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No Porn, Please, We’re Icelandic: Iceland Considers Banning Online Pornography
February 15, 2013
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Iceland is considering becoming the first-ever Western government to follow China's lead and use internet filters to limit what its citizens can look at online.

But the Icelandic government isn't planning to control the news media or silence dissent. It just wants to stop people from watching porn.

The country already has a law in place prohibiting the printing and distribution of pornography. But proposed new legislation from Ogmundur Jonasson, Iceland's interior minister, would also prevent people from accessing pornographic images through computers, smartphones and video game systems.

"We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime," Jonasson said.

iceland-pornography-parliament.jpg
Iceland's parliament debates a bill in 2010 (Photo: CP Images)

It's not clear exactly what methods the government would use to prevent people from peeking at porn, but the Telegraph reports Iceland is considering blocking access to pornographic website addresses and making it a crime to use Icelandic credit cards to access pay-per-view pornography.

Apparently the move to ban porn online is so popular that it's expected to become law this year.

"There is a strong consensus building in Iceland," Halla Gunnarsdottir, one of Jonasson's political advisors, told the Daily Mail. "We have so many experts from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind this, that this has become much broader than party politics."

Not all the experts agree with the idea that porn is bad for people, though. A 2009 study of a small group of men, conducted by the University of Montreal, found that porn does not change men's perception of women, and does not significantly impact their relationships.

Still, some researchers have found links between porn consumption and sexual violence. A study by Neil Malamuth of the University of California found that porn doesn't affect the average man, but for men with other risk factors that predispose them to sexual violence, "it can add fuel to the fire."

According to Paul Wright, an assistant professor at Indiana University, the academic debate over porn is tricky: "It's very easy if you want to support one side or the other, to pull a particular study," he said. "Anybody can support one side or another simply by isolating a particular study and talking about it."

Via The Globe And Mail

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