Banning porn websites is like fencing sea – TRC Chief

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

It was not possible to ban access to all porn websites in the country, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Anusha Palpita told The Island yesterday (03). 

Responding to a query Palpita said: "How can we ban all sites? All that we have done is to ban sites that have been recommended to us by the Courts or a relevant authority. We practically cannot ban all porn websites."

Palpita said that either a court order or a request from the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) was needed to impose a ban on access to porn websites.   

Around 30 to 50 percent of the internet was adult content and if TRC blocked thousands of websites, it would reduce the speed of the Internet, the TRC Chief said. "No one can point the finger at the government or the TRC. We cannot block all dirty sites though we wish we could. Mostly, parents should take the responsibility in this regard," he said.

"We have banned a number of pornographic websites including many Sri Lankan ones on directives from the Courts and the government," he added.

Palpita noted that more than 1,000 sites had been blocked so far. 

The TRC Chief said that there were over one million porn websites. Although access to some had been banned in the country, there were various software packages, which could be used to restrict access to porn websites, he added.   

"We can ban the sites but monitoring is not our duty," he said. 

"TRC alone cannot do these things. Parents should do everything they can to protect their children. You can find parental software with which you can see what your child is doing when he or she browses the net. We have already informed operators to use some software to minimize adult content. We have to minimize the negatives of the Internet and we have to make use of the positive," Palpita said. 

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