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This article was published on October 1, 2018

    Nepal blocks porn sites after spate of sexual assaults

    Nepal blocks porn sites after spate of sexual assaults
    Ivan Mehta
    Story by

    Ivan Mehta

    Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

    Last month, Nepal’s government issued an order notifying all the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block pornographic websites in the country as a measure to control the rising number of rape cases.

    The circular says:

    The Criminal Code 2071 article 121 and other prevalent laws prohibit the production and dissemination of sexually obscene contents. In order to prevent the access of such content through electronic media, the need of pulling down such websites inside Nepal has become necessary.

    Nepal government porn ban/ ICTFrames

    A spokesperson for Nepal’s National Telecommunication Association (NTA) said that pornographic content has become a threat to the socio-cultural aspects of the country as even adolescent children are becoming addicted to pornography.

    Several ISPs expressed their concern that it is hard to keep a tab on porn sites as new ones crop up every day. Additionally, a website blocked by one ISP might not be blocked by the other. Reportedly, a few ISPs are already blocking some porn websites.

    This is not the first attempt by Nepal’s authorities to ban pornographic content. In 2010, the government prohibited some of the websites that included ‘sex’ in their content, but it wasn’t quite effective. It will be interesting to see how this ban pans out, as folks might use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to circumvent the ban and access all the porn they like.

    Nepal’s neighboring country India has also made various attempts to limit pornography. In 2015, it ordered ISPs to ban 857 websites. That didn’t go as expected.