Iceland's ISPs Eyeing Porn Ban

Bob Johnson

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Internet porn may be getting the cold shoulder in Iceland.

Two of the country’s largest ISPs — Vodafone and Siminn — are considering blocking access to adult material under the guise of keeping users safe from computer viruses and malware that the services claim run rampant on porn and gambling sites.

According to The Reykjavik Grapevine, although customers could still get access to porn they’d have to check in with their ISP and request exactly what sites they want to see.

Hrannar Pétursson, a spokesman for Vodafone said the possible ban is not a form of censorship but rather a way to protect customers from damaging software.

Although no formal decision has yet been made, RUV, the country’s national broadcasting system said the two ISP giants are targeting adult material, gambling and other questionable content.

On its website, RUV said its main obligation is to promote the Icelandic language, Icelandic history and Iceland's cultural heritage. It’s also charged with “honoring basic democratic rules, human rights and the freedom of speech and opinion.”

If the plan moves forward, Iceland will join Britain as another European country pressuring ISPs to restrict online adult material.

A public consultation asking British citizens to weigh in on mandatory Internet porn filtering closed earlier this week.

Findings of the British consultation are due to be published later this year.

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