron thought the people of England wouldn’t notice this kind of autocracy.

UK Announces Radical, Nuclear-Option Plan To Prevent Users From Seeing Online Porn [Business Insider]
Family filters won’t block ‘soft’ porn: David Cameron retreats in war on internet porn, admitting there will be ‘problems down the line’ [The Independent]

Earlier: The Royal Baby Could Make Legal History

32 comments
(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments

Our Sites

  • Above the Law
  • How Appealing
  • ATL Redline
  • Breaking Defense
  • Breaking Energy
  • Breaking Gov
  • Dealbreaker
  • Fashonista
  •