RSS

UK on a fool’s errand to try and ban porn

13 Oct

British Prime Minister David Cameron has embarked on a rather humorous endeavour to try and save the United Kingdom from porn. Earlier this week, it was reported that, at Cameron’s behest, the four largest internet service providers in the UK would begin an opt-in program where they would automatically block porn websites unless customers explicitly said they wanted them.

No sooner did the ink (real or virtual) dry on that story than those same ISPs – BT, TalkTalk, Sky and Virgin – started talking about how the system would have no effect. The opt-in process, it turns out, will apply only to brand new customers, which means very little because only about 5% of people change service providers in a given quarter.

That’s not exactly the best way to say it will have no effect – after all, at that rate it will only take 10 quarters or two-and-a-half years to block the majority of the country from porn. Still, the ISPs’ chafing at the idea is what makes Cameron’s effort humorous because it’s doomed to fail for a host of reasons.

Firstly, there are the freedom of speech issues. The Australian government’s effort to enact a similar ban has hit all kinds of snags, from coalition partners refusing to support it to several big ISPs refusing to play ball, even with something as universally deplorable as child porn. Things have gotten downright silly Down Under, with the banning efforts extending to erotica that features small-breasted women, which supposedly encourages pedophilia. The resultant joke, of course, is that Australians want their porn stars to have big boobs.

Then there are the logistical problems. How, exactly, does something qualify for the banned list? China did ip male of the household or the divorce rate is going to climb.

Banning porn on the internet is ultimately a fool’s errand. It’s here to stay and, while laws and technology can try to help, in the end its parents’ responsibility to ensure their kids aren’t getting to where they shouldn’t be.

If any country were successful in banning online porn, however, it’s a safe bet its internet traffic would take a nosedive. While accurate numbers are tough to come by, there are some hints that suggest pornography still makes up a good chunk of traffic. Five of the 100 most-visited websites (that are in English) are porn-related, according to Alexa rankings, while Ogi Ogas – author of A Billion Wicked Thoughtssays about 13% of web searches are for erotic content.

Applying this chain of logic to Canada, if internet providers here really were worried about congestion on their networks, they wouldn’t be enacting usage-based billing to try and slow consumption with the likes of Netflix. They’d be trying to get porn banned.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in censorship, internet, sex

 

2 responses to “UK on a fool’s errand to try and ban porn

  1. Marc Venot

    October 13, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Technically It’s probably not difficult to lock out at the DNS level. I had to change my DNS provider since the one I was using had banned a railroad repertoire alledgedly for phishing which was totally bogus.
    About the “porn site” they were for example a soft aussie one that closed ten years ago because of the involvement of its government. Maybe the breast of its owner were not vixen enough for the censors.
    This kind of opt out is not that bad but of course there is the risk that something forbidden become more appealing thus bootleg.

     
  2. dildographer

    October 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Pornography is impossible to define, so banning it always involves huge amounts of censorship. Most people think their own sexual desires are normal and use those as the baseline to determine what is or is not pornography. Any image or video that arouses a person should be legal as long as the performers are of age. We should be promoting masturbation, not condemning it.

     
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 5,200 other followers

%d bloggers like this: