Indonesia blocks porn sites during Ramadan

Indonesia blocks porn sites during Ramadan

Summary: Country's minister shutters more than one million porn sites ahead of Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, with more to follow, report says.

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Indonesia's communications and information ministry has shut down more than one million pornographic Web sites ahead of Islamic holy month of Ramadan commencing Jul. 19, according to a newswire. Observers of the Muslim month of fasting refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.

All of the sites were reportedly outside the country and more will be clamped down this month, XBIZ newswire reported Wednesday. However, this does not mean that such sites will be allowed to operate during the rest of the year, Indonesia's communication and information minister, Tifatul Sembiring said.

This measure is also in line Indonesia's electronic information and transaction law, and telecommunications law, which targets "negative content"--defined as porn, defamatory speech and malicious viruses--within the country, Sembiring noted.

He also called on the public's assistance to block the Internet's two billion porn sites, many of which can still be accessed despite the blockage.

"Online pornography is an industry and the producers always seem to find new ways of escaping detection," the minister said. “We cannot check one by one, so we hope people will actively report to the Communication and Information minister if they find a link to a negative website.”

The move is the latest in a series of of measures taken against porn in the country. Last February, the minister had blocked another one million sites to weed out adult content, a separate report on XBIZ newswire said. Early last year, Research in Motion told ZDNet Asia that it was working with local carriers and the Indonesian government in efforts to implement porn blockers on its BlackBerry services.

Topics: Government Asia, Censorship, Piracy

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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4 comments
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  • There is nothing "negative" in (age restricted) pornography

    Medically, it is healthy thing, it prevents some serious illnesses. Socially, researches found that pornography lowers rape rates.

    Those medieval practices are shame of the mankind.
    DDERSSS
    • (I mean Indonesia's censorship)

      The subject.
      DDERSSS
  • 2 billion?

    Wait, 2 billion porn sites? That means 1 site for each internet user. Only god can maintain these many sites. I am starting to question my faith.
    coldlava
  • Eee... What?

    >>"Online pornography is an industry and the producers always seem to find new ways of escaping detection"

    Of course they are. Just refer to how useless are the attempts in the UK to block the Pirate Bay. And that's only one site. You can't block anything on the Internet unless you cut the cable (or block anything that doesn't work on HTTP port).

    "we hope people will actively report to the Communication and Information minister if they find a link to a negative website.”

    This is a request like from "1984". Why should anyone report such thing to the government? It's not its business! (Is not children/underage/coerced?) Sorry to say, but this is where my tolerance for how some countries define freedom is tested upon its limits...
    HinoMusouka