Internet in Poland to be porn-free after all?
Can’t leave parliamentarians alone for 3 days, can you.
Today, the Administration and Digitization Commission of Sejm (the lower chamber of Polish Parliament) has approved for further proceedings a project of “A Resolution concerning actions to limit children’s access to pornography on the Internet”, which used to “call upon the Minister of Administration and Digitization to guarantee parents a right to porn-free Internet” – the final draft is still not available on Sejm website, but it should soon be available here.
In comparison with the original project the new text is… better, although that does not mean it’s any good. Here it is for your reading pleasure (please note: the translation is mine and unofficial, and I omit the rather unimportant “whereas…” part):
By Sejm of the Republic of Poland of ……………
Concerning actions to limit children’s access to pornography on the Internet
- Sejm of the Republic of Poland moves for the Minister of Administration and Digitization to prepare solutions which will guarantee parents a right to access the Internet network free from pornography.
- These solutions should follow these guidelines:
- Any person should have the possibility to block transmission of any pornographic materials;
- An internet service provider should provide tools that would allow blocking transmission of pornographic materials;
- An internet service provider is required to provide tools that would allow blocking transmission of pornographic materials free of charge;
- An internet service provider can disable access to pornographic materials. An agreement with a customer should reflect this.
- Minister of Administration and Digitization shall present a proposal of such solutions within 18 months from the date of adoption of this resolution.
Yep. The Commission has convened on this issue mere week after the previous session, not giving enough time to properly prepare and have a serious discussion. At least the text has been changed in a way that makes it not entirely absurd (only just a bit, depending on who is reading it).
What does that mean?¶
One could read the text of the resolution in a way that would give the Ministry the possibility to simply reply:
There are parental filters available, free of charge, for any software platform, KTHXBAI.
…or, in a way that would require an answer along those lines:
ISPs are required to “voluntarily” censor the Net on the level of their core infrastructure, opt-in or opt-out.
Basically, we need to make sure that (providing that the resolution clears Sejm) the Ministry will not go in the direction of a solution that would introduce central filtering of the Internet.
The only sane solution I see is filtering on end-user devices (including home routers). During consultations last year, regarding this very topic, this has exactly been the solution we have suggested the Ministry should go along with. Time to take it off the shelf, I guess.
Now Sejm has to decide, and this will happen during next few weeks. Unfortunately, the modified project apparently has the support of the coalition, so I’d like to invite Poles to write their representatives, and in the meantime I’m prepping up for an 18-month fight to keep any central-level filtering, be it obligatory or “voluntary” (as in the UK), limited to end-user devices.
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