Internet Censorship in Bangladesh

 Internet censors to track down supposed blasphemy



  An Insult to Free Expression...

Bangladesh announces a panel of internet censors to trace supposed blasphemy on social networks


Link Here 15th March 2013

Bangladesh flagBangladesh has announced plans to monitor social media networks such as Facebook in a bid to identify bloggers who have been accused of insulting Islam and the religious character Mohammed.

A special panel is being set up, including leaders of the main intelligence agencies and the telecoms regulator, to exchange information and track down the people behind recent posts that have caused 'outrage' among Islamic groups.

Mainuddin Khandaker, a senior home ministry official who will head the panel, threatened:

We will try our best to dig out what's actually happening and find out the people who're making blasphemous comments against Islam and the Prophet.

There might be differences in opinion, but that does not mean anyone in the country has the rights to mock others' beliefs.

Islamic parties and leading clerics have targeted writings by atheist bloggers, calling nationwide strikes in protest and demanding the execution of those they accuse of blasphemy. Last month an alleged anti-Islam blogger was murdered. At least eight people have been killed in the anti-blasphemy protests. The government has blocked about a dozen websites and blogs to stem the violence, as well as stepping up security for the bloggers, some of whom claim to have been threatened by the activists of a leading Islamic party.

 

 Update: Innocence Re-shared...

Bangladesh lifts ban on YouTube


Link Here 12th June 2013

Bangladesh flagBangladesh's telecommunication authorities have unblocked YouTube in Bangladesh after 260 days of restricting access within the country to the video sharing website.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) blocked YouTube on September 17, 2012 to ban people from watching a trailer of a US film titled Innocence of Muslims , which mocks Islam and the religious character Muhammad. The telecoms censor claimed that it contacted Google prior to the ban asking them to remove the video, but Google reportedly refused to oblige.

The ban was lifted on June 5, 2013, making the site accessible to Bangladeshi netizens once again.

The block actually incurred a loss for the Bangladeshi economy, according to Fahim Mashroor, the ex-Secretary of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services. He said in an interview with German radio Deutsche Welle that the outsourcing industry suffered due to the ban. Last year, Bangladeshis earned 57 million US dollars working for the online outsourcing industry.

 

 Update: The blind leading the blind...

Britain and Bangladesh start processes to censor internet porn.


Link Here 30th November 2016

Bangladesh flagThe Bangladesh and UK governments have started a process to block pornographic websites and stop publication of offensive contents in the countries.

Ragged Union JackThe Bangladesh Telecommunications Division and British Board of Film Censors have formed committees to detect and block websites that contain pornography, vulgar picture and video contents, according to a news agency report.

The committees will make a three-level technical proposal by listing such websites ad contents within a week, State Minister for Telecommunications Tarana Halim said. The process to block these will start after getting the list and proposal, she said after a meeting on controlling offensive internet contents at the Secretariat .

A director general of telecoms regulators BTRC will head the committee, which will comprise representatives from National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC), internet service providers (ISPs), mobile-phone operators and law-enforcing agencies. David Austin of the BBFC will spearhead UK censorship efforts.

Tarana said the drive against internet pornography will continue even after blocking the listed porn websites. And no doubt speaking for the UK too, she said:

The availability of internet pornography and offensive content is creating a negative social impact on all the citizens, including the adolescents.

 

  Miserable Bangladesh...

Bangladesh internet censors specify their first 500 porn websites for blocking


Link Here 28th December 2016
bangladesh-telecommunication-regulatory-commission logoThe Bangladesh government has started an initiative to block several hundred pornography websites and already sent a list of more than 500 sites, mostly locally hosted, to ISPs.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) sent the list to all the mobile phone operators, international gateway operators, international internet gateway operators, interconnection exchange operators, internet service providers and other telecom service providers to block the domains from their respective networks.

After receiving the list the operators have started to comply with the directive. However, a few of the websites could not be blocked immediately due to technical challenges, said BTRC officials.

The government actually wants to create massive awareness about the issue and as many hurdles as possible in browsing those sites. Tarana Halim, state minister for post and telecommunications division, said:

Initially we have decided to block around 500 websites that contain pornography, obscene pictures and video contents. In the first phase we will go for blocking the locally hosted sites

The Daily Star has obtained a copy of an email that contained a list of 510 websites branded as pornographic by an 'offensive online content control committee'.

 


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