Some governments and their policies regarding Internet pornography.
The Australian government has abandoned a proposed mandatory nationwide Internet filter banning child pornography, extreme violence, and detailed instructions related to crime, drugs, and terrorism. Instead of the filter, Internet service providers have agreed to block child pornography based on Interpol’s list containing 1,400 Web sites.
Anti-censorship advocates welcomed the decision but are still doubtful that blocking kiddie porn Web sites would be effective, as they believe child abuse materials are not traded on the open Web.
Photo: Piast | Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Egypt’s Prosecutor General, Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, ordered government authorities to ban Internet porn, based on a 2009 court ruling that said “freedom of expression and public rights should be restricted by maintaining the fundamentals of religion, morality and patriotism.”
According to Reuters, Mahmoud wanted the government ministries to block “corrupting pornographic pictures or scenes inconsistent with the values and traditions of the Egyptian people and the higher interests of the state.”
Some people fear that the porn ban is just the start of a crackdown on their other freedoms.
Indonesia intensified its online pornography ban during Ramadan earlier this year, shuttering more than a million pornographic Web sites, according to the Times of India. Previously, Research In Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry phones, was threatened by the government for not blocking porn access in its devices. The phone company complied by developing a filter for Blackberry users located in Indonesia.
Russia, meanwhile, has a newly-created register which aims to fight child pornography. The register is maintained by Roskomnadzor, the nation’s communications regulator.
Aside from child porn, Web sites that detail instructions on how to manufacture, use or procure drugs and those that describe methods on how to commit suicide are included in the blacklist.
Under the new Internet filtering law that went into effect last November 1, Web sites are given by Russian authorities three days to remove the illegal content before the sites can be blocked.
Critics of President Vladimir Putin are concerned that the law is a way for the government to suppress dissent.
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