Three years ago, the parliament of Iceland was hailed worldwide as a bulwark of freedom for its bill to completely ban all internet censorship. This week, the same parliament takes up a government-sponsored bill to ban all internet pornography.
The sea change in attitude and emphasis reflects similar events in Thailand. Even after two decades of internet presence, Thai and foreign governments seem baffled by the information age. But the real scandal is that governments' politically driven attempts to police the internet are not so much wrong as wrong-headed.
The conversion of Iceland from free-speech protector to heavy-handed censor is a case in point. Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson seeks a specific law to install a Thailand-like firewall filter to stop pornography from being seen in Iceland by preventing internet browsers from gaining access to certain websites. As usual, the justification for the action is to stop the "threat to children".
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