Last October, Nepal's government blocked 25,000 porn sites, but a new report shows that the effort was inevitably futile.
A year ago the government introduced stiff fines of approximately $4,200 on ISPs that failed to adequately block porn sites.
But now a new report by the Nepalese news site Annapurna Express shows that little has changed. Nepalese porn surfers have actually been watching even more porn than a year ago, Annapurna Express reported, based on data provided to it by xHamster. In
fact, according to research by the Nepalese news site, internet users based in Nepal visit porn sites more often than they visit any of the country's news portals.
In another unsurprising finding, the site found that the porn ban has done nothing
to curb rising levels of sexual violence in Nepal. In the year since the ban, reported rape cases in Kathmandu have climbed from 145 to 225.
Nepal's Government will soon ban porn sites in the country. The Ministry of Communication and Information technology (MOCIT) has instructed the internet censor, the NTA, to ban porn websites and any other sexually offensive/indecent content.
government cited an increase in the rate of rape incident in the country as the reason fir the censorship. It also claims that the easy sexual content access increases sexual violence in the country.
The ministry also requests all the ISPs,
telecom operators, social media operators, and Internet users not to distribute, publish and broadcast such sexual content in the country.
Some popular porn sites have been blocked for some years. Whereas some websites are still operating freely.
Attempting to read a censored websites leads to a page simply saying: This website has been blocked as per NTA's Policy.
A notice is likely to be issued regarding the government's decision to ban pornography in a week's time. ISPs doubt if such a move would be practical.
As per the government decision, cyber cafes will now need to take permission from the District
Administrative Offices (DEO) before starting their operations.
They will also be asked to maintain record of users´ login and logout time. The cafes will be monitored by representatives from DAO, District Tax Office, Nepal Police and local IT
professional recommended by DAO.
Following an appeal from the Home Ministry, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has been working with ISPs and telecom operators to ban sites that have pornographic content.
Internet Service Providers
Association of Nepal (ISPAN) has said they needed to install firewall and filtering software to block pornographic sites. The filtering software costs anything between US $100,000 to a million dollar, said ISPAN President Binay Bohora. Hence effective
implementation of the government decision would be a tall order for the ISPs, he added.
NTA Spokesperson Kailash Prasad Neupane believes that after porn sites are banned, then internet users will spend time doing research and creative works on the
Journalists have supposedly streesed the need to regulate internet and online journalism to curb the violation of freedom of expression.
They aired their views at a discussion in the capital. The meeting was called in response to the Nepal
Telecommunication Authority asking ISPs to filter internet content.
According to the Electric Transaction Act 2006, ISPs should restrict storing, disseminating, broadcasting web sites containing pornography, horror and extreme violence.
However, pornography, horror, communal violence and contempt of court are not well-defined, according to lawyers Santosh Sigdel and Baburam Aryal, who jointly presented papers on
Freedom of Expression on Cyberspace and Internet Regulation in Nepal .
Sigdel and Aryal said: filtering web content without clear legal provision might violate freedom of expression and breach the right to privacy.
agreement that web content should only be censored after a clear legal definition of the acts and regulations; otherwise, it may create chaos.