02 August 2010

Banning Pornography in Indonesia Proves a Real Challenge -- NYT

The idea of banning pornography in Indonesia is one that no-one would have the testicular fortitude (or ovarian fortitude, whatever the case maybe) to oppose the ban. The reality is that banning objectionable content is going to be much harder than the Minister for Communication and Information, Tifatul Sembiring (aka TitS), has imagined, and particularly so before the fasting month of Ramadan.

There is a good article in the New York Times which quotes a resident Indonesian business consultant, Hasan Yahya, who highlights what some of the difficulties might  be.

What is certain is that Indonesia is no Singapore or China. So, it is going to be just that much more difficult to control access to the porn sites that the Minister so desperately wants to ban. Perhaps the Minister needs to think about cleaning up the DPR first, as the DPR seems to be a purveyor of porn.

The best part of the article for me was this little exchange, which I have cut and paste for your reading pleasure:

Making service providers assume the burden of screening will squeeze smaller operators hard, Mr. Yahya said.

Mr. Sembiring “is a Taliban copying what he thinks he knows from China,” Mr. Yahya said. “It’s hardly the example that we want to copy for this young and fragile democracy.”

Ouch! A Taliban trying to adopt the strict censorship of the Chinese. Ouch! To be fair, TitS would be at his very best (or is it worst?) Taliban Lite or "T-Lite" as he has not exhibited anything that would give him the gravitas of being labeled a full-on Taliban. There is always time, perhaps this is the first step in some grand plan, but in all honesty that is a conspiracy theory for another day.

However, and although I agree that it won't happen before Ramadan, I do not know that I would be betting any body parts on it:

I’d bet you my little finger nobody could make it happen,” Mr. Yahya said. “Not in the next few months, not in the time frame the minister wants, before Ramadan.”

So, for those who have needs, it might be an opportune time to stock up and complete your collections before TitS wins the day.

The journey to a porn free Indonesia continues!

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