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back to article Iceland thinks long and hard over extreme smut web ban law

Iceland is mulling a new law banning access to violent internet porn following research into the effect of extreme grumble-flicks on kids. The proposed rules, which were put forward by interior minister Ögmundur Jónasson, are being scrutinised by the country's parliament. It is access to violent pornography - rather than common …

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Anonymous Coward

Iceland blocking extreme porn?

don't want horses turning up there as well as in the food, do you ....

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Devil

Who decides that its "violent internet porn"

Does this mean that they will have a department for violent internet porn?

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Probably the same people as define what constitutes violence for the purposes of film classification.

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Big Brother

I had the same question. I can see 'Blood play' being banned, but where do you stop? Someone could argue that a knife showing up would be considered violence, another even just holding someone down, and yet another would call it violent if someone said 'Bitch'.

Internet censorship is a gigantic cluster-fuck, especially with things like this where it is all subjective and there is no clean lines. It should be the parents' responsibility to monitor their kids' actions, not Big Brother's.

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I'd like to know how they plan to stop it?

China is now planning banning VPNs cause their firewall works so well.

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Headmaster

The interesting thing here is that, from everything I have read, the Icelanders..............

....are having a serious discussion here about what is acceptable and the issues of democratic expression and freedom. They have also made it clear that they do not have a big problem with explicit porn - they are not prudes. What they appear to be talking about is porn and violent images and are trying to see if there is a way of dealing with this without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I would argue that this is a wholly legitimate discussion - what they in the end decide to do is a matter for them. I would however caution against any knee-jerk "libertarian" responses. These people are not a bunch of Daily Heil prudes.

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Re: The interesting thing here is that, from everything I have read, the Icelanders..............

Actually the minister's party is the communist/feminist party in Iceland which alone should raise questions about the "study" conducted by that same minister's work group. This party has repeatedly discussed ideas about the "need" for internet censorship on various subjects ever since the party was founded in the late 1990s and this latest is hardly any surprise.

They've finally realised that hardly anyone in Iceland agrees with their ideas on internet censorship so they've taken to the classic "Think about the children" argument hoping to gain enough support through that. This is simply a "gateway law" that will allow the "violent porn" definition to be widened by a minister at any given time, probably dropping the "violent" part sooner rather than later.

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Thumb Down

If the lady is simply (according to you) some kind of "lefty lesbo" whose opinions.......

..........are not shared by all right-thinking hairy chested hetero thinkers like yourself, I have to ask how did she get elected then, hmm?

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Re: If the lady is simply (according to you) some kind of "lefty lesbo" whose opinions.......

I seem to recall the country was bankrupt and no one else wanted the job, or something like that.

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Re: If the lady is simply (according to you) some kind of "lefty lesbo" whose opinions.......

First off, the minister in question is male, hardly lesbian as such.

His party got their votes because of three things, knee-jerk reaction to the bank crash, promising to protect Icelandic households after the financial crash and promising to fight against EU membership, these promises didn't last through the election night, before voting was even finished they had reached an agreement with the socialist party to apply for EU membership and one of the first things they did (with help from the socialist party) after getting to power was to hand over one of the banks to hedge funds and venture capitalist groups that have since forced a lot of the very people the party promised to protect, into bankruptcy.

This almost wiped out the party in opinion polls, plummeting from approx. 20% following in the previous election to having recovered to just over 7% just before the "violent porn" play. So I'm far from alone in thinking that this party can't be trusted at all, most of their voters in the previous elections agree on that. The party itself has lost a lot of its members already and the credibility is completely erased.

Icelander's have experienced this party in charge, they don't trust them any more, and most of them are far from "tight thinking hairy chested hetero thinkers". This party has spoken on numerous occasions about the "need" for internet censorship, the current party leader has even seriously suggested a need for an "Internet police" that would be allowed to monitor internet traffic and block unwanted material. This is a totalitarian party by all definitions that is partly controlled by extreme feminist factions that even outspoken Icelandic feminists deny any connection with.

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Meh

Re: The interesting thing here is that, from everything I have read, the Icelanders..............

They've finally realised that hardly anyone in Iceland agrees with their ideas on internet censorship so they've taken to the classic "Think about the children" argument hoping to gain enough support through that. This is simply a "gateway law" that will allow the "violent porn" definition to be widened by a minister at any given time, probably dropping the "violent" part sooner rather than later.

Strange, because I was thinking about this the other day. While I agree with that sentiment, it's the same statement that the gun proponents in the US are currently spinning.

Making no point one way or the other, but the realisation did make me stop and think...

