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6 August 2012

Censorship and porn week

A themed week on the NS blogs.

By New Statesman

Earlier this year the Conservative MP Claire Perry proposed an opt-in system for internet porn, a “safe option” for parents where internet users would have to sign up to access adult material. The idea was dropped, but not before sparking a debate that had her opponents comparing the filter to oppressive internet regulation by governments in China and Iran.

This week, a landmark obscenity case has resurfaced, in which the Crown Prosecution Service will be attempting to persuade a jury that images of fisting (an activity that is itself legal) should be classified as “extreme pornography”, putting the defendant in jail and on the sex offenders’ register.

The debate on the limits of censorship is not over, and this week the New Statesman will be running a series of posts exploring obscenity, censorship and the regulation of porn.

We start with Nelson Jones, who will take a look at our particularly British attitude, and the V Spot, writing on the crucial differences between sex and porn. Later in the week, David Allen Green will report on the on-going obscenity trial, and Samira Shackle will write about the recent rise of India’s porn industry. Later we will host a debate over whether and how internet access to adult material should be moderated, and Steve Baxter will ask whether early exposure to porn really is as damaging as people think (he turned out fine).

Monday

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Nelson Jones: This censored isle, or a history of obscenity law in Britain

The Vagenda: How “sex tips for girls” – and internet porn – ruined sex

Tuesday

David Allen Green: An “extreme” prosecution?

Wednesday

Martha Gill: “Extreme porn” defendent cleared on all counts

Samira Shackle: The rise of porn in India

David Allen Green: The shameful and nasty prosecution of Simon Walsh

Thursday

Andrea Leadsom and Padraig Reidy: Should we step up online censorship?

Alex Hern: Extreme porn, me and you

Friday

Stephen Baxter: Porn never did me any harm

Alex Hern: The High Court ruling which could berak the internet