Iceland Porn Ban Proposal Sparks Controversy

Published:2:18 am EDT, February 26, 2013| Updated:3:50 pm EDT, February 26, 2013|
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Iceland, Censorship

In an attempt to protect children from a “rise of violent and sexual imagery,” the government of Iceland is attempting to ban pornography throughout the entire country, reports the San Francisco Gate. The North Atlantic country is is drafting plans to ban the adult entertainment in both forms of print and online, but the news has sparked national and global controversy.

Advocates of the ban, proposed by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, agree that a ban is needed to shelter children from serious harm, but opponents say it will only censor the Web, encourage authoritarian regimes and undermine Iceland's reputation as a Scandinavian bastion of free speech.

The thing is, the ban will not introduce new restrictions, but enforce existing laws. Pornography is already banned in Iceland, but because of the loosely defined term, it is not enforced. Adult magazines can be bought at bookstores and more graphic material can be bought from sex shops in the country.

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The proposal is still being drafted so the details of the ban is still unknown. However, the government may make is illegal to pay for pornography with an Icelandic credit card or a national internet filter may be put into effect.

"There are laws in our society. Why should they not apply to the Internet?" Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to the interior minister, said.

Some governments already censor the internet on a national level, such as Iran, North Korea and China, but Iceland may not hold up so well by following in their authoritarian footsteps.

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