In an appropriate spirit of impotent rage, Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that the British government was going to do something about online pornography:
Most households in the UK will have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they choose to receive it, David Cameron has announced.Two other reports suggest that this policy is not all it’s cracked up to be. The first is the row between the government and the ISPs that preceded this announcement, which demonstrates that the government has simply not thought through the practicalities of its policy. The second is that the Daily Mail is claiming all the credit for this “crackdown on web filth” (despite the Mail’s hypocrisy, demonstrated by the links to various salacious stories down the right-hand column of its report).
But even if this policy were better conceived, it would still be doomed. Several years ago, Scott Adams (creator of the Dilbert strip cartoon) invited us to ponder the futility of such measures by asking us to imagine which was the more powerful force in the world: the combined brains of all the world’s greatest computer experts, or the combined libidos of all the world’s teenage boys.