REYKJAVIK, February 15, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The tiny state of Iceland, known for going its own way among European nations, is looking at possible ways to ban internet pornography.
 
The law is being drafted by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson of the Green Party, who wants to block access to pornographic images and videos on all internet-capable devices, including smartphones, computers, and game consoles, the Daily Telegraph reports.
 
Jonasson, Iceland's interior minister, is drafting legislation to stop the access of online pornographic images and videos by young people through computers, games consoles, and smartphones. He is looking at methods that would include making it illegal to use Icelandic credit cards for porn and filtering out pornographic IP addresses.
 
“We have to be able to discuss a ban on violent pornography, which we all agree has a very harmful effects on young people and can have a clear link to incidences of violent crime,” Jonasson said.
 
“There is a strong consensus building in Iceland. We have so many experts, from educationalists to the police and those who work with children behind this, that this has become much broader than party politics,” Halla Gunnarsdóttir, political advisor to Ogmundur, told The Daily Mail.
 
She denied that the attempt to ban internet porn is “anti-sex.”
 
“It is anti-violence because young children are seeing porn and acting it out. That is where we draw the line. This material is blurring the boundaries for young people about what is right and wrong,” she said.
 
Iceland already bans the publication of pornography on its soil. Offenses are punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to six months. Publication of child pornography is punishable by a fine or imprisonment for up to two years.
 
The internet is now the world’s largest purveyor of porn, a booming industry. ExtremeTech website said this year that in volume, pornography dwarfs nearly everything else on the net put together.
 
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The largest video porn site on the web, with 4.4 billion page views per month, “is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and twice the size of Reddit.” These sites, ExtremeTech’s Sebastian Anthony wrote, are “all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the internet.”

And people visiting them are staying a lot longer. News sites get average visits of about three to six minutes. “The average time spent on a porn site, however, is between 15 and 20 minutes.”

Experts estimate that as much as 30 percent of all web traffic is from porn, a number described as “staggering.” The Daily Mail reported that at peak traffic time, the largest porn site is streaming 1,000 gigabytes per second, or 1 terabyte, the equivalent of about one-fifteenth of the total amount of connectivity between London and New York.

Many analysts believe that the ready availability of online pornography has been the biggest factor in the growth of use by minors and the “mainstreaming” of more hardcore sexual imagery in ordinary media. It has contributed to the increase of use by women and by people using it during working hours. In 2008, a study found that as many as one-quarter of employees were using porn on their work computers.

The internet’s ubiquity has increased in recent years with more hand-held devices being internet-capable, and this has made issues of regulation particularly thorny.

China and Saudi Arabia have put national filters into place to make it more difficult for citizens to view pornography, but this has come under criticism from libertarians arguing that state censorship is not the answer for democratic states.