Dear Mr. Cameron: U.K.'s Love for Porn and Censorship Don't Mix

Aug 6, 2013 4:15 PM PST

There's an insatiable demand for Internet porn in the U.K.

Whether it be straight, gay, tranny or BDSM, modern Brits have put their arms around the idea of devouring sexually explicit material in the privacy of their own homes.

Leading credit card processors that handle online sales for adult entertainment businesses say that Brits are at the top of the heap in worldwide porn consumption.

CCBill, a leading processing company, says that that U.K. sales generate the second-largest volume of charges for the company.

Another payment processor, Epoch, counts the U.K. as one of its top-five markets. And GTBill notes that 25 percent of its clicks come from the U.K.

But now U.K. government officials have placed online porn on a crackdown list, and it appears that the porn loving nation is on a collision course with censorship.

We are seeing forms of censorship that not only are an assault on civil liberties, but they are emphatically unfeasible to implement.

Granted, the multibillion-dollar online porn industry has a horse in this race — the business has done very well through the years selling sex — photography, video and live imagery — to a U.K. population that just can't get enough.

The payment processors have spelled it out: Online porn is alive and kicking in the U.K.

But that may not last long if Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, gets his way.

Cameron has proposed a sweeping censorship plan that would block Internet users in the U.K. from accessing porn unless they specifically request otherwise.

His proposal also forces online content to have the same restrictions as DVDs sold in brick-and-mortar shops and makes possession of the most extreme forms of porn a felony.

Cameron's pledge to wage a war on the distribution of adult entertainment, however, likely will have problems if implementation ever gets under way.

Number one on that list is the criteria that would be used to determine what's porn. With so many varying degrees of art, soft-core, educational and scientific sexually explicit imagery, coming up with a bright-line might be improbable.

Another topic needed for discussion is technology. Porn can be accessed via peer-to-peer networks and VPNs and other anonymous communication software. So how will this be blocked? In reality, it's impossible.

Cameron's proposal of employing porn filters on a wholesale level is unnecessary because they already exist for parents if they wish to use them.

With no need for governments to make porn filters mandatory, it indicates that the real agenda behind these new proposed laws is much more about censorship than protecting minors.

Dear Mr. Cameron, get with the times; government has no place imposing morality on its people.

XBIZ will be discussing this topic, among others, at the upcoming XBIZ EU international digital media conference at the Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Hotel in central London, Sept. 22-25.

XBIZ EU is a leading international digital media conference that brings together business leaders from around the globe for three days of cutting-edge market trend seminars and technology workshops featuring A-list special guest speakers and exclusive networking special events.


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