Iceland: Going From Protecting Free Speech Online... To Setting Up Their Own Great Firewall?
from the quite-a-shift dept
"At the moment, we are looking at the best technical ways to achieve this," an advisor to Jonasson told the Mail. "But surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet."Last I checked, Iceland did not send a man to the moon. But, even ignoring that, this whole idea is silly. Any attempt to ban porn (or really access to porn) will fail in two important ways. First, it will not actually block access to porn. People can and will always find a way around the filters and will continue to access porn. Second, it will, undoubtedly, lead to non-porn information being falsely classified as being porn and blocked. Both of these are problematic.
But, more problematic is even opening the door to a government mandated censorship regime. Even if you believe that pornography is horrible and damaging and needs to be stopped, this is not the way to do this. You are only guaranteeing further censorship. It is inevitable. Providing tools for censorship always results in eventual mission creep, as someone who doesn't like some other kind of information points out that "if you can do it for porn, why not for..." It's a very dangerous slippery slope.
Furthermore, plans like this completely undermine all of the efforts that people in Iceland have put into promoting a free and open internet. Those claims of building an Iceland built around principles of a free and open internet look somewhat laughable when the government's interior minister is looking to craft a blatant internet censorship bill.