The #censilia debate goes on in Sweden, although it has not been debated as widely as it should. In a newspaper article that was print only, but made its way onto the internet via a scanner, Malmström very clearly states the fundamental mistake in her argument for a Golden-shield like censorship filter. It is worth translating, since this debate is much stronger outside Sweden:
Second, there are unfortunately huge amounts of strong images available. If we do not act, we risk that people visiting uncontrolled [sic!] web sites will regard viewing such images as normal and acceptable.
The assumption behind such a statement is that the ”average internet user” may become affected by the ”huge amounts of strong images”, and that the state must protect its citizens by censorship. This is exactly the same arguments that uphold the Chinese Internet censorship, both the Golden Shield, and the Green Dam Youth Escort. And this is not the way to proceed with a serious issue in an open society. Censorship does not contribute to the prevention of child abuse.
In another article in Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, we find an explanation for why Malmström is so keen on applying Internet block filters. The organization Ecpat explains:
In Sweden there are up to 50 000 attempts every day to reach the sites in the Swedish block filters. Even if these are [only] attempts and do not correspond to persons, and that this number may contain [hits from] search engine robots, it is still a measure which proves that this method is effective, says David Lagerlöv, press secretary at the organization [Ecpat].
Effective for what? Stopping abuse? No, a blocked site is nothing but a blocked site. And applying such secret lists of censorship onto parts of the internet means targeting the wrong persons. Instead of going after the very small minority who commit horrible crimes, the entire population is subject to a powerful countermeasure – state censorship – that already in Australia has been rapidly extended to also include adult sexual expressions, gambling sites and political satire.
See also; Telecomix Interfax.