Two similar cases. One is in the UK and the other one is in Indonesia. While the British government is proposing to ban porn websites to protect children from morals degradation, the Indonesian government is doing the same which is said to secure national income from telecommunication sector. Yet these two cases have risen contradicting reactions from the corresponding public and investors. The government vs. ISPs in the UK with no major opposition from the public. And… tadaaa… the government—with supports from ISPs—vs. public (Black Berry users) in Indonesia. Yes, Black Berry does exist in this country. And its users are still in euphoria. Remember, UK is in the West part of the globe and Indonesia is in the Far East. What can we see from these cases?
1. Who has the interests in porn websites.
2. How big the public trust to the government is.
3. How either society interprets the freedom of information.
In Indonesia, for most issues involving foreign interests, public normally goes for the national interests. They tend to blame their government of being too weak in protecting the national interests. It seems the other way around this time. They don’t believe in the economic motive used by the government. They would even be more reluctant if the government used morale justification.
The BBC One’s Panorama has made a documentary on the impact of porn to teenagers and children. Watch Panorama: Too Much Too Young!
Operators demand RIM filter porn
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 01/11/2011 10:24 AM | National
Telecommunication companies have urged the government to force RIM (Research In Motion), the manufacturers of BlackBerry smartphones, to filter pornographic content, the Information and Communication Ministry says.
The companies that sent the request letter were PT Telkomsel, PT Indosat, PT XL Axiata, PT Natrindo Telepon Seluler, PT Smart Telecom, and PT Hutchinson CP Telecommunication, Communication and Information Ministry spokesman Gatot S. Broto said in a press release received Monday.
“The telecommunication companies sent the letter on Dec 1, 2010 to the Post and the Telecommunication director general, asking for help from the ministry. They demanded RIM filter all negative content that could be accessed with BlackBerry without reducing the service quality,” Gatot said.
The demand echoed a previous request sent by the ministry on July 21, 2010, along with Indonesian Internet Service Providers to all parties, Gatot said as reported by kompas.com.
Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring has said RIM had until January 21, 2011 to block pornographic content.
BlackBerry maker says it is committed to filtering porn content
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 01/10/2011 12:23 PM | Headlines
Three days after Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring threatened to shut down internet access on BlackBerry in Indonesia unless access to porn sites was blocked on the smartphones, maker Research in Motion (RIM) said it would install a filter for its subscribers in Indonesia as soon as possible.
In a press release made available to The Jakarta Post on Monday, RIM said it shared Minister Tifatul Sembiring’s sense of urgency on internet content filtering solutions.
“RIM has been engaged with its carrier partners and the government on this matter and continues to make it a top priority to implement satisfactory technical solutions with its partners as soon as possible,” the statement read.
A test by the Post showed that porn sites could still be accessed via BlackBerry web browser, but the sites could not be opened on other smartphones such as IPhone.
However, critics are worried that such a threat by the minister would lead to another form of censorship by the government.
Tifatul: RIM must filter out porn by Jan. 21
Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 01/10/2011 6:25 PM | National
Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring has set a deadline of Jan. 21 for BlackBerry manufacturer, Research in Motion (RIM), to ban all access to pornographic sites.
“Should the company [RIM] ignore our deadline, we will impose a sanction, including revoking the permit, in accordance with the prevailing law,” Tifatul said during a meeting at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta on Monday.
He said the government would use Law No. 36/1999 on telecommunications, Law No. 11/2008 on information and electronic transaction and Law No. 44/2008 on pornography to enforce this threat.
Tifatul said RIM would not get any special treatment from the government, citing that all telecommunication companies operating in Indonesia must obey the regulation.
U.K. plan to ban web porn draws concern from providers; Experts say it’s ‘technically not possible’
By Philip Caulfield
Tuesday, December 21st 2010, 10:50 AM
A proposal to block Internet porn in Britain is causing an uproar among Internet service providers, web experts and digital privacy advocates who say the plan won’t work.
British Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said in an interview with the Sunday Times that the government wanted to cut off access to pornographic websites to protect children.
Under the new proposal, ISPs would block household computers from all porn sites, and parents who wanted to watch porn would have to opt in – that is, specifically request the ability to view porn websites.
“This is a very serious matter,” Vaizey said. “I think it’s very important that it’s the ISPs that come up with solutions to protect children. I’m hoping they will get their acts together so that we don’t have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”
The plan is still in its early stages, and the British government is working to set up a meeting with ISPs to discuss the issue.
But while ISPs said they support the idea, many think any plan to cut off access to the millions of porn websites was a long-shot.
“Unfortunately, it’s technically not possible to completely block this stuff,” Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at Britain’s ISP Timico, told BBC.
Filtering systems are often imperfect, he said, and a giant porn filter would block access to websites that were not hosting pornographic material.
“The cost of putting these systems in place outweigh the benefits, to my mind,” Timico told BBC.
Nicholas Lansman secretary general of ISPA, the U.K.’s trade association for ISPs, said online safety was a priority issue, but that the responsibility of monitoring what children view online should fall to parents.
“ISPA firmly believes that controls on children’s access to the Internet should be managed by parents…with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down,” Lansman told the BBC.
