Govt orders 400,000 porn sites blocked

Published January 26, 2016
The move follows a Supreme Court order this month to ban online material considered blasphemous or objectionable. ─AFP/File
The move follows a Supreme Court order this month to ban online material considered blasphemous or objectionable. ─AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has asked the internet providing companies to block more than 400,000 pornography websites, officials said on Tuesday, as part of a crackdown on what the apex court calls “offensive content”.

The move follows a Supreme Court order this month to ban online material considered blasphemous or objectionable.

Major pornography website are already barred in the country, though hundreds of thousands have fallen through the cracks of internet censors.

“ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have been directed to block more than 400,000 websites having pornographic content,” a senior government official told AFP.

Industry officials confirmed the move and said they have already started blocking such sites but it could take some time to complete.

Other websites, including Facebook and YouTube, have previously been banned as part of a government-led censorship campaign, and authorities continue to restrict thousands of online links.

Last week, government lifted the years-long YouTube ban, in place since 2012 after the video sharing site had uploaded blasphemous content.

Related: YouTube returns to Pakistan

But the localised version of the video-sharing site may still be regulated by authorities who can ask Google to remove material deemed inappropriate.

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