The Indonesian government has pledged to have all porn websites blocked in the country within the next two months as it works to implement the country's strict anti-pornography laws.
We should not wait for too long to close down these sites
because otherwise more will people copy and disseminate this material, said Tifatul Sembiring, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology.
Tifatul noted that pornography was already prohibited by law, pointing to the 2008
Anti-Pornography Law, which was upheld recently by the country's Constitutional Court. That law declares, in part, that the state should protect its citizens from the dangers of pornography.
So if God is willing, we will fulfill our
obligations, otherwise the continued presence of this material will violate our law, he said.
Tifatul explained that the government's move comes in response to a request from Islamic groups and the Indonesian Commission to Protect Children.
He says the government will shut down objectionable domestic sites and ask the country's 180 internet service providers to block international porn sites. A spokesman for the ministry told Canada's Globe and Mail that the government has not
decided yet whether they will impose sanctions on ISPs that do not comply.
Update: Easier said then done
30th July 2010. From thejakartaglobe.com
Communications and Information Technology Ministry says it can block access to up to 3,000 pornographic Web sites a day, as part of Minister Tifatul Sembiring's plan for smut-free Internet.
Ashwin Sasongko, the ministry's director general for
telematics applications, said that his office had already installed filtering software called the Massive Trust Positive in all Internet-enabled computers supplied to villages under the government-sponsored Desa Pintar (Smart Village) program.
acknowledged, however, that with an estimated four million new pornography pages added to the Internet each day, it would be impossible to completely block access to such sites for Indonesian Web users, and called on the public to participate by
reporting offending sites.
But Internet service providers say they need the government to formalize its policy before they can take steps toward blocking the content.
Valens Riyadi, from the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association
(APJII), told the Jakarta Globe that a regulation on the issue was necessary, to ensure that what we do [in terms of filtering sites] doesn't violate public's right to access information.
Ashwin, however, argued that ISPs were better-placed
to identify offending sites, saying it should not be too difficult to filter pornographic content on the Internet and that the ministry would provide them with the list if officially requested.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian Telecommunications
Users Group said it supported the ministry's antipornography campaign, but questioned how effective it would be, given that many Indonesians access the Internet through their cellphones.
It's technically quite difficult to filter sites for a
BlackBerry user, so we wonder if the government plans to rope [manufacturer] Research in Motion into doing the filtering, said Muhammad Jumadi, the group's secretary general.
Meanwhile, ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto told the Globe that
the controversial bill on monitoring Internet content was currently being revised, after being widely panned by the public in February. The changes include a new title, Guidelines for Public Complaints on Unlawful Internet Content, signifying its
change of focus to get increased public participation in the plan.
Reports from the public should be justifiable and will be reviewed by a monitoring team, whose proposed makeup we've also changed to include 60 percent public appointees and 40
percent government representatives, Gatot said, adding that the team's chairperson would be selected through a vote.