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UK Clamps Down on Violent Porn Sites

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Feb 5, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
UNITED KINGDOM – A global task force is underway to eliminate violent porn sites from the web, the British authorities announced Thursday.

Along the lines of eradicating child pornography, the Brits are currently uniting global police forces to focus on websites that encourage violent sexual behavior.

The effort comes on the heels of a porn addict who strangled his girlfriend with a pair of tights after viewing an excessive amount of violent porn.

According to the police, Graham Coutts, from Hove, Sussex, reportedly downloaded hundreds of images of asphyxia and necrophilia before he strangled his girlfriend, a schoolteacher from Brighton.

Coutts reportedly had a yen for images of dead or strangled women. He hid the victim's body for a month, the BBC reports, before setting fire to it. Shortly after disposing of the body, Coutts reportedly began searching the web for the same violent content that had driven him to murder in the first place.

A complaint waged by the victim's mother was reportedly the catalyst behind the British government's clampdown on violent porn. The victim's mother called for a countrywide ban on the types of pornographic websites that Coutts had been viewing.

The Brits are now in discussion with global law enforcement agencies to put a stop to violent porn sites, but critics are saying that the task could be as formidable as the fight against child porn; an undertaking that has taking up enormous police and FBI resources, not to mention years of international coordination among task forces.

Critics are also saying that an Internet initiative of that magnitude could infringe on freedom of expression rights when it comes to websites that people actually enjoy, versus websites that "encourage" violent behavior.

Some critics are saying that the Brits should focus on websites that originate in the UK.

"The problem is that even if you can get one Internet Service Provider to take a site down, there is so much competition to host sites around the world that it will probably appear on another before long," a correspondent for the BBC was quoted as saying.

In the meantime, Graham Coutts was sentenced to life in prison, the BBC reports.

"Jane would still be here if it wasn't for the Internet," the victim's mother was quoted as saying at the trial.

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