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Major Bangla blog, Google Books on BTRC porn list

  • Published at 12:40 am February 21st, 2019
web-porn-sites-bigstock-19.11.2018
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However, the Dhaka Tribune managed to access both websites

A reputed Bangla blogging website and the free online library of search engine giant Google, have appeared on the BTRC’s list of pornographic websites scheduled to be banned.

The blog site somewhereinblog.net and the online library collection, Google Books, were found on a BTRC ban list the Dhaka Tribune obtained on Wednesday evening. 

Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB) President Aminul Hakim said he was aware of the matter.

“We have blocked all the adult sites listed, and also the two other websites, complying with a recent order from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC),” he said.

However, the Dhaka Tribune managed to access o both websites. 

After he was informed of the matter, Aminul said: “They are officially blocked.”

However, BTRC Chairman Md Jahurul Haque, when contacted, said he was unaware of this development. 

“All I know is that we blocked a number of porn sites, but I cannot provide specific details,” he added. 

Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said they ordered blocking of more than 20,000 phonographic websites, along with somewhereinblog and Google Books.

When asked if www.somewhereinblog.net and books.google.com.bd were in anyway related to pornography, the technocrat minister said they had objectionable content.

“Have you ever gone through the content that blogging websites publish?,” he asked the reporter, hen the latter questioned as to how the websites appeared to be harmful.

“After verifying reports on all the websites, we made the move. The government is not having the porn sites blocked by internet service providers (ISPs) alone,” Jabbar said.

More technological platforms are also being engaged for the crackdown project on pornographic websites, as many more such sites are waiting in the pipeline, he maintained. 

He, however, said there might be some mistakes in verifying the websites in question and added: “In such cases, the mistakes will be resolved.” 

On accessibility to the two websites, the minister said they can only be visited through proxy internet browsers.  

On Monday, the government ordered the shutdown of 15,636 adult and 2,235 gambling websites.

The blogging website ranked second while Google Books ranked 28th on a list of 345 porn websites as seen on an Excel sheet, which the BTRC sent to the ISPs as part of the crackdown. 

At a UN event on February 5, the minister said the government is ready for a content filtering project and the procedure for this may start from March. 

According to International Internet Gateway (IIG) operators, the country uses 1,100 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth regularly. 

The crackdown on porn and gambling sites will massively reduce usage since a vast number of internet users regularly visit the websites, operators say. 

As of December last, Bangladesh has at least 91.348 million internet users, with 85.552 million of them having access to mobile internet.