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Re: The interesting thing here is that, from everything I have read, the Icelanders..............

I agree with that it sounds the same but unfortunately in Iceland there are precedents for exactly this. The law itself usually doesn't define the subject but states that the subject is defined in a separate regulation. The problem is that the regulation can be changed at any time by the minister in the given cabinet without the need to consult the parliament or in fact anyone at all. Thus "violent porn" can change to whatever the sitting minister feels like it should and could easily become just "porn" without any need for justification.

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Re: If the lady is simply (according to you) some kind of "lefty lesbo" whose opinions.......

"First off, the minister in question is male, hardly lesbian as such."

He might be a lesbian trapped in a man's body.....

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Parental Responsibility

Sounds like the interior minister is claiming the parents of Iceland are either incapable or don't want to control their childrens internet viewing habits, so the state has to do it instead. How long will it take to realise the kind of parents that allow their kids to watch this sort of stuff, are exactly the parents who aren't exactly role models either.

If you're a parent and care about your children, you either put in place suitable controls, or if not technical enough, learn or get someone else to do so. It's not rocket science. If you can't be bothered to do any of these, perhaps its the parent to blame?

If they create a job of 'Violent Pornography Censor', what about their health and safety. Might it not turn them into raging sexual deviants? Or, is this something that affects children only?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

Tell me how to stop them surfing for whatever they want on their (or their mate's) smartphone? I have few of the controls I could implement on my home network available on 3g connected devices beyond the crude filtering provided by phone companies.

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Re: Parental Responsibility

I tend to agree with you in principle Mike, however ...... Consider if 'legal' pornography was in plain simply labelled packages at about two feet off the floor on newsagent's shelves. It's legal, it's not 'on show' to affect innocent minds. You need to pay for it so it can't be casually browsed. So, what's the harm? After all, it's up to parents to stop their children being exposed to this.

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Re: Parental Responsibility

Simples. Get a crap data tariff on the phone, set it up on your wifi with its "restrictions" followed by a good talking to about the dangers of the internet and what should/should not be acceptable.

Or don't buy a smartphone for any kid <18.

As for their mates phone - well you are SOL there, although perhaps talking to them might help.

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Re: Parental Responsibility

Don't phone networks block loads of stuff already?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility AC

The same way you prevent them burning down other peoples houses or pushing other kid into the road. You do prevent them from doing that, right?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

Why is it always parental responsibility rather than societal responsibility?

Children are part of society, they are by definition not able to think properly for themselves yet, so need to be looked out for. There are limits as to how far we should go, but it's always been the case: Jazz mags are on the top shelf, fags are behind the counter, they're not allowed to buy booze.

The wailing of "won't someone think of the children" seems to be just as puritanical and the people who mock those who say it, with the same but sarcastic response. It seems to me the people mocking are actually saying "fuck the children, if it's slightly inconvenient to me." Besides those who complain about parents not looking after their kids properly, often assume that all parents can be arsed, there are enough examples where they can't.

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Boffin

Re: Parental Responsibility

"Why is it always parental responsibility rather than societal responsibility?"

Because they are not MY children. They are not HIS children. They are not SOCIETY'S children.

They are *YOUR* children. YOU brought them into this world, it is YOUR responsibility to bring them up properly, NOBODY ELSE'S!

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Re: Parental Responsibility

That's right, I don't care about YOUR children or how you choose to mollycoddle them. I care about mine, and I teach them the difference between reality and fiction. I also don't let them wander around the Internet such that they are going to be viewing material that's going to cause them psychological harm. I let kids get a little desensitized to violence (play video games, watch tv shows, have events in the news explained to them frankly etc.) but within reason. My reason.

Yes, if your children are encountering violent, shock porn on the Internet it is you as a parent who is at fault. Nobody else. Who ever said that the Internet was for children, without any guidance? Do you also let your children wander around the rough, seedy parts of cities where they will be exposed to violent crime, the sex trade and drugs and then blame everyone else?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

> the parents of Iceland are either incapable or don't want to control their childrens internet viewing habits,

That's why Mums go to Iceland...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

@Gorgan and Graham Marsden:

What about the children who have parents who don't give a shit about them? Are they their parents problem or societies?

Those are the kids who matter here, the ones who have parents who care will usually be ok, but the ones who don't need society's protection.

Anyway, like I said, both of your responses seems to have the subtext "fuck anyone else's kids, mine are ok, looking after the less fortunate will cause me a slight inconvenience."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

Yes - and most people WOULD like some controls on the dangerous and violent parts of town. Personally I don't want adult freaks to have access to or be making violent pornography. Never mind the bloody kids!

