Exitus Acta Probat — The End Justifies Means

This is totally off-topic rant on Finnish censorship, written sometimes ago, but I haven’t had time to finish it up.

Our government, especially certain ministers, such as Suvi Linden, and Anne Holmlund (and ministers from previous government who were in charge of preparing the law) seem to thing that the end justifies means in fighting against crimes, in this case child pornography. Moreover, many, including Linden, Holmlund, and Pelastakaa lapset ry are taking stance, which can be described as if we do no not see it, it does not happen.

Our government implemented a law that gives the police a right to censor Internet pages (not hosted in Finland) that contain pictorial child pornography.

Firts, the law is against the idea behind our governmental system, based on separation of power (execution, legislation, and judicial power should be separated); now the police has been appointed to be execution and judicial power without a real control mechanism. And very soon the police demonstrated why the separation of power is needed by consorting an anti-censorship site in Finland.

Second, the law might be against Finnish constitution.

Third, the law does not work as intended. By blacklisting police is only spotlighting pages and sites in Internet and make it easy to dig those sites up automatically (as illustrated in figure below).

Figure (image by Lari Liikala, http://users.jyu.fi/~lajoliik/lapo.htm)

Moreover, for some reasons Finnish police seem to be happy to censor sites, but not go beyond that, i.e., try to stop those operations. If the censored sites sites contains illegal material it should be straightforward to stop operation by international co-operation (95% of censored site are in USA, Canada, or EU). The problems of the law was even pointed out by the police before law the Parliament accepted it.

Good reading in regards of censorship is The filtering matrix: Integrated mechanisms of information control and the demarcation of borders in cyberspace by Nart Villeneuve in First Monday 11:1 (2006) and Nettisensuuri-FAQ by EFFI.

Published by lankoski

Petri Lankoski, D.Arts, is a Associate Professor in Game Studies at the school of Communication, Media and IT at the Södertörn University, Sweden. His research focuses on game design, game characters, role-playing, and playing experience. Petri has been concentrating on single-player video games but researched also (multi-player) pnp and live-action role-playing games. This blog focuses on his research on games and related things.

One thought on “Exitus Acta Probat — The End Justifies Means

  1. Sensoring lapsiporno.infor was downright ugly. The university network is not (and from what I have heard, will not be) censored, so I can access it. A censorship program that is ridiculously easy to avoid, has nobody checking and that is woefully inaccurate is just a bad idea, from whatever direction it is looked at.

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