Target: Iceland Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson
Goal: Do not censor the internet in Iceland
Recently, Iceland Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson proposed a ban on pornography found online. The ban is intended to protect children from seeing disturbing images on the internet, but in reality is an unworkable plan that will only serve to censor the internet for all Icelandic citizens. The description of “pornography” is vague, and the ban does not have a workable plan to censor it. The ban will require censoring large portions of the internet to work, which infringes on the ability of Icelandic citizens to use the internet freely.
The ban describes pornography as “material with violent or degrading content”. This is a vague description that could result in a large variety of content being banned, not solely traditional pornography. Although the ban was created to prevent children from being exposed to pornographic images, the ban will prevent many people of all ages from seeing any kind of content deemed “degrading”. This could be traditional pornography or websites who use similar images to decry those that degrade. The language of the ban gives the government freedom to censor more than the original intent.
Blocking websites with pornographic content is ultimately an impractical way of enforcing the ban. It will block the ability of Icelandic citizens to access the internet, as well as denying them freedom of expression, for fear their own websites may be blocked. Companies have stopped hosting websites in Iceland for fear of how censorship in the country may grow.
There are ways for parents to stop their children from seeing inappropriate material. The government censoring everything that they deem inappropriate is not the most effective way, and will ultimately harm citizens’ ability to use the internet. Tell Iceland that censoring the internet is not a good idea, no matter the intention behind it.
Dear Minister Jónasson,
Recently, you proposed a ban on pornography in Iceland. Enforcing this ban will mean censoring the internet and blocking Icelandic citizens from seeing any content that is deemed degrading or violent. However, the wording of the ban is vague and does not explain what constitutes degrading or violent material. Putting this ban in effect will make it difficult for Icelandic citizens to use the internet or have access to freedom of information.
I ask you not to censor the internet. There are many ways for parents to prevent their children from seeing inappropriate material, but blocking portions of the internet from any citizen is not the best way to do this. There is a fear that this censorship will lead to censorship of other materials deemed inappropriate, which will lead to a loss of freedom of information for all Icelandic citizens. Stop this trend and do not censor the internet.
[Your Name Here]