The UK Sleep Walking Into North Korean Style Censorship & Control
Somebody in the UK is attempting to take control of how you spend your money. They want to stop you purchasing a product that is consumed by millions of people across the country, men and women alike. That product is “porn”. Ok, before you turn off you might be interested to know who that person is and why they are attempting to do this and if you learned that truth it would make you question how this country is governed. It will also come as no surprise to you that the government department at the head of all this is none other than the Culture Department headed up by Maria Miller, who as I write is currently causing a bit of a storm with her over claiming of expenses.
I mentioned the product here was porn, but set that aside for one moment and just focus in on the detail. The person trying to get UK banks to vet your purchases and potentially prevent you buying something that is perfectly legal is a man called “Pete Johnson”. He heads up a quango called ATVOD which stands for “The Authority for Televison and Video on Demand”. Now you may not be aware of what ATVOD are and what they do, it would take many, many blog posts to cover that. The purposes of writing this is to detail the latest outrageous actions of ATVOD.
As mentioned above ATVOD are a quango created by another quango, OFCOM, at the behest of The European Union. So let’s just pause there, a wholly undemocratic body, the EU, passed a directive that meant an unelected quango OFCOM could create another unelected SUB-QUANGO of itself called ATVOD. The purpose of ATVOD is to regulate video on demand content in the UK. Now I don’t want to get into all the detail of what is VOD ? as that would take many, many pages and probably bore you to tears. That’s for another post.
Also for another day is all the detail about why porn shouldn’t and can’t be regulated by ATVOD. But that is what ATVOD have tried to do, they have attempted to regulate porn sites operated from the UK only. That is, porn sites that have video content, if they have just still images OR even live webcam sites (because they are live) ATVOD cannot touch them and of course websites operated from overseas are also exempt. So adult video sites operated from the UK are not allowed to show R18 content in free view, but webcam sites and foreign sites can ! Crazy right ? It’s a bit like having a law that says if you drive a car and were born in the UK you must have zero emissions from your exhaust but if you were born overseas you can drive around polluting to your hearts content. The internet is like the air we breath, it knows no geographic boundaries, you must either regulate everything evenly and fairly or do not even bother trying.
Now ATVOD realise how crazy this situation is (although they will never admit to making any mistakes or ever being behind the curve on anything), so now they are trying to get the government to bring in a new law (regulation) that essentially means the banks can stop you purchasing porn from any foreign website that shows explicit content in free view. They use statements like “it is of critical importance that legislation is enacted immediately”. They think that the loss of business from the UK will make foreign based porn sites clean up their tours, well they are simply wrong. ATVOD would have you believe they are doing all this to protect children from porn, but of course it doesn’t protect children from viewing porn on the huge free tube sites or live webcam sites or the plethora of adult social networks, none of which ATVOD can touch.
Weren’t compulsory filters supposed to protect children from adult content ? Is it ATVOD’s opinion that these filters are ineffective ? If child Z cannot view porn site X because his device is correctly filtered then why should UK adult Y be prevented from purchasing a membership to porn site X ?
The creation of ATVOD and it’s attempt to regulate UK websites was a monumentally stupid idea and now in a desperate attempt to try and look like there is a point to their existence they are now stepping way outside their remit and trying to control how every UK adult spends their money. They know their stance on UK adult websites is untenable……..or should I say “he knows his stance on UK adult websites is untenable”. Pete Johnson the chief executive of ATVOD, the drive behind everything they do. It’s no wonder, look at these figures from the ATVOD Financial Report 2012/2013
Regulatory Fees = £534,141
Chief Executive Salary = £102,000
Chief Executive Pension = £13,260
That’s 22%, nearly a quarter of ALL fees paid to this EU imposed quango go to benefit just one individual. I merely make the observation, is it right for somebody with such a vested interest, who is unelected, who heads an imposed quango, who uses the excuse of protecting your children (when they won’t be) to be left to make the running in such fundamental issues as censoring the internet and how you spend your own money ?