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Tell me how to stop them surfing for whatever they want on their (or their mate's) smartphone?

God damn it man, I'm writing features as fast as I can

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Re: Tell me how to stop them surfing for whatever they want on their (or their mate's) smartphone?

On their own surely you just tell the network not to allow porn? I know I and to sign up to a "dirty old man list" when I started using my phone to browse the internet.

Their mates' phones are different, of course, but a conversation with their mates' parents might let them know of the restrictions also. That's "society" and "community" right there...

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FAIL

Re: Parental Responsibility

"What about the children who have parents who don't give a shit about them?"

So *your* subtext here is that we should *ALL* be treated as children in the vague hope that, somehow, it will help protect those who have crap parents...

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Alert

Re: Parental Responsibility

@Graham Marsden: Perhaps you will accept that society (whatever that is) does have some responsibilities to parents and children? And there's no reason why parents shouldn't be allowed to ask for whatever restrictions they think would be helpful, from the rest of society?

Whether The Rest Of Society, working through the democratic process, chooses to give them what they ask for, or something else, or nothing at all, is a different matter. But there's nothing wrong with them asking, surely?

And if you seriously don't think you have an interest in helping other people's kids to grow up into basically decent people, I suggest you rethink what 'growing up' implies. Those kids are the people who are going to be driving the ambulance when you collapse in your sheltered accommodation.

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Re: Parental Responsibility

Besides, how will you handle things if the kids can outsmart the parents, which is not unheard of in the electronic age?

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@veti Re: Parental Responsibility

You're taking a big leap from parents being responsible for what their kids see to society being responsible for ensuring that that happens and, by inference, everyone else's rights being restricted to "think of the children".

As for your other Straw Man arguments, I'll treat them with the contempt they deserve.

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Re: Parental Responsibility AC

I'll go along with you if and when you say that it is long past time for me to be able to chastise (generally verbally) other people's children in public for their antisocial behaviour (including skateboarding in public places) without a) getting a mouthful of abuse from said children and the threat of them labelling me as a peadophile, and b) the same from the child's revolting parents. Equally, I want the right to be able to talk nicely to children I do not know in public without me being considered to be a potential paedophile (the positive side of the same coin). Until that perfectly sensible set of requirements are met, you are on your own, mate!

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Megaphone

Re: Parental Responsibility

> They are *YOUR* children. YOU brought them into this world, it is YOUR responsibility to bring them up properly, NOBODY ELSE'S!

So if the building was on fire you'd leave it to whoever lit it to put it out because it wasn't your responsibility?

It might not be your responsibility but it sure as shit is your problem.

Congratulations your stupidity & selfishness has provoked my first ever el-reg rant!

Seriously, unless we require an examination before anyone can have kids (might sound like a good idea until you ask who's going to set & mark it & how you enforce it) you cannot rely on all (any) parents to do it right (all the time).

Society is there so we can help each over out over the difficult bits, if you don't want to help go live in a cave and leave the rest of us to get on with it.

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WTF?

Re: Parental Responsibility

Creepy... are the down voters of the previous post either fans of violent pornography (as opposed to just being fans of pornography), fans of towns having dangerous and violent parts or simply fans of a completely 100% unregulated web (with all that that would entail)?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Parental Responsibility

"What about the children who have parents who don't give a shit about them? Are they their parents problem or societies?"

The parents are society's problem. Until the parents are able to conform to the standards society expects of them the children should be removed from their care. This is of course highly emotive and politically explosive.

The impact of blanket restrictions across society on these problem parents is minimal. They don't give a shit, so unless they get caught, which is unlikely, they will continue as before. In general the impact falls on those parents for whom it wouldn't be a problem anyway. As such measures of this kind tend to be a waste of money.

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Vic
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Re: Parental Responsibility

> Why is it always parental responsibility rather than societal responsibility?

Would you be happy if society decided to discipline your children?

Look at the variety of people on these fora; each one is part of Society. If you want Society to have a hand in bringing up your children, you need to delegate the authority to do so to Society. That's me and him and Eadon and RICHTO and Zmodem...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Parental Responsibility

> Are they their parents problem or societies?

The children are their parents' problem.

The parents are Society's problem.

Vic.

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Re: Parental Responsibility

don't forget amanfrommars, that could be .. interesting ..

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Just trying to imagine Auntie Violet in a porn film.

No. I give up.

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Anonymous Coward

Er before they do that

Can we in the UK have our money back please.

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Anonymous Coward

No you can't

You invested in the wrong bank, the bank went bankrupt and you lost your money. Deal with it.

