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Hellraiser

I had a curious dream last night. I imagined the movie of Clive Barker’s novel, ‘Hellraiser’, as a metaphor for the World Wide Web.



This dream may have been triggered by reading that the Web is barely able to keep up with the demand for decapitation videos or my meeting at Westminster on Monday. There, I explained to one of the MPs campaigning for greater controls over the Internet, in the light of the tragic, Jane Longhurst – necrophilia inspired – murder, that cleaning-up the Web was a near impossible task in the face of America’s ‘First Amendment’ to the constitution.

Mind you, we are trying, even if we remain impotent in the face of Uncle Sam and the freedom to shoot bears. Quoting from the Parliamentary ‘Early Day Motion’ in Hansard, “This House notes with regret the horrific murder of Jane Longhurst by Graham Coutts who had become an avid user of corrupting internet sites such as 'necrobabes', 'death by asphyxia' and 'hanging bitches'; offers its full support to the family of Jane Longhurst in their call for action to be taken to close down these sites; calls on the Government to conduct a review of the Obscene Publications Acts of 1959 and 1964 and all other key legislation; and asks the Home Secretary to ensure better co-operation from the international law enforcement agencies to close down such internet sites, which are likely to incite people to do harm to others".

The Westminster debate from the House of Commons Hansard on 18th May 2004 can be found here



Perhaps I should finish this entry with a favourite quote from Isaac Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. The Angel Gabriel to the Angel Uriel, instructing him to protect the Garden of Eden – from marauding serpents and the greater dangers of TCP/IP.

“To you by lot and course is given, charge and strict watch over this happy place, that no evil thing approach or enter in”.

Mind you, he hadn’t reckoned with hackers, phishers, digital photography, necrophilia web sites and on-line porn, just to mention a few of the challenges that Adam and Eve managed to avoid.

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