BY Jim Byset
A GROUP of women, featuring a radical feminist, a religious zealot, and an ultra-conservative MP have banded together in a bid to block porn on Canadian Internet Service Providers (ISP.) Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy Smith, radical feminist Gail Dines, and evangelical ‘policy analyst’ Julia Beazley hosted a meeting on the subject for parliamentarians and other ‘stakeholders’ in Ottawa recently.
“If we can get a man on the moon, certainly we figure out a way to protect children from unwanted porn’ said Smith, who is set to table a private member’s bill that would automatically block user’s access to online, fully legal pornography. Smith’s bill is effectively identical to legislation recently enacted in the U.K., which in 2014 requires internet users to register with their service providers to access legal, adult material.
Gail Dines, the founder of the radical ‘Stop Porn Culture’ group, and a sociology professor at Boston’s Wheelock College described pornography as a “public health emergency situation.”
(from left to right) Smith, Dines and Beazely at the MP’s offices
According to Tom Copeland, chairman of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, the conversation is nothing new.
“The discussion has gone on forever and a day, mostly it starts around child pornography and what can be done to combat it and whether or not Internet service providers can play a role, or should play a role,” Copeland said.
“And then every once in a while somebody decides, ’Well, we need to take this further, it needs to include general pornography sites’ —which aren’t illegal — ’it needs to include hate sites.’ It needs to include any number of sites that somebody all of a sudden has a burr in their britches about.”
Efforts to introduce legislation have traditionally been thwarted by ISPs and civil rights campaigners who point out that numerous, free alternatives are available to those who wish to block access to pornography on their own, or children’s computers.