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Indonesia cuts off millions of porn sites for Ramadan

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Indonesia's minister of information said more than 1 million pornographic websites have been shut down in that country ahead of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, which begins at sunset Thursday.

Another 1 million porn sites will be shut down in the days ahead, and perhaps in the future, said the minister, Tifatul Sembiring, according to the The Times of India.

"We will block more porn sites during Ramadan, though that doesn't mean that we will allow such sites to operate during the rest of the year," Sembiring said.

The porn websites are based outside of Indonesia, he said. The country is no stranger to such blocking efforts. Last year, Research In Motion, which has about 2 million BlackBerry users in Indonesia, agreed to government demands that the company filter pornographic Internet content on its smartphones.

In 2008, Indonesian Internet companies blocked access to YouTube and MySpace after the government issued an order aimed at stopping people from watching a film that was critical of the Quran. 

Prohibiting online porn during times of national or religious holidays seems to have little affect in the long run, according to Corey Price, vice president of PornHub, an adult entertainment website.

"Banning access to porn sites for a month may curb usage in the short term, but ultimately it will draw more attention to the industry in front of a much wider audience," Price told NBC News. "We expect Indonesian traffic through our site to increase beyond average levels once the ban is lifted."

Indonesia, Price said, "represents just a small market for the online porn sites. If anything, this ban — and the global attention it has received — has only spread the message about online pornography to much greater audiences."

— Via The Next Web

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