UNITED KINGDOM—Details are scant but media reports out of the United Kingdom hint at a compromise of sorts over the contentious issue of access to digitally delivered porn, with Prime Minister David Cameron considering a plan to block porn sites in public places such as cafes, airports and train stations.
According to the Mirror, the proposed plan would target public wireless networks with the goal of preventing people from downloading porn to computers, tablets and mobile phones.
“Government officials are trying to work out how widely the ban should be applied and how to implement it,” reported James Lyons for the paper. “Internet companies could automatically restrict access or it could become the responsibility of individual stores, shopping centers or coffee shops to police it.”
Reportedly under pressure from “concerned” groups to deliver on promises he has made during campaign stops for next week’s local elections to "protect youngsters from the explosion in cyber porn,” the PM has also specifically mentioned a desire to establish “good, clean WiFi.”
It's an issue the Brits have already beaten to death. According to Lyons, “The Government has been dithering for months over how to tackle the problem of web porn.”
Australia, of course, dithered for years over a similar penchant to censor, so in a sense England is really just getting its feet wet. But all of that is quite beside the point; the real reason governments find themselves unable to avoid prolonged states of dithering on the issue of access to digital porn is because they all realize (sooner or later and to their collective dismay) that the only effective solutions available to them come with inevitable consequences that are best avoided by legitimate democracies. (That's also why ineffective solutions often win the legislative day.)
Indeed, any guesses how many milliseconds it will take before this plan to blanket censor porn on public wireless networks—should it actually go into effect—is loudly denounced by the millions of diversion-needy British adults who find themselves immediately and inevitably cut off during their dull and daily commutes?