White House Petition Seeks 'Opt-in' for Online Porn

Nov 15, 2013 12:00 PM PST

WASHINGTON  — A petition on WhiteHouse.gov asking the Obama administration to create an "opt-in" feature for online sexually explicit content is gaining a slight amount of traction.

So far, the petition has about 20,000 online signatures. But the net effect of petitioning online to the U.S. government is rather limp because the online petition has no assurances that there will be any meaningful response.

If the petition gets enough support — 100,000 by Nov. 23 — White House officials may pass it on to appropriate policy experts and later issue an official response.  

Like a proposal initiated this year in the U.K. by Prime Minister David Cameron, the U.S. petition aims to make Internet users to choose to unblock porn through their ISPs filters. The petition was created by M.G. of Greenbrae, Calif., on Oct. 24.

"We are asking for greater protection and responsibility from ISPs and our country," the petition says." We are asking that people who are interested in porn should have to seek it and choose it. They should have to opt in for it by making arrangements to receive it with their ISP. Everyone else should be free from it and assumed opt out."

Diane Duke, who leads the Free Speech Coalition as its CEO, told XBIZ that censoring the Internet through mandatory opt-in processes is the wrong approach — both in the Britain and across the Atlantic in the U.S.

"The U.K. government itself admits that the opt-in approach won't work and many believe it will create a false sense of security for parents," Duke said. "If you look at the lack of support for the U.S. survey it's clear that there is little interest in the U.S. to create a program destined to fail."

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