He also said that ISPs currently block illegal and “abhorrent” child abuse content, but that blocking lawful pornography content would lead to the blocking of legitimate websites.
ISPs Virgin Mobile and BT, which already have programs that block some content, and Talk Talk have said they support the idea.
There have been successful attempts to stop Internet porn in the past.
No More Porn for UK Web Surfers?
Published December 20, 2010| NewsCore
The UK Government plans to combat the early exposure to sex of children by blocking Internet pornography — unless parents request it.
The move is intended to ensure that children are not exposed to sex as a routine part of the Internet. The move follows warnings about the hidden damage being done to children by sex sites.
The country’s biggest broadband providers, including BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, are being called to a meeting next month by communications minister Ed Vaizey and will be asked to change how pornography gets into homes. Instead of using parental controls to stop access to pornography — so-called “opting out” — the tap will be turned off at source. Adults will then have to “opt in.”
The new initiative is in advance of the imminent convergence of the Internet and television on one large screen in the living room. It follows the success of an operation by most British Internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent people inadvertently viewing child porn websites.
Ministers want companies to use similar technology to shut out adult pornography from children. Pornography sites will be blocked at source unless people specifically ask to view them.
TalkTalk, which includes Tiscali and the British version of Aol.com, is already introducing a new free service early next year called “bright feed,” which allows people to control the Internet so that all devices are automatically covered without the need to set up individual controls.
Homeowners can either specify which adult sites they want to receive or put a cinema-style classification on their feed to restrict what is received according to age ranges, such as U, 12 or 18. A survey by Psychologies magazine this summer found that one in three children aged 10 in Britain had viewed pornography on the net.
Vaizey called it “a very serious matter. I think it is very important that it’s the ISPs that come up with solutions to protect children.
“I’m hoping they will get their acts together so we don’t have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”
Claire Perry, a lawmaker and a keen lobbyist for more restrictions, said “unless we show leadership, the Internet industry is not going to self-regulate.
“The minister has said he will get the ISPs together and say ‘Either you clean out your stables or we are going to do it for you.’
“There is this very uneasy sense for parents of children that we do not have to tolerate this Wild West approach. We are not coming at this from an anti-porn perspective. We just want to make sure our children aren’t stumbling across things we don’t want them to see.”
Previously the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) had told MPs that such a blanket ban would be expensive and technically difficult to operate. But Miranda Suit, cofounder of the charity Safermedia, which held a conference on Internet porn last month, said, “Technically we know it can be done because the ISPs are already removing child porn after the Government put pressure on them.
“In the past, Internet porn was regarded as a moral issue or a matter of taste. Now it has become a mental health issue because we now know the damage it is causing. We are seeing perverse sexual behavior among children. Legislation is both justifiable and feasible.”
She quoted the example of two underage brothers sentenced to at least five years’ detention this year for a sadistic sex attack on two other boys in South Yorkshire. The brothers were said to have had a “toxic” home life where they were exposed to pornography.
This weekend some ISPs appeared ready to introduce an “opt in” clause voluntarily. Andrew Heaney, executive director of strategy and regulation for TalkTalk, said “Our objective was not to do what the politicians want us to do but to do what was right by our customers.
“If other companies aren’t going to do it of their own volition, then maybe they should be leaned on. Legislation is a sledgehammer but it could work.”
A spokeswoman for Virgin Media said, “We already have an opt-in approach on mobiles. We’ve taken this approach as mobiles are taken out of the home — and kept in a pocket — whereas parents can control what happens within the home and online.
“We’re able to block sites, so it would be possible to do the same on the Internet. It is just about finding the right approach.”
A spokesman for BT, which has a “clean feed” system to block access to illegal sites, said “We do what we can to protect children.”
Broadband operators to face porn ban?
Adrian Holliday | Dec 20th 2010
Broadband service providers like BT And Virgin could be forced by the government to block porn sites – or give users an “opt-in” to access them. Communciations minister Ed Vaizey wants a meeting with broadband players in an effort to protect children from web pornography.
“I’m hoping they will get their acts together,” he told the Sunday Times, “so that we don’t have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”
Practically it would mean adult sites would be automatically blocked. But some internet players are already concerned about how much such a move would cost to implement.
It’s not clear just how much the global porn industry is worth though some estimates put the figure close to £40bn, perhaps more. But whatever the numbers, the government is rightly concerned about the increasingly sexualisation of children, and the best way to protect themn.
Will the broadband providers co-operate? They will likely argue that they are there to provide a service for their customers, and not be a tool for government social policy. Making it harder for customers to see porn could conceivably cost them lost revenues too.
BT, Virgin, Talk Talk, BSkyB, Orange and 02 are responsible for streaming most UK internet content. We asked BT for a response. They sent us a press release on the issue.
“BT takes child internet safety seriously and works closely with the government to support the prevention of illegal activities online,” it said. “We are aware of the adjournment debate and the ministers stated intention of holding a round table. We would be happy to take part to discuss the issues raised.”
However it added that there are “many legal, consumer rights and technical issues that would need to be considered before any new web blocking policy was developed.”