Why women and men should be wary of Chief Pornography Officers Several Chinese companies are trying to rid the web of porn by employing a Chief Pornography Officer should worry us all, regardless of gender Without question the internet age has brought many new business opportunities to the fore. For example, a firm in China is looking to hire an employee to "research and study pornographic videos and images" as a job. Think this sounds like some social science research grant gone mad, or some young mens' idea of a dream career? Think again: it's the latest attempt by Chinese officials to continue to filter and censor the internet. The non-governmental organisation, called (with chilling Orwellian simplicity) the "Safety Alliance", claims on its website to be "a neutral and impartial third-party organisation establishing industry standards for internet safety, improving Chinaâ€™s internet usage environment, protecting netizensâ€™ Internet rights and interests." What's as interesting as the futility of such an exercise - apart of course from speculating how many millions, or indeed billions, the black market trade in electronic porn must be worth in China - is the extent to which private firms are increasingly taking up the job of â€˜Witchfinder Generalâ€™. We're long since used to stories coming out of China about the strict regulation enforced by government entities like the so-called 'Great Firewall', or the State Administration of Radio, Film and Internet. Seems private industry is cottoning on to the profitable opportunities of keeping folks down with state-sponsored contracts as well. The parallels with proposed measures in Britain are anything but farfetched. While it's unlikely that countries like the UK and Iceland could ever totally eliminate objectionable material as per policies recently suggested by our respective governments, that certainly won't stop those in power from having an appetite to try. And what's more, they are increasingly shifting the load from public bodies - which naturally always carry the stink of government censorship - to private ones, where such sweeping changes like ISP-level porn bans can be painted as benign 'voluntary' actions. The benefits of distributing such powers to private interests is that people are increasingly happy to give up their personal details in exchange for making their internet experience more 'convenient'. With widely interlinked social media profiles dominating most people's web experiences, it will be the matter of very little new intrusion indeed to monitor your porn access, and to follow through on prosecuting anyone who possesses offensive material. We should be incredibly wary of any government - our own included - that introduces plans to restrict access to information without even having decided specifically which information to restrict first. Your definition of pornography and offence is no doubt very different from mine. In fact we all have different limits on that issue, yet strangely assume everyone finds identical things offensive. The famous Hicklin Test - I don't know pornography, but I know it when I see it - is a poor heuristic on which to base any kind of official data transmission policy. Why women and men should be wary of Chief Pornography Officers - Telegraph **************************** Most fascinating. Not only Big Brother is Watching you, but also Little Brothers who want to curry favours from the Big Brother. An Orwellian nightmare like "1984"! Indeed one man's meat is another man's poison . Who is to decide what is porn? Many in India feel Item Numbers in films is soft porn and some feel it is great! But then Big and Little Brothers in China know best as to what is porn in China!