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Censorship Your Rights Online

Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban 684

Posted by timothy
from the frigid-climate dept.
Onymous Hero writes "With the printing and distribution of pornography already banned in Iceland, further measures to stop internet porn are being considered by Iceland's Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson. From the article: "Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried," said Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University. "It is looking a pornography from a new position — from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights.""
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Iceland Considers Internet Porn Ban

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  • fuck you iceland. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maudface (1313935) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:02PM (#42897705)

    This is dumb, as a woman who's various parts are all over the internet I think this is bullshit.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:08PM (#42897855) Homepage

      LOL ... pics or it didn't happen is the appropriate meme here.

      I'm sure lots of people would be interested in your, um, various parts. ;-)

      OK, I'm a bad person, I know it.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:10PM (#42897889) Journal

      Seconded... A friend does porn and thinks it's one of the greatest career choices she's ever made. She would consider these new laws a violation of her civil rights.

      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:13PM (#42897949) Homepage Journal
        It isn't like anyone is holding a gun to any of these women to disrobe, or have sex on screen (they have to sign papers about age and all this anyway)...how could it possibly be in any way, an imposition on their civil rights??!!?

        Is freedom of choice what to do with yourself not a civil right? What about that?

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          That's the way it works for some of them, yes...

          Others? Not so much.

          • by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:34PM (#42898369)

            For the women who didn't make the career choice to go into the adult industry, ie, those who have been kidnapped/trafficked and forced to appear in films, they have bigger issues than the harm to their "civil rights" stemming from the film. Kidnapping and rape are, I assume, already illegal in Iceland. Filming it is then just creating documented evidence of that crime. Making ALL porn illegal because SOME porn is documentation of a REAL crime makes about as much sense as making guns illegal because criminal commit crimes with guns. Of course, Iceland's probably already done that too.

            • Re:fuck you iceland. (Score:5, Interesting)

              by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:42PM (#42898549) Journal

              There are instances of women doing these things because they cannot find anything else legal, that can give them the money they need to survive. Those women make up a grey area.

              That being said, do you protect those women (and remove an option that they did at least chose) by removing the option for the women who think it's a great choice?

              And as you say, if they aren't there by choice, there are other, much worse crimes being commuted. Why not add 'force pornography' penalties to the list instead?

              • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:52PM (#42898753)

                There are instances of women doing these things because they cannot find anything else legal, that can give them the money they need to survive. Those women make up a grey area.

                The same holds for me when I'm cleaning toilets as a day job. Does that make it a grey area too?

                • by readin (838620)
                  A big difference between porn and cleaning toilets is the lasting efffects. I know of porn stars who later committed suicide, or who came to regret having ever done porn (even though it made them very rich). Porn often has a lasting negative effect that can't be matched by cleaning toilets. And of course it is usually younger women - i.e. those most irresponsible and least able to consider the long term consequences of their decisions - that porn producers want.

                  I have to admit my conservative side and
                  • by xero314 (722674) on Friday February 15, 2013 @01:09AM (#42906871)

                    A big difference between porn and cleaning toilets is the lasting efffects. I know of porn stars who later committed suicide

                    Ah yes, because we all know, people that clean toilets never commit suicide, and certainly not because they regretted the choices they made in life that led them to cleaning toilets.
                    If we, as a culture (yes I'm talking about the repressed conservative US citizens) did not view human sexuality as shameful, maybe there would be a lot less issue with suicide among adult film stars. What is it they say here on slashdot? Correlation does not equal causation.

                    I like the idea someone suggested above. Don't enforce copyright on porn. If people want to do it as a hobby then fine, but remove the profit motive.

                    Can we do this for everything that some sub culture finds objectionable, like Rock Music, Scientific Research, Harry Potter, etc.? Seriously just because you don't like it does not mean that it should be treated any different than any other form of art you don't personally like. Though I would bet that you only want it to be free so you can stop paying for it.

