Pulse of Canada

Should Canada follow Britain’s lead in blocking online porn?

Pulse of Canada
Sina’s latest Chinese infraction? That would be sexing up the web
.

View photo

Sina’s latest Chinese infraction? That would be sexing up the web

Great Britain is on the cusp of becoming the first Western nation to implement strict anti-pornography measures, intended to reduce the access of porn by children.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is leading the charge.

"I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come," Cameron says in a prepared statement. "This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and our innocence."

According to The Guardian newspaper, the measures will include:

  • Every household in the U.K. will have its access to porn blocked by default. People will have to ask their ISP provider to opt out of this block.
  • "Extreme" pornography which involves violent scenes or simulated rape is going to be outlawed.
  • An organization called Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Internet will come up with a set of search terms in relation child abuse/child porn that will then be blocked

Critics, however, call Cameron's measures posturing, and say he doesn't understand how the Internet works. A variety of filters, including VPN and IP blockers are already commonplace in getting around restrictions. Others say that what Cameron is trying to do is little more than censorship.

In Canada, strong laws already exist for owning and circulating certain types of pornography, but the government's most recent attempt to curb online porn use through Bill C-30 — the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act — was killed due to opposition from the public and concerns that it violated the rights of Canadians.

While savvy Britons will still be able to get around Cameron's proposed measures, they appears focused on protecting casual and innocent users from having easy access to graphic content — essentially giving parents some measure of confidence that their children are not exposed to that content when using the Internet.

So we ask you: Should Canada follow Britain's lead in blocking online pornography?

Have your say in the comments area below.

View Comments