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Hate the porn filters? Here’s how you can help

We’ve had a lot of feedback on this porn filtering business. While a few of you have showed some support for the idea of protecting the lil’ ones, the vast majority of you don’t want them to be implemented at all. Fortunately, you’re not the only ones as several thousand people have already signed a couple of petitions hoping to put a stop for it.

Here’s how you can do so too.

The first one and the biggest of the two, is the Epetition over at the HM Government site. So far there’s just under 35,000 signatures and it’s growing fast. To sign that one, head here.

The second of the two is run by the Open Rights Group. It’s not got quite as many signees a the moment, with about 10,000 signatures but it’s on the rise. To sign that one, head here.

cameronfilter

However, these are just two of the basic steps you can take. If you want to go one step further, the best thing you can do is get in touch with your Member of Parliament. You can find out who represents your area by going here and putting in your postcode.

Make sure that when you email or phone them, you sound professional, adult and most importantly informed. I’d urge you all to write your own points, but if you’d like to copy and paste a few, here’s the email I sent to my local MP:

NB. Don’t forget to replace the names where applicable.

Dear [Name of your MP here],

My name’s [Your name here], I’m a [Your job here] and one of your constituents living in [Your town here]. I am writing to you today to express my concern at David Cameron’s announcement for his intention to implement compulsory opt-out pornography filtering.

There are several reasons I feel this is a dangerous move:

1: It’s far, far too vaguely worded. First off, “Rape porn,” could apply to actual video of rape (which as far as I am aware, is illegal to film or posses anyway, thereby invalidating it’s need for separate inclusion) or more likely, role played depictions of rape. Again, there are several levels to this. It could theoretically apply to rough sex or something that involves physical bondage, or professionally acted pornography that role plays a real rape scenario.

In each of those situations however, as long as two consenting adults are taking part, then nobody is causing harm to anyone. Likewise those watching it are not hurting anyone. Making the simple act of viewing this material illegal, makes it much more likely for people to be caught out by viewing something accidentally and potentially face criminal charges for something that isn’t harming anyone.

Blocking pornography, threatens whole swathes of the internet that are completely unrelated to pornographic entertainment.

3: Mr Cameron and the conservatives have said many times that they want “Big Society,” to handle much of its daily existence. This is completely contradictory to the idea of Mr Cameron’s legislation of morality when it comes to pornography.

However, if this is the direction that the government is going, it worries me that we’ll see more government sanctioned moral policing in the future. What’s to stop the government from deciding that dissent is something that should be blocked online? Or that twitter is a place of hatred and racism because a small few consider that acceptable practice?How can we trust a government to not block anything that its politician’s personal moralities disagree with?

4: These filters are already available for parents. Mr Cameron has praised the filter already available to TalkTalk customers and it is far from the only one. 3rd party filters have been used by schools and other institutions for years, so why is it presumed that parents aren’t capable of putting these filters in place themselves?

On top of that, Mr Cameron’s statements have revolved around protecting children. How exactly do these filters protect children in my home, where there are no children? When children visit my house, they aren’t allowed on the computers. That’s a rule I set and it protects them without the need for limiting my adult internet experience.

Now, I am aware that the filters Mr Cameron is purposing, will be optional. However, they are opt-out, not opt-in, which to me, suggests again, that the government believes people too ignorant of the filters in the first place, which brings me to my last point.

5: Education is far more viable. As with anti-smoking campaigns and anti-drinking campaigns, these practices have been shown time and again to be the most effective method of decreasing consumption. Education treats adults like adults and lets them make informed decisions, instead of forcing them upon people.<

Because of these points, [Name of your MP here], I would urge you to publicly show your support for the following petitions that are hoping to stop the blocks from being implemented and instead promote a government educational campaign on how to protect your children with 3rd party (free) filtering software.http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51746https://www.openrightsgroup.org/campaigns/cameron-stop-sleepwalking

I would very much appreciate a response from you and I hope that with your help, we can prevent these quite dictatorial measures from being put in place.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
[Your Name Here]

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