Distracted by Royal Baby, Britons Lose Unfettered Access to Porn

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Britons will have to "opt in" to view pornography

Beware, Britons: While you're distracted by the birth of a new royal baby, the government is curbing your ability to view porn.

Saying online pornography hurts children, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that by the end of the year all new computers sold in Great Britain will have filters switched on so that users have to "opt in" to access pornography, according to the Guardian.

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Meanwhile, Google and others will need to draw up a “blacklist” of depraved and illegal search terms, the Telegraph reported.

The idea is to keep kids from viewing pornography, and to stop the proliferation of child pornography by making all porn harder to access.

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But Telegraph blogger Mic Wright (not a rap name) contends that the prime minister is using the praiseworthy goal of eradicating child pornography to limit legal content. Since child pornography is already illegal, it is almost always trafficked in secret, he said.

And then there's that problem that always arises in U.S. porn crackdowns: What exactly constitutes porn? Sure, there's the "I know it when I see it" porn. But what about future news articles listing the depraved and illegal terms? What about essays that use those terms to accuse the new measures of overreaching? What about the barrage of barely clothed celebrities who fill the Daily Mail? What about images of consenting adults doing what consenting adults do?

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One more thing: What if voyeurs all over Great Britain decided to focus all their cameras at once in the direction of one pretty young woman, writing incessantly for nine months about her reproductive system? Would that be obscene? What if the news media speculated constantly about when sex with her husband might result in her becoming pregnant? Would that be considered depraved? Would you need to opt-in to see images, posted without her consent, of her "royal baby bump," or speculating about the state of her marriage?

Where can I opt out?

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