Iceland works to block Internet porn

In an effort to ensure that children aren't exposed to violent pornography, the Nordic nation is trying to enact laws that would ban all X-rated Web sites.

If Iceland's Interior minister gets enough support, his country could be the first in the West to ban all Internet pornography. Ogmundur Jonasson is working on new legal measures that could make access to online porn nearly impossible, according to the Daily Mail.

"We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," Jonasson told the Daily Mail. He added that the move isn't about censorship but rather the safety of women who appear in porn and children who may be exposed to it.

Jonasson's proposals include blocking porn IP addresses and making it illegal to use Iceland-based credit cards on X-rated Web sites.

Iceland has long held an adversarial stance against pornography. According to the Daily Mail, the country has already made it illegal to print and distribute porn. Now, Jonasson seems to want to bring Iceland's laws up to the Internet age.

The country's move to prohibit all porn stems from a 2010 government study. The study found that the violent nature of pornographic photos and videos, which are widely available on the Internet, have increased the rate of sexual abuse and rape in the country. It also concluded that children who were exposed to violent pornography showed signs of trauma.

Several other countries have tried to block online porn. In July, Indonesia shut down 1 million porn sites , and in November, Egypt also attempted to censor online pornography by blocking Web sites.

Like Iceland, the U.K. has also worked to keep Internet porn away from children. Last year, the government suggested putting rules on how X-rated sites are accessed. These rules included content filters where ISP customers would receive, by default, a filtered version of the Internet. Customers who did not want restricted Internet access would have to "opt in" to get the Internet uncensored.

Iceland's plan to totally block Internet porn seems to take the U.K.'s idea one step further.

"There is a strong consensus building in Iceland. We have so many experts from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind this, that this has become much broader than party politics," Jonasson's political adviser Halla Gunnarsdottir told the Daily Mail. "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."

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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