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December 11, 2013 - In the News - The Province - MP seeking laws to block access to online porn

Press Release

By Rachel Browne, Postmedia News

As Britain enacts laws forcing Internet companies to block access to pornography unless customers opt in, a fledgling movement is under way to bring similar laws to Canada.

"If we can get a man on the moon, certainly we can figure out a way to protect children from unwanted porn," said Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy Smith, who is formulating a private member's bill that would automatically block access to online pornography. Anyone wishing to access porn would have to contact their Internet service providers and opt in.

Smith hosted a recent meeting for parliamentarians and other stakeholders in Ottawa, with speakers including Gail Dines, a self-described radical feminist and sociology professor at Boston's Wheelock College who founded the Stop Porn Culture group, and Julia Beazley, policy analyst at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

They warned about the increasingly violent nature of modern pornography and its effects on young users.

The ISP-based opt-in model sought by Smith is based on a controversial U.K. plan in which Internet companies will be required to block access to porn unless customers opt in. The U.K. plan will be in place by early 2014.

Dines said the U.K. opt-in proposal is the best porn regulation model that exists at the moment, because "kids can't get around it."

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