posted on Jun, 8 2004 @ 09:39 AM
No one has said that we should have the right to access pornographic images of children. I realise this is an emotive issue, but I honestly
believe that behind the tabloid hype and the easy generalisations, there exists a significant threat to our civil liberties.
There is no evidence to suggest that banning these sites will reduce the incidents of child abuse. The images are posted, by definition, when the
abuse has already occured!
There is no evidence to suggest that banning these sites will even prevent BT-based paedophiles from accessing these images - I'm sure than at least
a couple of the contributors to this thread would stand a good chance of getting around the ISP blocks.
There is no evidence to suggest that banning these sites will cause a reduction in the number of paedophiles trawling the net - for every ISP which
censors these sites, a less-reputable ISP from Asia or Africa will cheerfully make child pornography available at a premium price.
There is no evidence to suggest that banning these sites will, in short, make a blind bit of difference to these victims of abuse.
What this ban will do, however, is act as a precedent. Do we really want our ISPs - not even our governments, mind, but the businesses which
provide our services - to determine what is or is not acceptable for us to view? Society has the right to say that paedophilia is immoral and
illegal, not British Telecom! But once the precedent has been established, what's next? Bombmaking, fine, that'll sort out those suicide bombers.
Then certain political groups - we need to stamp out terrorism and rebellion, don't we? Then what? A left wing CEO decides that we don't need to
see neofascist websites? Another CEO with close ties to the current government decides that releasing government records would be harmful? Some
twenty-year-old corporate whore in an IT department in Manchester decides that he really hates hippies, and bans any website which contains the words
"astral", "chakra" and "transcendant"?
How about conspiracy websites? I'm sure there are a lot of people who like to see ATS shut down - the Mud Pit, at least!
It's a slippery slope. Censorship can only ever conceal problems, not resolve them. Isn't it time that we faced up to the evils in our society,
rather than wishing them out of existence and hiding behind clever pieces of software? As I said, it's an emotive issue, and it's all too easy to
fall for the "paedophiles are bad, m'kay" platitudes. It's long past time that we, as a global culture and civilised society, took
Deny ignorance, people.