Porn sites targeted in major crackdown by Pakistan authorities

The Supreme Court said 'pornography has an imminent role to corrupt and vitiate the youth of Pakistan'

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The Independent Online

Pakistan is reportedly preparing to launch a major crackdown on internet pornography and the country’s telecoms regulator has ordered internet providers to block 400,000 adult websites.

The action follows a recent order passed down by the Supreme Court in Pakistan requiring the telecom sector to “take remedial steps to quantify the nefarious phenomenon of obscenity and pornography that has an imminent role to corrupt and vitiate the youth of Pakistan”. 

According to the Express Tribune, just days after the ruling by the Supreme Court, the telecom sector regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), added it had provided internet service providers with a list of 429,343 domains to be blocked as it attempts to control the distribution of pornographic material. 

Despite warnings from officials that blocking websites at this level was a “gigantic and costly exercise” the internet service providers are bound to abide by the law set by Pakistani authorities.

This follows a 2011 directive issued by the country’s telecoms regulator which, at the time, told internet service providers to block over 1,000 pornographic websites. This, however, led to a surge in the sale of CDs and DVDs offering similar material. 

One entertainment dealer speaking in 2011 in Karachi said to the Express Tribune: “People no longer come here for Hollywood or Bollywood movies. They want porn.” 

Afaq added: “If you ask me, almost 90% of our revenue comes from the sale of such content.”