Sri Lanka Pornography Regulatory Commission?


Posted by on August 2, 2008  /  26 Comments

In one of the two websites it runs, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) gives its mission statement – which is cut and pasted below:

“To create the optimum conditions for the telecommunications industry in Sri Lanka by serving the public interest in terms of quality, choice and value for money; the service providers with equitable access to spectrum and other common resources; and the nation in its drive for socio-economic advancement through a skilled and ethical workforce.”

We are surprised to see pornography not mentioned – considering the latest task TRCSL has been assigned  –  blocking porno. Lankadeepa reports only about blocking pornographic movies and video clips, not images. Assumed strict enforcement, this can lead to the ban of not just YouTube but Gmail and Yahoomail also, because pornography videos can easily be distributed via e-mail.

For the record, except for few countries including Cuba and North Korea, which had restricted Internet access in full (not just porno sites) no country in general blocks porno sites. Most countries that impose Internet censorship aim blocking political content – not porn. At least three Asian countries Thailand, Pakistan and Indonesia blocked YouTube recently for limited periods but have later revised their decisions.   

26 Comments


  1. Can someone explain why the government approves and sanctions the exhibition of x-rated or worse films in theaters located throughout the country? Regulating this seems a much easier task than regulating the Internet.

  2. See this. FROM MAHAINDA CHINTHANAYA TO TALIBAN CHINTHANAYA http://madeinsrilanka.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/from-mahainda-chinthanaya-to-taliban-chinthanaya/

    Your president is following our ideals. At last we are happy that these progressive developments take place in a non-Muslim country.

  3. This is stale news, but relevant in present context.

    Sri Lanka banks threaten to dump customers who buy kiddie porn

    Nov 16, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s banks said they would dump customers who paid for child pornography though their services and would also report them to the regulator.

    The banks said Friday they would have “heightened watchfulness” on credit cards and “other methods of transaction[s] relating to child pornography”.
    The customers would be reported to Sri Lanka Central Bank and “actions will be taken to terminate the banking relationship with the offender,” the banks said in a statement.

    The Sri Lanka Bank’s Association said they were acting on rules issued by the central bank and Sri Lanka financial transactions reporting law, where offences against children were listed.

    In Sri Lanka all types of pornography as well as gambling is illegal.

    A campaign to discourage child pornography use would be launched by the banks next Monday.

    http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/fullstory.php?newsID=1045713029&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=2

  4. Oooh! are these gentlemen really shouting against this act?
    what kind of people you are? why are you shouting against this? are you ppl owns brothels? or you ppl subsists from sex industry? or getting paid by pron websites?

    This is another comment I made for ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ blog;

    (Your comment is awaiting moderation.)

    This action is great!
    All who oppose this are ‘Wela bariyos’ & pimps !

    Now you idiots say “this action will cause to increase the prostitutes”…

    he hee…. poor sex maniacs!

  5. This is what today’s Sunday Times said. If it is true TRC does not necessarily want ISPs to block any sites (contrary to what their Sinhalese sister paper Lankadeepa reported) but will hold subscribers responsible porn access by a child.

    Soon many parents will be jailed for their children visiting playboy.com. :-)

    ********************************************************

    Unrestricted web access for payment in future, TRC
    2008-08-02

    The Government has decided to restrict access to adult websites by directing users to obtain a pass word for a payment in future, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has announced.

    The TRCSL said the motive of it was to prevent children from accessing websites meant for the adults.

    “President Mahinda Rajapaksa has recognized the seriousness of the threat to the children as a result of unrestricted access to the websites meant for the adults”, the TRCSL said in a press release.

    The Commission said that the President has issued a Special direction to the Commission that the websites featuring obscene and pornographic material should be filtered with immediate effect in order to protect children against internet pornography.

    Accordingly internet service provides have been directed to filter websites featuring obscene, pornographic and sexually explicit material, the release said.

    Those obtaining permission for unrestricted access to internet will be responsible for use of the service in proper manner and should ensure that the filtered websites are not accessible to children, the release added.

  6. Dear Sanath,

    Whether you like it not, sex trade (prostitution) said to be the world’s oldest profession and it will retain its ranking forever if it could do so for thousands of years. Online sex trade is just how it transformed sex trade to electronic form to retain its dominance. It is the online version of prostitution. Too smart, isn’t it?

