Iceland Wants To Ban Internet Porn - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Iceland Wants To Ban Internet Porn

Posted: Updated:

(CNN) -- Iceland is working on banning Internet pornography, calling explicit online images a threat to children.

'"There is a strong consensus building in Iceland," Halla Gunnarsdottir, an adviser to the nation's Interior Minister, told England's 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.

"At the moment, we are looking at the best technical ways to achieve this. But surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the Internet."

Such a step is somewhat surprising among Western nations that, for the most part, champion free-speech rights. But the move wouldn't be unprecedented in the island nation.

Iceland has had laws banning the printing and distribution of pornography for years, but those laws haven't been updated to include the Web. And two years ago, the nation's parliament banned strip clubs, saying they violate the rights of the women who work in them.

Iceland would become the first Western democracy to try and block pornography online.

Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson has appointed committees to study the best methods for keeping young people from seeing explicit images and videos on computers, game consoles and smartphones.

The options being considered, according to the Daily Mail, include blocking the IP addresses of known porn sites and making it illegal to use credit cards from Iceland to subscribe to X-rated sites.

"This move is not anti-sex. It is anti-violence because young children are seeing porn and acting it out," Gunnarsdottir said. "That is where we draw the line. This material is blurring the boundaries for young people about what is right and wrong."

Attempting a total block of porn sites somewhere like the United States, with its legions of public and private portals onto the Web and the millions of software engineers who likely would spring into action to find workarounds, would be nearly impossible.

But Iceland has a population of 322,000 -- roughly the same as St. Louis, Missouri. That, and its remote location 1,300 miles off of the coast of Europe, would make jamming or blocking Web traffic to certain sites easier, if that was the route the government there chose.

The move is, predictably, drawing fire from Web-freedom advocates, including some in Iceland who agree with Jonasson on most issues.

"Since he claimed office as minister, Jonasson has brought forward progressive legislation and has shown that he can be a man of principles and courage. For that, I truly respect him," Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland's parliament who represents part of Reykjavik, wrote in an editorial for London's The Guardian.

"But he is way off track in his attempts to place a shield around Iceland in order to 'stop porn' from entering the country."

A member of the parliament committee studying the issue, Jonsdottir says a porn ban has "near zero" chance of passing parliament and that she's working to find other ways the government can help protect children from Web porn.

"Introducing censorship without compromising freedom of expression and speech is like trying to mix oil and water: It is impossible," she wrote. "I know my fellow MPs can often turn strange and dangerous laws into reality, but this won't be one of them."

  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.