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Indonesia in pre-Ramadan web porn blitz

Another government comes down hard on smut

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Indonesia’s government has decided to come down hard on internet porn, blocking access to at least one million smutty sites ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

The vast south-east Asian nation, which has a larger Muslim population than any other at over 200 million, has strict laws relating to “negative content” online.

The country’s Electronic Information and Transaction Law and Telecommunication Law require that such content – which applies to porn as well as defamatory content and malware-laden sites – be blocked, according to the Jakarta Globe.

Such laws forced Research In Motion to block access to pornographic content in the country in January last year, after the firm was threatened with having its license revoked.

They also led to a three and a half year jail sentence for local pop star Nazril "Ariel" Irham after two sex tapes he made were leaked online.

The Indonesia government doesn’t have a comprehensive internet filtering system in place, instead relying on government censors as well as tips from morally offended members of the public to spot dodgy content.

“We’ll intensify [efforts to] block porn web sites. At least one million negative web sites have been blocked [so far], most of them foreign,” said communication and information minister, Tifatul Sembiring, according to the Globe.

“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 negative web site.”

Who knows, maybe the newly formed Internet Defense League will decide to shine its feline call-to-arms in the skies above Jakarta and mobilise action against this assault on web freedoms. ®

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