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Senate says no to mobile porn

The Senate wants to cut off access to mobile-phone porn Ex-press

The Swiss Senate has voted in favour of banning the commercial distribution of pornography on mobile phones, despite opposition from the government.

This content was published on June 5, 2007 - 11:02

The parliamentary chamber passed the motion, designed to protect minors, by 25 votes to four, despite Justice Minister Christoph Blocher questioning the need for a blanket ban.

The House of Representatives will now have to vote on the issue.

Rolf Schweiger, the centre-right Radical Party senator behind the proposal, said that it was imperative to protect children and youth from images which gave a distorted picture of sexuality.

Pornography, in particular, ignored the principle of mutual consent. He added that a large gap between virtual and actual reality could have damaging effects on young minds.

Schweiger said that it had become almost impossible to stem the tide of pornography from reaching a wider, younger audience due to advances made in broadcasting.

This, in his opinion, made it even more necessary to ban pornographic images on mobile phones.

Blocher against ban

For its part, the government said that such a ban was unnecessary.

It was already illegal to give under-16s access to pornographic images, said Blocher. The problem was not in the law but its implementation.

Blocher added that a ban would not be of much use in any case as people were still free to download images from computers to put onto their phones.

Anita Fetz from the centre-left Social Democrats criticised the minister's position, saying that he evidently "had no idea what kids could see these days or he wanted to protect porn providers".

She added that it was delusional to think that young people's consumption of pornography had no negative effects whatsoever.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Parliament's summer session, the penultimate of the current four-year term takes place from June 4-22.
The House of Representatives will sit on two Mondays until 10pm and three extended meetings are planned. One extended meeting might be held in the Senate.
All of the seats in the House and virtually all of those in the Senate will be at stake during federal elections which take place on October 21.

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