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Re: No you can't

When you say 'you invested', don't you mean 'Infallible civil servants entrusted with running the country invested'? You also forgot to mention they were warned, some months before the banks crashed, that the money was unsafe, but chose to ignore the warnings.

So while I don't agree with the idea that Iceland should 'give us our money' I also don't agree with the idea that we - the taxpayers - somehow had it coming and should just 'deal with it'.

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Re. interior minister Ögmundur Jónasson,

I hope his nickname is Oggy. I'd love to hear people shouting for him across a crowded room.

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Trollface

Re: Re. interior minister Ögmundur Jónasson,

Unfortunately for you the Ö is pronounced like the u in burn so it'd come out like 'Urghy, Urghy Urghy!' or maybe 'Urky, Urky, Urky!' depending on how the 'g' is pronounced as that seems to be the Icelanders' favourite consonant for irregular pronunciation.

Wanting to protect the .is TLD is not unreasonable but it'd be more sensible to include companies that at least operate or sell stuff in Iceland, e.g. http://www.toyota.is/ even if they don't have a proper office there.

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Anonymous Coward

Fantasy

Most violent porn is fantasy porn. We expect kids to understand that murder mysteries and Tom and Jerry are fantasy, it only seems to be the adults that can't get their heads around it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fantasy

Yes, but kids can easily tell that finding out who killed someone is a fantasy and that a cartoon is a fantasy, however we don't let them watch violent films until they have reached an age where it is considered that they can deal with what they are seeing. Why should violent pornography be different? Bear in mind that a child can tell that hitting someone hurts, therefore you probably shouldn't do it, how should they be able to know that whipping someone who is chained up (for example) and screaming in a sexual situation that they've never come across before is good sometimes (when everyone is consenting) but extremely serious assault other times, when consent is not given. There are many occasions in s'n'm where a safe word is required and that safe word is never "stop" or "no more" because those words can be used in the sex play.

This is a very complex subject and to suggest it's like a cartoon does not help.

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Black Helicopters

About this proposed ban

I am a Icelander so I have been following this case for several months now.

What is being discussed here is not a ban on violent porn. Here is being discussed is ban on all pornographic material. This is a country wide filter on the internet in Iceland demanded by law.

Here is some background on this matter.

Ögmundur Jónasson, a minister of interior affairs in Iceland (including justice affairs) is a left politician. But he has during his period as minister in Iceland been moving ever so more to the left in his politics. This also including banning people who do not live in Iceland to own a .is domain (I wrote about it here on my blog, http://www.jonfr.com/?p=7486). He also wants to ban online poke from being accessed from Iceland. So he is not just after banning porn.

This idea comes from radical feminist movement in Iceland. Along with radical people (in this case Gail Dines) that where imported from U.S to spread there nonsense in Iceland. All to justify this planned ban on porn, poker and foreign people from owning an .is domain.

Disclaimer: I am no longer living in Iceland. For the moment I live in Denmark. Where porn is legal.

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Facepalm

Re: About this proposed ban

Ah, he's obviously someone from the Icelandic branch of the "I don't like this, so you shouldn't be allowed to see it" brigade...

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Childcatcher

Re: About this proposed ban

Otherwise known in this country as "The daily mail's readership"

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Re: About this proposed ban

If you have radical feminists in your government you need to vote them out now, especially the male ones. During my nearly two decades of egalitarian* activism, I've noticed that the vast majority of male feminists I've encountered, are invariably the most radical self-righteous hypocritical bigots this side of the Taliban. And this Ögmundur Jónasson fits the profile perfectly.

Ironically, most female feminists I've encountered, even those who are lesbians, are actually quite reasonable in comparison. After all, their agenda is to get a fair go for their own sex, not to disenfranchise men, which I've never had a problem with. It's the anti-male demonisation and disenfranchisement, most of which is driven by male feminists with a small smattering of hard-core female man-haters, which I oppose with such vehemence. And this anti-porn bill, such as you describe, is a typical modus operandi of such people.

So the old stereotype (and oft-used strawman) of the butch lesbian feminist man-basher is exactly that: a stereotype. It's the male feminists you have to watch out for. Warn your friends and get that bugger out of office come the next election, if you value your people's freedom and dignity at all.

* Egalitarian means advocacy of equal rights, with no preferential treatment, for all people regardless of gender, race or whatever. Some feminists (again mostly male ones) try to make the weasel claim that feminism is about equal rights for all, but that is a deception intended to validate their misandrist worldview. Feminism is, and has always been, about female rights in particular; that is why it is called feminism. Treat with suspicion anyone who makes this claim - and I'll give better than ten-to-one odds it's a male making it.

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