Technology

Parents Television Council Applauds iPhone's Anti-Porn Stance

| by Baptist Press

LOS ANGELES, CA -- A conservative group that monitors the entertainment industry is applauding Apple CEO Steve Jobs for his pledge to keep porn applications off the iPhone.

So-called "apps," or programs, are wildly popular and can be downloaded through Apple's iTunes store. There's an application for nearly everything -- including news, sports, maps and restaurants -- but Jobs says the store won't offer porn. Approximately 5,000 sexually explicit applications were removed from the store early this year after the Parents Television Council, the conservative group, urged citizens to complain to Apple. The PTC noted that children often browse the store, looking for games.

Jobs' stance doesn't mean the iPhone can't be used to find porn. It still comes with a browser to surf the Internet, although it can be disabled with parental controls. Companies such as InternetSafety.com and BSecure.com also offer anti-porn filters for the iPhone browser.

Additionally, the iTunes store still offers some risqué applications, although the majority of them appear to be gone.

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Jobs took a stance against porn when the iPhone was released in 2007 and has reiterated that stance at least three times during the past month while also taking a dig at a competitor, Google's Android phone.

"The Apple CEO can expect further criticism from fans of pornography; but the PTC applauds Steve Jobs for his bold and courageous stance in favor of promoting decency and protecting children," the Parents Television Council said.

Asked during an April interview with reporters whether Apple would keep in place its strong restrictions on making applications for the iPhone, Jobs said, "You know, there's a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go."

He also has gotten into personal e-mail exchanges with consumers that went public. He wrote e-mailer Matthew Browing in April, "We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android." Browing had argued, "Apple's role isn't moral police."

Then, in May, Jobs defended Apple's new iPad -- which also uses applications -- from charges that the product does not give consumers enough freedom. The e-mailer, Ryan Tate, had written Jobs saying that "revolutions are about freedom," implying that iPad's commercials touting a revolution were off base.

Jobs retorted, "Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom." Jobs later wrote during the exchange, "You might care more about porn when you have kids ..."