Sep 15, 2010

Banning internet porn!

(Published in Republica of 22 November 2010)
Sonja&David(Travelpod.com)
The intensity with which Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is persecuting internet pornography in Nepal is pretty surprising. It is hard to believe that the government finds internet porn so objectionable that it’s been given utmost priority when its hands are already full with all the kidnappings, murders and other criminal activities going on. The reason given by the government for the ban is national insecurity and increasing amount of vulgarism in society. It’s so ridiculous and outrageous that the government is lackadaisical about all the criminal activities prevailing in our society but is hell bent on blocking online porn. It another example of how common sense is at odds with governments (our government at least).

How is that if I or any general Nepalese for that matter watch porn it’s going to pose a threat to our national security? And how is that watching porn increases sexual violence in the society when no  concluding evidence has yet been found that suggests a positive correlation between internet porn and sexual crimes? Besides sexual crimes are least of the government’s worry presently. Why should what we watch online be of any business to the government? Who determines whether a society is excessively vulgar or not?

Since 30 to 40 percent of the total internet users visit websites for pornographic contents globally, it cannot be ignored that online pornography is catering to the sexual needs of certain people. United States alone has a staggering 244 million Web pages featuring erotic fare. I am yet to find a youngster (male) of my age who has never watched porn online. Does that mean every one of us is vulgar or morally corrupt? Is NTA morally superior to us so that it can dictate on us what is moral and what is immoral?

Internet service providers are saying that blocking all the porn sites is a job next to impossible and whatever can be done is going to be quite costly as site blocking will need extra manpower and additional hardware increasing the cost of internet. In other words, our government’s role-play of a parent is going to cost the ISPs heavily which in turn will surely have to be borne by the general customers. Not only government encroaching on our liberties but it’s also forcing us to pay for not watching porn. What an irony!

This Arabian country like Puritanism of government is not going to achieve anything else except  increased cost of internet surfing and curbed civil liberties along with more avenues for corruption, as the so called objective of preventing access to porn is going to be seriously undermined by the ubiquitous access of porn movies and DVDs in the market. If denied access to porn online, youth will vent their sexual frustrations out of the house and it will lead to an increase in sexual assaults on women. So much for the national security!

By:www.dreamstime.com
And by the way our temples and shrines tend to have a spectacular display of sexual acts and sexual positions to which even internet pornography falls short. Tudals and woodworks of temples and other religious structures are rife with images of men and women in various sexual activities. So what’s the government going to do about it? Ban the access to religious sites and temples as well?

Isn’t it time that our government started having some common sense and focus on providing security to our lives and properties instead of deciding for us whether it’s a good thing to watch porn or not, whether we are too vulgar or not?

Surath Giri