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Archive for February, 2013

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Iceland Seeks to Ban Pornography Online

Well if you like to idle away those long winter nights (and days) in Reykjavik by surfing a little porn online, then you might want to consider moving away.  The Iceland Government have decided they want to do something good for their citizens (as opposed to bankrupting the country with a hopeless banking system) and are going to ban pornography from the web in Iceland.

darth

Every time I see these sort of stories my heart sinks, why can’t people just leave the internet alone and let people make up their own minds.  You might think that it’s all for a good cause, banning all that nasty porn stuff and everyone will behave and be nice to each other.  Who knows they might be right, but what I do know is that censoring and filtering the internet doesn’t work – it never does.

An adviser to Iceland’s interior minister-  Ogmundur Jonasson who is drafting the legislation was quoted as follows -

“At the moment, we are looking at the best technical ways to achieve this…..but surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet.”

A comment that first got me thinking, can Iceland actually send a man to the moon and secondly they haven’t got a clue about how to achieve this and what sort of issues they will face.

It’s just another of these populist ideas that politicians have, the fact that when you start censoring and filtering  the internet, you also start to erode people’s civil liberties.   I have no idea if there is any scientific basis to the argument that no porn on internet = less rape and sex crimes, I suspect very little.  However I do know that any content filtering will only work against a minority of citizens and almost exclusively on the law abiding ones.

There are so many ways to bypass these filters, that your average sexual predator will easily be able to access whatever pornography they like.  The Chinese Government have invested billions in their Great Firewall of China and yet your average 12 year old Beijing schoolboy can easily bypass them using a simple VPN or high anonymity proxy.   Do we have any evidence that Iceland will come up with a technical solution more advanced than the People’s republic of China – obviously it it’s not going to happen.

What will happen is that another Government will have a little more control over it’s citizens, but only the ones who follow rules anywhere.  The Iceland government will also have this infrastructure installed so maybe next year they’ll think of some thing else we shouldn’t do online and will add that to the banned list.  It always happens you start by banning one thing then it just get’s easier and easier to control more aspects of what people can do online.

It’s negative, oppressive and most of all it doesn’t work…..

If you’re in Iceland, Kuwait, Iran, China or anywhere else where the Governments decides whether you can watch porn, politics , sports or whatever – then try this – Identity Cloaker, it’s not just a simple proxy for watching porn over, but a sophisticated security product that can bypass all sorts of blocks and filters and keep you hidden whilst you do so!

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