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Title: Pornography, panopticism and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
Authors: Petley, J
Keywords: Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008;Pornography;Surveillance society;Internet regulation
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Blackwell
Citation: Sociology Compass, 3(3), 417 - 432, 2009
Abstract: In May 2008, the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act was passed in the United Kingdom. Among other things, this made it an offence even to possess what it describes as an ‘extreme pornographic image’. This paper analyses the particular factors which gave rise to this measure, support for it amongst the police and politicians, and the problems which are likely to arise from attempts to enforce it. In particular, the paper argues that the measure is so ill-conceived that it is likely to criminalise the possession of a far wider range of images than was originally intended. More generally, the paper examines the Act in the context of (a) the increasing tendency on the part of governments both democratic and non-democratic to attempt to regulate the Internet and its users; (b) the development of the ‘surveillance society’; and (c) New Labour's marked tendency to legislate for private and personal realms traditionally regarded as out-of-bounds in a democratic polity. The paper concludes that the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act is a disturbing symptom of the development of the United Kingdom as not simply a surveillance society but also a post-social democratic state.
Description: This is the accepted version of the following article: Petley, J. (2009), Pornography, Panopticism and the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Sociology Compass, 3: 417–432, which has been published in final form at 9020.2009.00212.x/abstract.
ISSN: 1751-9020
Appears in Collections:Media
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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