More of David Cameron’s War on Porn..

I wrote last week about David Cameron’s proposed ”War on Porn” and how it wasn’t actually anything to do with porn, and compared it to the Video Nasty fiasco. Well, just like the Nasty era we’re seeing Cameron’s idea defended not only by the usual suspects at The Sun or the Daily Mail, but by Guardian hacks as can be seen in this truly amazing piece by Deborah Orr.

Had this been written in the Mail then the Guardian would have rightly went mental over it, but the fact it’s in their own pages shows how far the paper has fallen. Let’s take a few minutes to point out the flaws and point out why this is a dangerous piece of ‘journalism’ that’s actually nothing of the sort.

From the beginning…

A roar of libertarian outrage greeted David Cameron’s announcement this week that the government was going to talk to internet service providers about installing opt-in rather than opt-out filters for pornography, as if computer access to hot and cold running arousal aids was some kind of basic human right. Is this really such a big deal?

Well from the off it’s full of specious thinking and instantly sets up anyone against the plans as either a nutty Libertarian or some porn-obsessed misogynist freak. It does however take a step off the Plank of Stupidity from the next paragraph…

A lot of the criticism has focused on the practical impossibility of developing adequate filters.

Yes it has for bloody good reason as it’s technically impossible to do what Cameron proposes and he probably knows this as it’s not about blocking porn or ‘thinking about the children’ at all. A bit of research would have shown this to be the case but Orr, like many hacks these days, isn’t interested in the truth rather than pushing her own agenda and if that makes her look hypocritical, then so be it because it’s for the greater good!

The most shrill complaint against Cameron’s wheeze is that it’s “censorship“.

This is the point where the reader aware of the history of the Video Nasty scare (and if you’re not may I suggest searching out Jake West’s excellent documentary, or even look at this splendid Youtube documentary) will spot the exact same reasoning used then by the ‘quality’ press to excuse that bit of censorship.

I won’t go through the rest of Orr’s piece as the flaws speak for themselves, but it’s an argument for censorship while being ignorant of the facts which is a pretty shocking thing for a journalist to be.

A little bit of digging brings this page up and what the ISP’s are being told will be blocked.

☑ pornography
☑ violent material
☑ extremist and terrorist related content
☑ anorexia and eating disorder websites
☑ suicide related websites
☑ alcohol
☑ smoking
☑ web forums
☑ esoteric material

☑ web blocking circumvention tools

This shows what Cameron’s plan really is which is an attempt to control the internet and what people say and do on it.  All the usual old strawmen are being dragged out to defend the plan but the more people like Orr try to stifle or ridicule dissent like this the more we head towards a society where we make China look free.

It really is worth looking back at the Nasties for a lesson as to where this is going in terms of debate and it’s not helpful for the Guardian to print what Orr wrote as it’s the same old bollocks.

The less we learn from history, the more it’s likely to happen again and I don’t know about you, I don’t want a government who can ban ‘esoteric material’ and control my access to the web.

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