European Union Strikes Down Porn Ban

Mar 12, 2013 9:00 AM PST

LUXEMBOURG — A proposal to ban all types of porn in the media and give ISPs policing powers over subscribers has been shot down by the European Parliament.

Buried in a report introduced last December aimed at eliminating gender stereotypes, the porn ban section of the proposal was soundly rejected by the 625-member Parliament, although the overall initiative passed with a 368-159 vote, with 98 abstaining.

The report was the center of recent controversy despite its good intentions to level the gender field in education, employment and the media. Europeans, outraged by the idea of censorship, ignited a public backlash over the report's porn and Internet restrictions.

What irked citizens even more was having their protest emails sent to politicians blocked by Parliament’s own IT department. Pirate Party member Christian Engström, who broke the coverup called the move an "absolute disgrace,” and a "totally undemocratic practice."

If adopted in its entirety, the European Commission could have pushed to make the proposal law, effecting a pan-European block on porn.

But according to CNET, even if the report becomes law, it would be tough for the Commission to draw up similar porn-blocking legislation only to pass it back to the Parliament for another vote.

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