              • Re:fuck you iceland. (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:54PM (#42898793)

                How exactly is banning porn "protecting" the women that went to porn as a last resort? Isn't it presumably the least-bad option they had available to them? In the extreme case, if they truly need the money to survive and have no other way to get it, then by removing porn you've sentenced them to death. Or more likely they turn to prositution, which is considerably more dangerous than porn on a lot of different fronts.

              • by fredprado (2569351) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:57PM (#42898847)

                There are instances of women doing these things because they cannot find anything else legal, that can give them the money they need to survive. Those women make up a grey area.

                And I am certain it is much better to let them starve instead of allowing they to do what they can to survive, right?

                • by ByOhTek (1181381)

                  I'm not saying the logic is rational, but many would say yes, or that it would force them to find a better option. People make weird decisions when emotions come into play. Do not take my ability to understand opinions and views that are not my own, as me having said opinions and views.

              • by cayenne8 (626475)

                There are instances of women doing these things because they cannot find anything else legal, that can give them the money they need to survive. Those women make up a grey area.

                I don't buy the premise that any women can't go out and find legal work to make money to pay the bills.

                It won't be easy, but there are ALWAYS opportunities...you may have to work a couple of jobs flipping burgers, but there are always alternatives to pr0n jobs. Now...if you are talking convenience, and making a LOT of money...sure,

              • I've been poor as hell before. I don't recall any magic force pulling me into porn
              • by Catbeller (118204)

                The "grey area" is that there are not enough decent jobs. Paging the Ayn Randites and the Free Traders: you've made a mess. No more factories, no more office jobs, outsourced, centralized, only cheap youth wanted, and low wages with no insurance. Victory.

                Also, women can fail to find work because they've been convicted of, say, marijuana possession and no longer can get student loans, or get a job because they are former felons. Hell, you can't even enter Canada if you've been convicted of a pot crime. We've

            • by Chalnoth (1334923) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @02:35PM (#42899583)
              Perhaps more to the point, banning all porn makes it more difficult to deal with kidnapping, trafficking, exploitation, rape, etc. As long as porn is legal, it's much easier to monitor and track. Make it illegal, and there will still be porn out there, but now it's more difficult to determine which bits of porn are clearly harmful to the actors/actresses in the film.

              This is basically the same argument I'd make for making prostitution and recreational drugs legal. No government has any business legislating personal morality: we should, instead, regulate these things to help moderate the harm to others these practices cause.
            • by Myopic (18616) * on Thursday February 14, 2013 @02:39PM (#42899649)

              Yeah! Or like making all nuclear bombs illegal even though not everyone would blow up cities with them.

              My point: it's a balance. We decide issues based on the amount of harm, and the use of the tool. Nuclear bombs are a trite but obvious example of a tool where even the minority use of the tool warrants its universal ban. Guns are somewhere in the middle. Poisons are somewhere in the middle, different for different poisons.

              Porn, on the other hand, is nowhere near the balancing point: to me it is totally obvious that porn is overwhelmingly good in almost every way, with only a tiny amount of harm. There is no reasonable argument for banning porn because the bad does not come anywhere close to outweighing the good.

              But, to say that any modicum of positive use for a tool means the tool should not be banned, is the kind of childish black-and-white thinking that would put nuclear bombs into the hands of prison inmates (after all, what part of "shall not be infringed" don't you understand, right?) Use subtle thought and moderation. They will take you far.

        • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:26PM (#42898215)

          It isn't like anyone is holding a gun to any of these women to disrobe, or have sex on screen (they have to sign papers about age and all this anyway)...how could it possibly be in any way, an imposition on their civil rights??!!?

          Is freedom of choice what to do with yourself not a civil right? What about that?

          The comedian Doug Stanhope I think summed it up best:

          "If God had intended women to prostitute themselves, he would have given them free will and a vagina."

          • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:40PM (#42898519) Homepage

            Which is just an extension of an older idea expressed best by Oscar Wilde: "If we were meant to be naked, we would've been born that way."

