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Just an email to thank you for a decent and sane contribution to the Internet pornography debate ("The list and the Hysteria", Network, 2 September).

These are the qualities that make me enjoy the Independent as a whole, and why it has been my regular paper ever since it started. Thanks again.

Peter Ceresole,


Regarding your article "The list and the hysteria", I have been using the Net for over three years. In that time, I have been constantly asked if there is only pornography on the World Wide Web. My answer is this:

If you use a search engine and enter the word "sex", you will find upwards of 15,000 listings. OK, go ahead, choose one. As part of a demonstration I gave recently, we tried to access several hard and soft porn sites. On every occasion, the user would have to contact the page author for an authorisation code or subscribe to the site (often costing over pounds 50 for a year).

As the authors are usually outside the UK, this amounts to a sizable phone bill. Also, at this stage you do not know the actual content of the type of pictures available.

Is a schoolboy (or girl) really going to spend hours sifting through 15,000 Web sites, obtaining numerous authorisation codes and running up a huge telephone bill when nearly all these pictures are available from the top shelf of their local newsagent for a fiver or so?

Let's be real. This is not solely a pornography issue. The reason for wanting censorship on the Web is the fear that like-minded people may just get together and have some innocent fun - without Big Brother knowing!

Russell Bave,

Isle of Wight

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