Now South Africa wants to introduce an internet porn block

Citing incontrovertible moral panic advocacy “FOR THE CHILDREN”, a new discussion paper about sexual offences published by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) has proposed a revision of existing online legislation to limit access to porn, including a default block on internet devices requiring age verification to bypass.

According to its introduction, the 360-something-page document “aims to identify gaps in the manner in which the law currently regulates and protects children from being exposed to pornography or from being used to create child sexual abuse material”, and “to serve as a basis for in-depth deliberation on the law reform needed to protect children and to test public opinion on the solutions identified by the Commission”.

Most significantly (and, probably, most controversially), the discussion paper recommends that “all devices (new and second hand) be issued with or returned to a default setting that blocks inappropriate content, with an opt-in possibility depending on proof of age of the buyer/user as being 18 and older”.

Circumventing this block or otherwise letting a kid use an internet device without it would, under the proposed legislation, be a crime. Like Timmy accidentally browsing daddy’s dick pics wasn’t already awkward enough.

Or mommy’s pussy pics.

Much like the UK’s incoming porn block, the actual implementation and enforcement of this sort of thing is an entirely different matter – although a device system-level block could present problems for the obvious VPN solution. But, perhaps more worryingly, it could become a precedent for restricting access to… what else? First it’s porn, then it’s social media, then it’s everything except a government website reminding citizens to support the troops in Eastasia. Or Eurasia. Or Oceania. Depends on the week, I guess.

Via BusinessTech.

 

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