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mercoledì 17 aprile 2013

India, al bando la pornografia

The Supreme Court has asked the government to respond to a public interest litigation which seeks to make watching online pornnon-bailable offence.

Petitioner Kamlesh Vaswani says that the proliferation of Internet pornography is debasing people’s idea of sex, and also results in increased sexual assaults on women.
In a society which publicly espouses prudishness and where sex talk in public space is almost absent, porn videos and pictures (not to mention sex toys) are freely available, and online porn is thriving.
While there are social and political groups who attack Valentine’s Day celebrations and “moral policemen” who haul up couples sitting together in parks, smut has been left alone, relatively speaking.
When a debate on censoring porn comes up, one of the key questions is – how harmful is it?
“Porn is always on demand and watching brutal form of porn increases the viewer’s appetite for similar actions within society,” Vaswani said in his petition.
Reams of newsprint have been dedicated to the negative effects of porn – from spawning ‘porn addicts’ to destroying marriages.
But the main argument, it would seem, is against exposing people to extremely graphic porn which uses degradation, pain, sado-masochism and the like as a tool for gratification.
Vaswani also mentioned the Delhi gang rape incident to support his case. “Offenders’ minds are mostly fuelled by pornography as the sexual offender or rapist achieve his gratification not from sexual release alone but also from the thrill of domination, control and power.”
Advocates of a similar ban in Iceland agree. “When a 12-year-old types ‘porn’ into Google, he or she is not going to find photos of naked women out on a country field, but very hardcore and brutal violence,” said Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to Iceland’s interior minister.
Of course, a ban on any content on the Internet is bound to cause an uproar from India’s vocal online community, raising issues of freedom of expression and human rights.
Is it OK to curtail online freedom and the right to watch what people want? Is it even possible to ban Internet porn? There are a few million porn sites on the Internet, and blocking all of them seems like it would be impossible. And technically competent users can always turn to proxy servers and virtual private networks to get access to what they want to see.
Then there is the matter of supply and demand:
-         About 30,000 people are watching porn each second around the world.
-         Xvideos, the largest porn site on the Web, gets 4.4 billion page views per month.
-         About 30 percent of all Web traffic is porn.
Under circumstances like these, should India even try? Let us know what you think.

India set to ban internet porn over rape fears April 17 2013

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