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Finally, an online censorship plan we can all support

 

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By Simon Davies 

You don’t need to be a crazed authoritarian to realise that the UK government’s plan to introduce universal Internet filtering for porn content doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. Authorities need to adopt stronger measures if they are to deal with the true scale of online obscenity.

By way of background, British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year launched a strategy to ensure that all adults wanting to view porn must “opt-in” through an officially mandated process. That’s to say, Britain is going down the same route as Pakistan. Australia too, ever anxious to assert its moral authority and impress its international masters, intends to follow suit.

There’s a compelling argument that the Cameron strategy is a wimpy half-measure that ignores the true scale of evil behind our computer screens. 

It may come as no surprise that the new controls are also likely to block access to violent material, extremist and terrorist related content, anorexia and eating disorder websites and suicide related sites, along with any sites that mention alcohol or smoking. It’s understood the filter will even block some web forums and “esoteric material”.

Even so, there’s a compelling argument that the Cameron strategy is a wimpy half-measure that ignores the true scale of evil behind our computer screens. Any true freedom-lover will agree.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that young people need to be seen to be protected from pernicious content. And while Cameron’s plan is hilariously futile it sets a moral foundation to weed out a much wider range of online material that infects fragile young minds.

Political hypocrisy, economic vandalism, unsavoury trading practices, corporate illegality, tax evasion by wealthy multinationals, institutional corruption, bribery, unsafe work practices, corporate manslaughter, rampant privacy invasion,  manifesto promises trashed by government – these obscenities are all openly promoted and justified on sites throughout the Internet. If Cameron wanted a true moral basis for filtering he should start by curbing such propaganda.

Hypocrisy and deceit from those in power should be the first in line for filtering. Unfortunately for David Cameron, this means default filtering of some Conservative Party sites – sites that continue to promote a party manifesto that falsely pledged to protect and extend freedoms in the United Kingdom. A party that came to power on a fake platform of rights should never be permitted to continue promoting the lie. I don’t want to see innocent children exposed to such corrosive material. 

Hypocrisy and deceit from those in power should be the first in line for filtering. Unfortunately for David Cameron, this means default filtering of some Conservative Party sites

Of course morality is an infinitely relative concept in politics, but not so in the commercial realm. Take for example the Irish-based airline Ryanair, which is a substantially unlawful operation in many EU countries but which is allowed to peddle its deceptive practices openly in front of visiting children. I believe that only adults should be permitted to witness just how far a commercial operation can sink.

The same applies to the pub corporation Enterprise Inns, which has been almost single-handedly responsible for destroying the British pub industry. I understand young people visit the corporation’s site and are exposed to its content.

Or how about the corrupting PR on the government sites of Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tibet and Western Sahara, which spread blatant lies to justify the world’s most heinous human rights abuses? Surely young people should never be allowed to so readily access this material.

Britain’s moral fibre must be sustained, and with just an extra little push David Cameron can ensure that our children will be truly protected from the very worst elements of society.