An Internet porn block is being proposed for South Africa

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Right to Censor

Look, let’s be honest here: We’ve all watched porn. Whether it was late night on E-TV when an Emmanuelle flick popped up or your fingers just so happened to accidentally type out p-o-r-n-h-u-b in your URL and your elbow hit the Enter key, we’ve all seen the stuff. And there’s nothing wrong with that. When you’re of the right age and of sound mind, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s just porn.

Unless you’re in government, which is currently in full “WON’T ANYONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN” mode currently.

According to a report on MyBroadband, the South African Law Reform Commission (an independent advisory statutory body which was established by the South African Law Reform Commission Act) has published a discussion paper, where it proposes that internet porn should be blocked by default. The “Pornography and Children” paper recommends that the best way to protect children from porn exposure is to find a way to make certain that all electronic porn-broadcasting devices have blocks which prohibit five-knuckle shuffle content from being accessed:

The Commission provisionally recommends that legislation should comprehensively criminalise all acts of exposing children to pornography and content not suitable for children, in whatever manner, including through advertisement and enticement or by making use of misleading techniques. Giving effect to this recommendation will serve to protect both the child and the provider, though regulations will be required to provide for effective implementation.

According to the paper, this will require “Manufacturers or distributors of any technology or device that can access the Internet to ensure that default settings block access to child sexual abuse material or pornography” and “Electronic communications service providers to ensure that default settings blocks access to child sexual abuse material or pornography”.

Darryn-watches-porn
  • Manufacturers or distributors of any technology or device that can access the Internet to ensure that default settings block access to child sexual abuse material or pornography.
  • Electronic communications service providers to ensure that default settings blocks access to child sexual abuse material or pornography.

How government would even enforce these rules is beyond me, as such a plan would require everything from laptops to tablets, phones to Smart TVs to be given software that would turn them into the equivalent of Ned Flanders. Anyone wanting to legally access porn, would then have to have their name added to a registry for when the blocks are removed and boy oh boy there’s no way that such a plan could backfire, right?

It’s once again a noble goal to want to protect children, that is being proposed through woefully inadequate means. Much like the content filter that the FPB wants to apply to the internet, this porn block is the equivalent of a child choking to death on a piece of steak and then making ownership of cows illegal for everyone else.

This proposal also comes (Ha) hot on the heels of the current porn brouhaha in the United Kingdom, as the British will be clamping down on adult-only content from July 15 when internet service providers have to force users to confirm their age if they want to access a website that would allow them to Jack their beanstalk.

Last Updated: May 15, 2019

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