XBIZ Poll: 70% Say Cameron's Porn Opt-in Plan Will Fail

Nov 1, 2013 5:15 PM PST

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron's porn opt-in system is likely to fail, according to the majority of adult entertainment professionals who casted votes on XBIZ.net, the industry's leading social network.

Seventy percent of those who submitted a response said that Cameron's plan will fail, while only 14 percent said that it would come to fruition. Sixteen percent were unsure of the 130 who voted.

The results were based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network over the question involving Cameron's plan for an opt-in system where households would be denied sexually explicit online material unless they specifically asked for such access.

Not surprisingly, Cameron's plan has not had any support from the adult entertainment industry, and some question its potential effectiveness, as well as its inherent free-speech problems.

"Not only will it fail, but it's designed to fail," said Jerry Barnett, a former adult site operator and founder of the new U.K. group Sex & Censorship. "As I've pointed out for some time, this is only Censorship v1.0. The filter cannot protect children for a number of reasons, primarily that parents will switch it off so they can access adult content, and it is also easy to circumvent using tools like the Pirate Browser.

"Once it fails, the pro-censorship lobby, both inside and outside government are primed to call for the next step: tougher, Chinese-style censorship whereby listed URLs are blocked by ISPs," he said XBIZ. "The industry and government must be clear that the only working forms of child protection are parental control systems coupled with good sex education.

Myles Jackman, a London-based attorney who spoke in September at XBIZ EU on the wars facing porn, concurred: "It is doomed to fail."

"Cameron's proposed porn filter will be easier to get round than the Maginot Line and will be about as effective," Jackman told XBIZ.

But Vince Charlton, ASACP's director of European outreach, said that Cameron’s ISP filtering proposal is a foregone conclusion.

“Whilst ASACP continue to press home their message that parental controls are the way forward as opposed to Cameron’s existing plans, we think it inevitable that the ISP level filtering proposal will be implemented in one form or another due to the hard-line public stance already taken by the U.K. government.

"We do, however, believe that through continuous lobbying on behalf of the Industry filtering can be watered down to give households greater freedom of choice in what they choose to watch in the privacy of their own homes and minimize its impact on the industry. ASACP believes that addressing the role of parents and technology is crucial in order for children to be best protected online and it is parents, not governments, which must be the ones to control and monitor their children's online activities.”

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