This is the thin end of the wedge in my view and to viewed with alarm by anyone who values the freedom of the internet.
Every household in the UK is to have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron is to announce. In addition, the prime minister will say possessing online pornography depicting rape will be illegal. In a speech, Mr Cameron will warn that access to online pornography is “corroding childhood”. Search engines will be given until October to introduce further measures to block illegal content. Experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) will be given enhanced powers to examine secretive file-sharing networks.
Let’s deal with the basics.
OF COURSE child abuse imagery is wrong and those who both produce it and seek it out should be prosecuted and put behind bars. I support the work that Ceop does and think giving them more power is a good idea. But since WHEN do politicians get to tell us what we can lawfully see on-line?
Making pornography an “opt-in” choice for millions of people SOUNDS ok but what will be next? Do we set the precedent that politicians can make OTHER topics also “opt in” lest it offend their precious sensibilities? How many people does Cameron seek to criminalise for simply choosing what they want to see online. Pornography is as old as the hills and this instance of Nannyism, brought to you by an allegedly “Conservative” prime minister, will do nothing to assuage appetites for such. But from my point of view it raises the spectre of politicians making something which is lawful a crime and that then makes me wonder where they stop next? Shall we ensure “opt in” for certain genres of music? How about books? How about websites? I don’t TRUST politicians and in this case, whilst the intent seems fair enough to a degree, I seriously wonder what else lies behind it? my live in the era of neo-puritanism where the freedoms of the net are being closely examined by a political class which itself is as big a menace as anything a search engine will produce.