David Cameron seems to be pre-emptively thwarting my wicked plan to kidnap Prince George and make an insalubrious film about him featuring a red hen, a toy train set and a paddling pool.
I won’t write too much on this myself, as a lot of good ink has been spilled criticising Dave’s announcements already. I’ll just give you the links and a few key points.
– Cameron has totally confused the issues of (1.) Protecting children from being abused and filmed; (2.) protecting children and teens from stumbling onto porn and being damaged; (3.) stopping adults viewing illegal child pornography; (4.) protecting adults from viewing consensual, legal pornography.
– The measures Cameron proposes to solve said issues will not work. They’re impractical, easy to get around, and will face massive questions about where to ‘draw the line’ and what responsibility Internet Service Providers (ISPs) bear.
– It is very possibly that this is a big cynical PR move to impress Tory/Mail reader/voters, with the unintended consequences of teaching teenagers how to use proxies and the deep web, and criminalising a lot of adults who currently enjoy legal, non-vanilla kink etc.
Independent Oliver Wright shows how the filter changes are useless and will cause Cameron future headaches. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/family-filters-wont-block-soft-porn-david-cameron-retreats-in-war-on-internet-porn-admitting-there-will-be-problems-down-the-line-8726991.html
The Economist looks at previous legal efforts to censor ‘extreme’ porn, and how they failed. Readers who excel at life will note the hat-tip to Myles Jackman, a barrister who just loves to beat the government at this bullshit game. http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21582297-social-conservatism-and-old-media-win-out-over-white-heat-technology-default-cameron
Wired on how Cameron’s filters will block much more than porn, including anorexia & eating disorder information sites, drugs, alcohol, violence, sex education, mental health & suicide sites and, most problematically, ‘web blocking circumvention tools’. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/27/pornwall
TechEye on all the technical misunderstandings that undermine the policy. http://news.techeye.net/security/david-camerons-porn-law-an-all-around-disaster
Vice detail all the ways the policies fail to achieve their stated goals, and how confused the policymakers seem. http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/camerons-internet-censorship-plan-is-dead-in-the-water
Open Rights Group shows how last week’s announcements by Dave and his bulldog (bull-bitch?) Claire Perry go far beyond what was agreed in Cabinet earlier this year. I.e. Lib Dems probably not on board. N.B. announcement made while Clegg on holiday. N.B. Nation blinded by birth of a baby. N.B. it was ‘presidential’ leadership like this that brought down Thatcher. https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2013/who-exactly-is-responsible-for-nudge-censorship
Independent Voices on how rape porn (i.e. filmed with consensual adults) is none of the government’s business, has little to do with the other issues, and will not bring down the patriarchy if banned. Makes important point that plenty of people have BDSM fetishes, and they aren’t exclusively fat males in basements. You probably should’ve understood that from 50 Shades of Grey* http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/porn-is-about-fantasy-sex–and-the-truth-is-that-some-women-have-rape-fantasies-but-this-is-very-different-from-the-real-thing-8727971.html
Independent Voices on how porn is admittedly problematic, but that better solutions surround child education on negotiation, boundaries, and understanding that porn isn’t real. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-ban-rape-porn–introduce-more-porn-with-negotiation-and-boundarysetting-8727612.html
Louise Mensch, former MP on Unfashionista (of whom I am seldom a fan) echoes many of the sensible points described above, mainly railing against banning fictional, consensual depictions of kink. She too draws parallels to the ‘obscenity trial’ of Simon Walsh. http://unfashionista.com/2013/06/10/the-campaign-to-ban-rape-porn-is-far-too-broadly-drawn/
THERE WE ARE
N.B. I tentatively agree that children and young teens should not be exposed to pornography before they’ve had comprehensive sex and relationships education. Which, incidentally, the ConDems are cutting back on.
*50 Shades of Grey is not an excellent ambassador for the BDSM community, most of whom hate it. The main gripe is that the characters do not follow the consent, safety and ‘safe word’ procedures of real-life practitioners.
Feel free to comment!