Iceland may become first European country to ban web porn

Children online

Iceland is considering banning web pornography in bid to save young children from it's damaging effects, and by doing so it would become the first western country to block filth available online.

Fears about the detrimental effects on children have led the government to work on legal measures to try and stop the flood of graphic sexual material reaching the island's shores, the Daily Mail reports. Iceland Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson has set up working parties to find the best ways to stem the tide of online images and videos being accessed by young people through computers, games consoles and smartphones, the paper reported.

A study by the Iceland government suggested that children, who are exposed to violent pornography at an early age, showed similar signs of trauma to those who had been actually abused methods under consideration include blocking porn IP addresses and making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards to access x-rated sites.

The argument that porn violates the rights of both women who appear in it and children who are exposed to it is the cornerstone of the new proposals under discussion.

Alarm over the harmful effects of internet sex were raised in Iceland in 2010 when the government launched a wide-ranging consultation process on how rape cases are handles in the justice system, the paper added.

The investigation was followed by a further consultation on porn, which included teachers, law enforcers and organisations working with abused children and it concluded that the extremely violent nature of the material now freely available on the web was increasing the intensity of sex attacks, the paper said. Jónasson, who is from the country's Left Green Movement, claimed the safety of children must be a priority. Jónasson said filtering out porn is not a question of censorship, adding that they have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which they all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime.

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