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Indonesia needs Internet blacklist to stop porn

Indonesia's communications minister vowed today to issue a decree by the end of the year to "save the young" from pornography on the Internet.

world Updated: Jun 17, 2010 13:50 IST

Indonesia's communications minister vowed on Thursday to issue a decree by the end of the year to "save the young" from pornography on the Internet.

The mainly Muslim country has been scandalised by the recent online release of homemade sex videos involving three popular celebrities, breathing new life into proposals to filter the Internet for pornographic content.

Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring, chief of the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party, said he would draft a new decree in consultation with lawmakers after an earlier version was shelved due to widespread opposition.

"The porn video 'allegedly' consisting of three artists has insulted the nation's constitution and Pancasila," he said, referring to the founding national philosophy that enshrines belief in the "one and only God".

"We have beliefs in the 'Oneness of God' and a 'Fair and Civilized Humanity' as aspects of Pancasila. Our teachings have been tainted by the distribution of those videos." Citing a 2007 survey showing 97 percent of Indonesian high school students had watched or accessed pornographic websites, the minister said he could no longer stand back and watch while the country was "poisoned".

His proposed decree, which received the backing of lawmakers on Wednesday, would include electronic filtering of the Web and the creation of a "blacklist" of offensive material that would be monitored by a special task force.

"There will be a team to observe whether a website contains points from the blacklist. The team will assess whether such websites truly contain pornographic material," Sembiring said.

"If it does, we'll ask the website to delete the points included in the list, but we won't ban the whole website."

Sembiring also implied a link between Internet pornography and HIV-AIDS, and questioned whether state funds used to fight the spread of the disease could not be better spent. "The country has dispersed 180 billion rupiah (19.6 million dollars) to curb HIV-AIDS.

The budget should actually be reduced so the money can be allocated for other things that are beneficial for the country," he told reporters.