Battle to block Internet porn heats up in Iceland - Macleans.ca
 

Battle to block Internet porn heats up in Iceland


 

A new centre-right coalition government in Iceland is being pressured to block online pornography, in a battle that is pitting arguments of free speech against those of gender equality.

A report in The Guardian on Sunday sheds light on the issue, which is resurfacing after a centre-right coalition lead by incoming Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson formed to oust former leftist Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir’s government in April.

“There are people who want to silence this discussion, but it is a discussion that will not be silenced,” former interior minister Ögmundur Jónasson told The Guardian. “People want to confuse this with an argument about freedom of expression, but I would say it is those who are trying to silence the debate who are not respecting freedom of expression.”

Some of the ideas being floated in Iceland are blocking access to websites, using web filters and making it illegal to use an Icelandic credit card to purchase pornography, says the report.

While debates about pornography are often framed around issues of morality, the push for a porn ban in Iceland is spearheaded by left-learning politicians and groups, which view the issue as one of gender equality.

Under Sigurdardóttir’s former government, Iceland already introduced regulation in the sex industry, notes The Guardian. The country banned strip clubs in 2010. In 2009, the government passed a law that criminalized buying sex, rather than criminalizing prostitutes.


 
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