U.K.'s Liberal Democrats Reject Porn Filtering Plan

Sep 16, 2013 10:30 AM PST

LONDON  — The U.K.’s Liberal Democrats have soundly rejected Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposed Internet porn filtering plan at the party’s conference being held this week.

Coailition members described the voluntary opt-out plan as “illiberal” and leaders must now decide if they want to resubmit a new platform in order to have it included in its 2015 General Election manifesto.

Despite conservative backing of the filtering plan from party peer and TV personality Floella Benjamin, who made a case that filters would protect children from viewing online porn, activists overwhelmingly demanded that the Party adopt a new position.

Liberal Democrat delegate Paul Walter voiced his opposition to the proposal at the Glasgow conference and said, “Any child can very easily get around the proposed technical solutions... the technical landscape is changing all the time. Trying to tame it is like trying to nail down jelly.

“The motion and the amendment offer illusory solutions which give the delusion of success. They lull us into a false of security and detract from the central issue which is the relationship of trust between children and parents. Do we as Liberal Democrats really want to pass a motion which drives our children underground to find roundabout methods to escape ISP filters, so their Internet use is even more hidden from their parents?

“This strikes me as coming from a closing age... the age when parents didn’t understand this thing called the Internet their children are using.”

One conference attendee, James Shaddock told The Independent, “To lump everything considered pornography or explicit is unfair. It overlooks the variety and diversity of us all and the diversity of content that the Internet provides. Don’t let us become the new Puritans of the 21st Century.”

Another mandatory filtering opponent, Jezz Palmer, said that she had relied on the Internet as a young person to learn about sex education and that filters would only punish children who are otherwise completely alone.

“I know there are still kids growing up who feel how I did and there will be for generations to come. Don’t take away their only research, don't leave them alone in the dark,” Palmer said.

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