Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 5 September 2015

Demo plan at adult industry event

Published 22/09/2013

Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced proposals to limit access to some pornographic websites
Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced proposals to limit access to some pornographic websites

Women's rights activists plan to protest today outside an adult website operators conference where discussions are expected to take place about challenging proposed online pornography restrictions.

Members of the London Feminist Network and anti-sexism group OBJECT are upset with an item listed for the XBIZ EU three-day conference, due to be held at the capital's Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Hotel from Sunday.

Monday's agenda includes a topic entitled State of the Industry: The War on Porn, which is expected to discuss David Cameron's recently announced proposals to limit access to some pornographic websites.

It was reported recently that the Government's internet proposals include blocking payments to websites which fail to stop children viewing adult content.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, which will see some campaigners don overalls and masks in protest at what they describe as a "toxic" industry, Dr Julia Long from the London Feminist Network said: "At the very moment we are having a national debate on the harms of pornography, and not least the enormous amount of porn in teenagers' and children's lives, XBIZ is holding sessions specifically aimed at combating any attempts to curb access to internet pornography.

"Pornographers don't care about the damage their industry does. Their only concern is profit. On one hand this shows that the pornography industry is worried that measures such as filters will affect their profit margins.

"But on the other this is a reminder that this toxic industry is interested only in the bottom line and will stop at nothing to get its product consumed as widely as possible without regard to the impact."

Earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron spearheaded a new initiative aimed at getting internet providers to introduce internet filters. All new broadband contracts will have them turned on by default and existing customers will also be prompted to make a decision about their service under the plan.

XBIZ organisers said the debate - featuring panelists from the adult industry - would look at the Government's plans.

Industry lawyer Myles Jackman told the conference website: "Successive governments have mounted a sustained campaign against the UK porn industry and now's the time to fight back."

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