Could US Retreat from Internet Oversight Increase Global Porn Censorship?

yne-icannAmerican technology columnist John C. Dvorak has covered technology and computing since the 1980’s, and in certain circles of supporters his opinion counts.  When it comes to the news that the United States has agreed to give up control of the Internet, Dvorak thinks the impact could directly hinder the availability of adult entertainment online.

“Porn, of course, will be the first thing to go,” he said.  “We all know there is too much on the net and it is too freely available. But this is not the job for Icann. Will it become the job of the next group to come along? You can count on it. Forget net neutrality; content neutrality is over.”

Writing for PC Magazine, Dvorak thinks the Internet’s future isn’t as bright without the United States keeping would-be censors out of influence.

“Enjoy the internet while you can,” he said. “America has waved the white flag. Decades from now, we will look back at the glory days fondly.”

The idea that countries might try to take advantage of the US government’s retreat and further limit access to porn isn’t far-fetched.  The UK government has shown a lot of interest in recent years in censoring adult entertainment online.  British PM David Cameron pushed through an initiative to add filtering technologies designed to block adult content.

“Cameron’s porn filter looks less like an attempt to protect kids than a convenient way to block a lot of content the British government doesn’t want its citizens to see, with no public consultation whatsoever,” wrote Laurie Penny of the Guardian.

“The question of who should be allowed to access what information has become a defining cultural debate of the age,” she added.  “Following the Edward Snowden revelations, that question will be asked of all of us in 2014, and we must understand attempts by any state to place blocks and filters on online content in that context.

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