    • The article says this is a "very progressive approach".........which means it can only be for your own good.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:58PM (#42898867)

      as a woman who's various parts are all over the internet

      What, a female distributed AI? Cool!

  • by Zemran (3101) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:03PM (#42897729) Homepage Journal

    ...to the internet proxy industry :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:03PM (#42897749)

    "It is looking a pornography from a new position..."

    Meh. I've seen all the positions (and done most of them).

  • Their will being? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:06PM (#42897801)

    The women who work in porn are there of the own free will and many of them make a decent living from it. Same with strippers. The only victims in a strip club are the guys blowing their paychecks to see a naked woman.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Maybe in an American state with a high percentage of trailer trash, yes.

      Down in Mexico (for example), not so much...

  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:06PM (#42897805)

    Dilbert is coding protection software to keep minors from viewing porn. [dilbert.com]

    Dogbert: So, you're pitting your intellect against the collective sex drives of every teenager on the planet?

    Dilbert: Yes.

    Dogbert: Did you know that if you put a little hat on it a snowball can last a long time in hell?

  • Moral panic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:06PM (#42897807) Journal

    Just another idiotic moral panic [wikipedia.org]. Where's the actual evidence of harm to either porn consumers or producers?

    • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:10PM (#42897899) Journal

      Just another idiotic moral panic [wikipedia.org]. Where's the actual evidence of harm to either porn consumers or producers?

      In a democratic nation, evidence of harm is not necessary. "Because we don't fucking like it, we're the majority, and if you don't stop we'll thump you, that's why" is a perfectly acceptable reason.

      • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:26PM (#42898209) Journal

        That's what we call Tyranny of the Majority. It might be legal, but it's never acceptable. It's nothing more than sheer thuggery.

    • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:23PM (#42898175)

      To play at Devil's Advocate here: some women may be in porn against their will, "forced" into it either through unlawful restraint, or "economic difficulty", and therefore need to be "protected" from such a fate.

      Now, if unlawfully restrained, clearly a crime has been comitted, and should be prosecuted. I can't see prohibition of pornography as having much effect on such crimes, sadly, as a black market will always exist, and indeed, increase the profit motive for such criminals. Arguably, it would make things worse.

      The "economic difficulty" argument is hardly "force", and while it may be sad that a woman might have to resort to pornography, or prostitution, to support herself, clearly it speaks more to the failure of a social safety net, than any "economic force" used "against" her. Personally, I have more respect for prostitutes, porn actresses, and strippers, than those on the welfare dole: the former earn a quite difficult living (often abused in places where these activities are illegal).

      All that said, I've known a number of women who stripped their way through college, to wind up with a decent education, and successfull careers. (Granted, a large percentage had serious drug habits, but that should not reflect on those that didn't and saw an easy way to separate men from their money for their benefit.)

      The bottom line is this: just because some may be criminally or economically forced into activites they'd rather not do, this does not justify prohibiting those who willingly chose to engage in them from doing so.

      • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:32PM (#42898311) Journal

        To play at Devil's Advocate here: some women may be in porn against their will, "forced" into it either through unlawful restraint, or "economic difficulty", and therefore need to be "protected" from such a fate.

        How is that any different fro men being "forced" to be a coal miner out of "economic difficulty"? By that argument shouldn't Iceland ban any potentially dangerous or unpleasant job?

      • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Chrisje (471362) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:55PM (#42898815)

        In my home country, we've legalized weed. And for many years, there were fewer junkies and drug-related crimes in the Netherlands than in surrounding countries. Then we introduced a measure that wouldn't even make it illegal, it's more like a membership required to smoke dope. That spurred crime alright... Within no-time we had street sellers occupying the corners of every street in towns that previously didn't have this issue.

        So they reverted to the old system. And the peace returned.

        The same goes for prostitution. In Sweden, they're on a moral high horse about prostitution, but there you get Eastern European and Russian girls that are forcibly kept in dodgy apartments as a default, while only a percentage of prostitutes in the Netherlands are actually forced into the business.

