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UK to Ban Possession of Certain 'Violent' Pornography 557

Posted by timothy
from the oh-that's-a-great-idea dept.
Backlash writes "Massive surveillance? Check. Building a DNA database? Check. Laws against thought crime? Not yet, but coming very soon. The UK government is soon to pass legislation that would criminalise possession of certain types of 'violent' pornography, even if it was part of a consensual session between two adults. Lord Wallace of Tankerness pointed out an ideological schism during last week's debate in the House of Lords: 'If no sexual offence is being committed it seems very odd indeed that there should be an offence for having an image of something which was not an offence. ... Having engaged in it consensually would not be a crime, but to have a photograph of it in one's possession would be a crime. That does not seem to make sense to me.'" Combine laws like this with widespread computer ownership, and it makes a whole lot of (Orwellian) sense.
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UK to Ban Possession of Certain 'Violent' Pornography

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  • We want them broken. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by feepness (543479) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:44AM (#23237956) Homepage
    "Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with."
  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EaglemanBSA (950534) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:46AM (#23237990)
    FTFA, it looks like the reasoning for the introduction of such legislation stems from someone watching said pr0n and murdering a woman...this is a huge step backwards for people taking responsibility for their own actions. What, the pr0n made him kill her? Come on.

    I'm wondering what other images will become illegal because they elicit violence...perhaps it will be illegal to draw a picture of Muhammad too? Just my 2 cents.
  • Hentai...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:50AM (#23238038) Homepage
    And what about hentai anime? A LOT of the hentai stuff I've seen has been, ah, rather rape-based, sometimes with tentacles, and sometimes otherwise (yes, I will admit now I've seen a lot, and even own a few titles on laserdisc). So does the UK law cover that sort of thing? Its often extreme, sometimes far more disturbing than anything in possible "reality," but it isn't that much less "real" than pornography with actual people.
  • reality vs fantasy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kahei (466208) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:54AM (#23238084) Homepage
    There are two parallel failures to distinguish reality from fantasy here:

    1 -- The usual way. Regular grown up people know that pornography is not real life and that many things that are fun to fantasize about would be unwise, unhygienic, fatal etc. in real life.

    2 -- This crackdown on everything, and this massive effort to gather data and powers, come at a time when actual street crime is very high, white-collar crime has drastically undermined the UK's 'level playing field', and policies from tax to immigration seem to be selected without any hope of actually implementing them. In other words, the real fantasy here is the fantasy that the UK government can really control the things around it -- and I'm much afraid the government has confused that pleasant fantasy with reality, and that they will only pile on more regulations and powers as actual ability to influence events at ground level slips from their grasp.

    Note that this is subtly different from the US situation. In the US, there's been a scramble for new data and powers, but I never have the feeling that the Executive branch has too *little* control...

    Also, thank fuck for the House of Lords. There are few elected representatives who'll speak out on an issue that's got the word 'pornography' stuck to it.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:59AM (#23238156) Journal
    Civilization ends and barbarism begins when people are assaulted, kidnapped, and stolen from (arrested, imprisoned, and fined) because of their thoughts and no actual crime.

    The people proposing this law are actual violent criminals, advocating violence against otherwise innocent people they just don't like. They are far, far more dangerous than the targets of this law. How about some legislation to keep nanny state dictators off the streets? We'd all be safer for it.
  • by Malevolent Tester (1201209) * on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @11:00AM (#23238168) Journal
    Britain's had an on/off relationship with private possession of weapons over the centuries, ranging from mandatory to outlawed, but I believe the origin of modern British gun control lies in fears over a Communist revolution during the interbellum. From there, it's been easy to scream "think of the children" every time an excuse has come up, to the point where only 1 party supports private gun ownership anymore (the BNP, ironically).
  • I love Jesus. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oliverthered (187439) <olivertheredNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @11:11AM (#23238348) Journal
    I love Jesus, I Love that blood dripping from his wounds, I like the way he's scantly dressed, I wank over his image so much I could become a nun.

    Now that their banning this kind of imagery it looks like my Jesus wanking days are over.
  • You don't get it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @11:20AM (#23238534)
    The law is not designed to be used against the population (but, of course, it will be), it's just an easy was to prevent paparazi to blackmail goverment members using pictures of their weekend activities.
  • Re:Hentai...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ofcourseyouare (965770) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @03:42PM (#23242852)
    No, I don't think animated films are covered by this absurd bill, because it says images are illegal only "where any such ...person or animal depicted in the image is or appears to be real".

    You can read the whole bill here -- it's not long, and would be quite funny in parts if it wasn't so sad: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmbills/130/07130.43-46.html#j400 [parliament.uk]"

    But that doesn't mean film fans are out of trouble.

    As you can see from the act itself, the really bizarre thing about this bill is that it may be legal to own an entire extreme film (such as Pasolini's "120 Days of Sodom"), because it's been passed the British Board of Film Classification. But it would be illegal to own a still from that film, if it was decided you owned that still "for the purpose of sexual arousal". And of course there are plenty of mainstream films showing sexy people in danger - what happens if you're caught with a still from one of those?

    Absurd. And bad news for any of us Brits who thought the principle of "freedom of speech" meant anything in the UK.

    A final weird irony about this bill banning various forms of visual image is that it was sponsored by David Blunkett, a politican who -- to his great credit -- became Home Secretary even though he is completely blind.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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