Rumor: Iceland mulls banning online pornography

In an effort to "protect our children," Iceland may restrict access to online porn.

CONFIRMED: Iceland is considering banning online pornography

Using specially designed search filters similar to what China uses to restrict certain websites from its citizens, Iceland may move to block online pornography within its borders. As the Telegraph, Gizmodo and Daily Mail report, the ban may be enacted in a matter of weeks.

'Protecting our young people'

Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland's interior minister, is in the process of drafting legislation that would stop online porn access through computers, video games, smartphones and other devices. The country already has a ban on pornographic videos being sold, as well as a ban on strip clubs.

Halla Gunnarsdóttir, political adviser to the interior minister, tells the Daily Mail that a "consensus" is building among lawmakers to put the government in charge of protecting children from sexual images, in addition to parents. "Parents are not the only ones responsible for protecting our young people," Gunnarsdóttir says. "They cannot be with their children all the time, and the porn industry actively tries to seek children out."

Ideas considered so far on how to stop Icelanders from viewing porn include blocking certain web IP addresses and making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards to access porn sites.

Law would target porn's link to 'violence'

Icelandic lawmakers supporting the ban speak of pornography as being tied to "violence." Interior Minister Jonasson says that porn has been shown to provide "a clear link to incidences of violent crime."

The contention that pornography has a negative effect on violent-crime rates, however, is not definitive, as some studies, including a U.S. Surgeon General study, conclude that porn drives up crime rates, while other studies like one from Clemson University Professor Todd Kendall contend that online porn actually reduces sexual-assault incidents.

 

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