        My point is that bad stuff will always happen to good people, but draconian measures, prohibition and even harsh punishment have all been proven to exacerbate whatever problem they're aimed at. Time and time again.

        As a result I would argue that a ban on porn is just plain obtuse. It is a limitation on the right to free speech and congregation for those that are consenting afficionado's of filmed exhibitionism, it derives all manner of people of a way to release sexual tension and it's just not effective.

        I do wonder what would happen to the rape and violent crime statistisc in a society if they went overboard in sexual conservativism.

      • Re:Moral panic (Score:5, Informative)

        by houghi (78078) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @02:06PM (#42898987)

        I do my job because of economic difficulty. I am sure that most do.
        If I would not be doing it, I would be pretty hungry.
        I rather would be doing something else, but I do my job because of the money.

        The real issue is that you cal it 'sad' that they do the job that they do. There is nothing 'sad' in it. It is a job like any other job. I would not want to do it, but then I would not want to be a policeman either. That does not make the policeman 'sad'.

        The real problem is the view that the general public has of the job. That people think it is sad and degrading.

        Make it legal (and acceptable) and the abuse will stop, because then these people can go to the police and tell them that somebody hit them and something will actually be done about it.

        Stop the abuse not by hiding it. Stop the abuse by showing it and embracing the victims. Show them that they are part of humanity.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:09PM (#42897879)

    Performing in porn is free expression, and banning that expression is an infringement on the civil rights of the participants. The only "harm" resulting from porn is not from the porn itself, but from a society that is reactionary and overly judgmental. This is total bullshit to call this "progressive".

  • Statists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tailhook (98486) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:10PM (#42897901)

    In the name of health and safety, children, civil rights and stuff.

    Not 'christians', fundies, conservatives or anyone else you've been trained to hate.

    The ruling class deciding how you'll live with no help from the church at all.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:10PM (#42897909)

    Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University.

    How exactly did this gentleman become an expert on pornography?

    It is looking a pornography from a new position â" from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of their civil rights."

    What if they unconsciously want to appear in it? Isn't democracy the right to choose your destiny, good or bad?

    • by PhxBlue (562201) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:23PM (#42898173) Homepage Journal

      How exactly did this gentleman become an expert on pornography?

      Prof. Gail Dines is actually a she, but her credentials on pornography are suspect at best. Do a Google search for "Gail Dines" "Penn and Teller Bullshit."

    • by godrik (1287354)

      "Professor Gail Dines, an expert on pornography and speaker at a recent conference at Reykjavik University."
      "How exactly did this gentleman become an expert on pornography?"

      First, Gail Dines is a gal. And she got a PhD in Sociology according to wikipedia. You know what they say about PhD in Sociology, it is just like an exercise in masturbation. So I guess that's where the expertise come from.

  • by DamonHD (794830) <d@hd.org> on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:12PM (#42897943) Homepage

    Never mind the fact that at least some of the participants of either sex many not be being exploited any more than the would if flipping burgers for minimum wage while their PhD is being reviewed.

    Rgds

    Damon

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:15PM (#42897995) Journal

    ....93% of the internet? The entire country could be served by one router.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:16PM (#42898011)

    A place that has a Phallic museum should not be trying harder than Al-Quida to ban naked women.

    • Maybe what they are really afraid of is declining birth rates.

      With more guys satisfying themselves with porn, there's less chance of pregnancy.

      Not that I agree with a ban, at all. I'm simply pointing out reasoning that might not have made it to the public statements. We've heard arguments like this about pron before.

      BTW, whatever happened to autopr0n? He used to have nice little site there.

  • So Professor Gail Dines is an "expert on pornography?"
    I'm sure there are quite a few other "experts" out there who will take a counter position. Or two.
    • by PhxBlue (562201)

      I'm sure there are quite a few other "experts" out there who will take a counter position. Or two.

