News

By Gudrun Schultz

  VANCOUVER, B.C., February 12, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) –  Vancouver Archbishop Raymond Roussin has said he will consider cancelling diocesan contracts with Telus Mobility over the phone company’s decision to begin offering pornography through cellphones, the Canadian Press reported.

  Saying the move takes the “accessibility of pornographic material further into the public realm,” Archbishop Roussin told The B.C. Catholic newspaper that the company’s decision takes no consideration of the growing problem of pornography in society.

“Given the increasing awareness about the problem of sexual addiction to pornography through Internet access, and the abuse that this perpetuates of vulnerable persons, Telus’s decision is disappointing and disturbing,” he said.

  The second largest phone company in Canada, Telus began offering pornographic photos and videos to customers in January through Internet browers on cellphones, charging $3-4 per item.

  Telus spokesman Jim Johannsson defended the company’s decision, saying it isn’t breaking the law. He pointed out that pornography has been accessible on cellphones since they were first equipped with web browsers.

“We have the utmost respect for (Roussin’s) perspective but the reality is that adult content has been available on cellphones equipped with web browsers for the past several years with no controls of any kind,” Johannsson said.
 
“We feel that the responsible thing to do is put in place age verification controls and to ensure that the content complies with all provincial standards and regulations and is legal for download in Canada,” he added.

  Under Canadian law, Johansson said, the pictures and videos offered by Telus are not considered obscene.

  Archbishop Roussin told the B.C. Catholic he intends to discuss his concerns with parishes and schools in the Vancouver diocese, and is considering directing them to cancel contracts with Telus.

  More than 100 customers have complained to Telus about the porn sales, Focus on the Family Canada reported February 7, but so far the company has refused to cancel the project.

  While Telus confirmed the growing volume of complaints, Johansson said the service is one many customers want—company tracking of customer internet searches showed a “significant number” have already used the cell phone service to purchase pornography.

“We can’t make adult content go away,” he told the CBC. “It’s on your TV, it’s on your home computer; it’s now coming to your cellphones.”

  Vancouver Sun columnist Daphne Bramham wrote, “Few communities clamour to have a porn shop in their neighborhood. How many are keen to have virtual porn shops in the hands of everyone around them?”

“Most people don’t want to be accidental voyeurs when a person downloads sexual images in a public place and they certainly don’t want their kids to be.”

  A report by the Associated Press on a recent survey published in the journal Pediatrics showed that 42 percent of children aged 10 to 17 had come across pornographic material within the previous year—two-thirds of those children were not looking for pornography and didn’t want to see the images.

  A study released by British-based Juniper Research estimated revenues of US$14.5 billion from pornography sales through mobile phones over the next five years. By 2011, the study estimated, pornographic video sales would contribute more than 70 percent of income to the mobile phone porn market.

  To contact Telus President and Chief Executive Officer, Darren Entwistle:

  Write Telus head office
 
  TELUS Mobility
  200 Consilium Place, Suite 1600
  Scarborough, Ontario,
  Canada
  M1H 3J3

  Or fill in on line form at
  https://about.telus.com/cgi-bin/tcontactus.cgi
  Select Mobility and then Cellular/PCS and then enter message in box below that.

  Read BC Catholic coverage:
  https://bcc.rcav.org/07-02-12/

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Pornography Addiction Destroying Lives, US Senate Told
  https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2004/nov/04111909.html

  Large Increase in Porn DVD Sales Indicates Growing Pornography Addiction
  https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/dec/05121603.html

  STUDY PROVES “PORNOGRAPHY IS HARMFUL”
  https://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2002/mar/02031203.html