Friday, July 30, 2010

Gigaba to fast-track porn law | DefenceWeb

Note by Marc Aupiais

"Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba intends to fast-track the passage of a yet-to-be drafted law that will compel Internet service providers (ISP) to filter content provided to users to ensure it does not contain any pornography South African Press Association reports the Film and Publication Board (FPB), an agency of the dysfunctional Department of Home Affairs, held a symposium this week to look at ways of protecting children from porn. "Despite recent amendments of the law and other efforts to stop the devastating effect on children of their access to pornography, it's not enough," FPB legal affairs manager Dumisani Rorwana said in a statement yesterday. "The law as it stands is not working, so we've no choice but to take it to the next level." Technology had advanced to a point where ISPs would be able to filter out around 95% of the content in a "highly cost-effective way", he said. Similar programmes to safeguard children from pornography were currently in place in China, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. "We expect resistance from those who claim the freedom to access pornography as a fundamental right," Rorwana said."However, it is well established in legal circles that the rights of children are paramount. By comparison, viewing pornography remains a peripheral right." Gigaba would now meet with his counterparts at Cabinet level to determine where the bill would best fit. The symposium also agreed on the need to block certain gaps in the broadcasters' code that had seen instances of "unsuitable content being aired during the past few months going unpunished", Rorwana said. "


http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9130:gigaba-to-fast-track-porn-law&catid=3:Civil%20Security&Itemid=113

While the "Freedom of Expression Institute" claims that there are lessor means of blocking such as parental blocking software, the fact is porn can easily be bought elsewhere. The Internet is the public realm. And the restriction in my opinion will stand firm. Australia is also pursuing something similar. It will certainly benefit productivity, and parental software is a civil means not a legal means. This law would be good in supporting the measures in the 2007 amendment on sexual offences, which has already been violated by tv services.

Google claims that the system being fronted in Australia might make internet slightly slower. Google makes about a third of their profits from porn searches or a similar figure.

Software is actually able to recognise sexually explicit images on the internet. South Africa already has an effective internet firewall allegedly of course. Freedom of speech is not absolute. Rights of children are paramount. Child porn is justly restricted and banned by legislation despite what the CC calls the constitutional right to it. This would fall into the same category.

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