      I see what you did there ...

      And you're right. Stoya [twitter.com], in particular, has nothing nice to say about Dines.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:20PM (#42898097) Journal

    It's 2013 people.

    "Progressive" now means that we'll tell you how to think and what to think.

    It's great, I mean - look at all the burden that's taken off the individual!

    (On a serious note relevant to the OP: (http://newsroom.unl.edu/blog/?p=1202) "The research, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, found in a series of experiments that participants processed images of men and women in very different ways. When presented with images of men, perceivers tended to rely more on "global" cognitive processing, the mental method in which a person is perceived as a whole. Meanwhile, images of women were more often the subject of "local" cognitive processing, or the objectifying perception of something as an assemblage of its various parts." This was happening with both male and female survey subjects.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:22PM (#42898149)
    Art and freedom of expression are at risk here. This law is no different than the Taliban imposing extreme sharia law on their hapless victims, it is one small group determining everyone else's choices.
  • Women as victims (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerry Rivers (881171) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:23PM (#42898165)

    Paternalistic, sexist bullshit. I don't see them whining about the civil rights of men in porn. No, it's only women who need protection.

    Only a complete fool would buy this as anything other than a bald faced lie.

  • They need the money right. Make porn companies pay for access to Iceland.
  • Pornography is mostly produced by willing people in the US/EU. But icelandic politic rather than admit they have a big dildo stuck in the ass and are conservative wanting to censure why they don't like, rename the issue as "progressive" and paint women doing porn as poor poor fragile forced doll unable to decide for themselves and which have to be protected against themselves and ban porn. In other word people stuck in the middle age thinking women are unable to decide for themselves, or horror , wanting t
  • Fine by me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:34PM (#42898383) Homepage Journal
    Just leave the gay porn. It's not as if any males were ever exploited to make porn. No. t the frail, fragile little women-folk who need to be protected from their own decision making capability.
  • by Meneth (872868) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:38PM (#42898479)
    Last time I heard, Iceland was the new haven for free speech online. What happened?
  • by Angua (1732766) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:39PM (#42898485)

    Just a quick FYI, people:

    This ban is aimed at violent porn, not porn (as in naked people having sex). So, just to be clear, images depicting naked people having sex will be a-ok, whereas images depicting, say, women being raped or abused would not. It's the consenting adults principle, if you will.

    How do I know this? Well, first of all, it's in the article: " "We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," he said. " The "he" here is Ögmundur Jónasson, the Interior Minister. Also, he's discussed this on his homepage (which is in Icelandic, but here's the link: http://www.ogmundur.is/fra-lesendum/nr/6571/ [ogmundur.is]) where he specified that his concern is violent porn, NOT porn itself.

    That said, I'm pretty skeptical about this being possible in practice, but I'd love to hear Slashdot's opinion about if people here think it is.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:56PM (#42898829) Homepage

    Even among feminists, there's significant disagreement about whether porn is inherently exploitative of women, or whether it's fine if all the performers have consented to participate (if they haven't then it's sexual assault at least). And this debate has been going on for several decades at least, with some (e.g. Andrea Dworkin and Gloria Steinem) taking the anti-porn side, while others (e.g. Ellen Willis and Susie Bright) taking the view that women should be able to express their sexuality on film if they want. The key problem: There's no scientific data to support any position on the subject, so it's come down to gut feelings with various rationalizations on both sides.

    My own take: I'm not going to support passing laws to deal with purely theoretical problems. If the anti-porn side can demonstrate some actual documented harm, then I'll change my mind.

  • by TrentTheThief (118302) on Thursday February 14, 2013 @01:58PM (#42898875)

    I see a possible future where the entirety of Iceland's international internet traffic is easily handled by a single 56kbps dialup modem.

    Ban porn. LOL. Try banning the air that you breath. You cannot legislate a person's morals no matter how much you wish to. At best, these efforts will slightly inconvenience people who want porn. Have they not heard of SSH tunneling?

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