Jonathon van Maren

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It’s happening: Governments are actually taking meaningful steps to protect kids from porn

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

May 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - It’s happening.

Slowly but surely, governments around the world are beginning to realize how toxic and poisonous online pornography is. The Republican Party declared pornography a public health crisis at their convention last summer. The states of Utah, Virginia, South Dakota, and, most recently, Arkansas have all passed similar measures. The Canadian House of Commons is investigating the links between sexual violence and porn consumption.

And now, Royal Assent has just been given to new legislation in the United Kingdom that enforces meaningful age verification for all porn sites—an enormous first step in keeping porn away from children and teens. John Carr, member of the Executive Board of the UK Council on Child Internet Safety, breaks down what this new legislation means:

“Age verification is now a requirement for all significant commercial publishers of pornography, wherever in the world they are based and whether or not they style themselves as being “free”.  If they are about making money and they want to have access to the UK market they must have age verification.  If they don’t they can be fined and ultimately ISPs will be required to block access to them in roughly the same way that they block access to child abuse images.”

As Fight the New Drug lays out, the technology that was developed to facilitate this solution to the problem of children being exposed to porn is actually very effective:

Here’s how it will work. Rather than porn sites putting a ridiculous “18+ to enter” button that can be clicked just as easily by an 8-year old as a 28-year old, ISPs will access public information that will help to identify the age of the visitor. Ernie Allen, Founder, Former President & CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, has insight into how this technology will play out, as outlined by the recent legislation.

“It is based on third-party trusted verification through using existing robust data sources; i.e., credit card, mobile ID, data analysis companies, etc. Thus, the operator of the site will never know who is accessing the site, only that this is someone who is at least 18,” Allen said in an interview with the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. “The British call it ‘pseudonymous’ identification. It is more complicated than that, but the UK has developed the technology for a credible, effective, inexpensive solution, and it is being examined and monitored by other countries with whom I have spoken.”

There will be no cost to the user, according to Allen, and best of all, it’s actually effective. This is an evolving field of technology, but Allen says there is great enthusiasm about this approach in both the UK and across all of Europe—and possibly the United States, eventually.

The United Kingdom is not the only nation pushing to keep pornography out of the hands of children. Activists across the United States, Canada, and Australia are also pushing. India has already attempted an out-and-out porn ban, and is now searching for a more effective way of restricting access. Russia has cut off access to some porn sites because as one court noted, they found “the site’s content to have ‘a negative influence on the human psyche; [it] violates citizens’ rights and impacts the psychological development of children as well.’”

If people could see what I see in high schools right across North America, they would greet this news as happily as I do. Children are being ruined by this material before they’re even old enough to be in a relationship. It’s twisting their view of sexuality, of beauty, of femininity, and of masculinity.

Porn is anti-culture—it destroys relationships between the sexes, eliminates the understanding of real beauty, saps the desire for self-sacrificing relationships, and distracts from other pursuits.

If people understood the sheer amount of time being wasted on pornography alone - 4,599,000,000 hours in 2016 - they would understand why people have no time to explore poetry, music, and literature. They’re spending their time in front of a screen with jumper cables hooked up to their libidos.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Parents, teachers, church leaders, politicians, and health professionals are beginning to realize the damage being inflicted on the upcoming generations by the porn industry, and they’re starting to take action. Perhaps the next generation of parents will have some assistance in fending off attempts by the porn marketers to reach their children. 

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.

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