    According to the quote belows, Late Ronald Reagan rates sex trade (prostitution) and politics as the first and second oldest professions in the world and doesn’t see much difference in the two. What is happening today in Sri Lanka is just a rating competition. Rate number two tries its best to go for the rate number one, not in terms of chronological age but with the quality of the trade.

    “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Reagan

  7. This is the beginning of the end.

  8. Sudhraka Jayathissa

    Check this article, http://amumiris.org/?p=52

  9. are you filtering my comments?

  10. Shehal,

    We do not remove comments. (with the obvious exceptions of filth and spam – that too largely filtered by software, not us)

    I think the reason for the deletion of your comment was a glitch in our system which has been rectified now. (Many others faced the same problem)

  11. this is a worthless effort, because nowadays with the wide use of file sharing services,you can easily upload any kind of porn videos onto their servers,and anyone could download it from anywhere in the world.and add to that, online porn dvd sales have gone way down..people no longer visit porn web sites,so this would look to many as one of many lame laws & regulations this govenment has imposed.this is just one of those tricks the president is trying to build up his image.

  12. Can someone explain whether a site like http://www.nudismprovider.com/pageant-videos.dhtml is not counted as child porn and why isn’t that blocked?

  13. sanath just because u are awosy prick who cant get it up its not eney bodies problem,,,,porn shouldent be band its natural to people to watch these things u diprived mofo

  14. this whole thing about porn filtration is not feasible. blocking is implemented in the following order – 1) by name (eg, sex, xxx), 2) by ‘whole’ website name. taking the first two examples, it can be implemented, but catch is, for instance say the word ‘sex’ is banned in a word match, if you get a email (yahoo,hotmail,gmail for instance) the page wont load or will with errors as it filters that word, suppose your married, your wife sends you a mail with the word ‘sex’ as in ‘I want to buy that sexy dress’, guess what, it gets blocked. 2nd option can also be implemented same way, but we all know these days there are numerous porn sites, its technically impossible to add all those links into a filter file and filter that as number of sites increase by each day. also, larger the filter file in the case of option 1 & 2, slower the web becomes as it has to filter every single word as it passes through the ISP to your pc. thus requiring more and more computing power to implement such a task and we are talking of a massive task here. those of you who do use unix can test it out on your own to come to your own conclusions. the net was designed for one purpose, to share information, it was never designed for tasks such as filtration, which undermines the whole idea of the internet. as far as Limewire, Torrents go, they operate on ports which you open up manually from home, and we have the option of changing those ports at will. if ISPs are to block those, they have to block all ports and leave open just port 80, which is www port. which they cant do as some software like skype automatically selects random ports on each use. if ports are to be blocked, then, software like yahoo,msn,irc too can go offline. but then again, if this stupid gov can implement such a absurd law, then port filtering too is not far too off in the coming future. to give you a idea of the massive scale filtration process for all ISPs in srilanka to do this, one would need one BIG supercomputer, or a few atleast for this to work. and we dont have those here. by getting people to pay for accessing porn is yes, a way the gov is making money off porn, think about it, sex sells in one form or other. but interesting requests lately arnt they. first, to carry a mobile phone certificate with you and present at all check points is a direct violation of your privacy, now comes this. not sure if this is the blog where someone mentioned ‘do ISPs read your emails as well’, hell yeah. but not in person but every data packet goes through their backbone so all u need is someone adapt at reading it and these days u get software for that – Cain & Able, freely downloadable one, can filter anything, or the older but crude is Ethereal, ofcourse Network Admins, dont need any of this, they can read it as it goes through the LAN if you know your TCP/IP inside out. this is why unix is so popular, hard to learn but very very good at decoding anything.your unreadable/unformatable pendrives can be fixed with 3 commands in unix. unix is all about log files, even emails are stored in files, even after you download it to your pc, the transfer is recorded somewhere in the ISP.basic idea is, to every problem there are more than two solutions, and who create problems, we do – humans, and we make mistakes, that is why problems have more than 2 solutions.

  15. There is no cause for alarm.They will forget this very soon. May be there will be a case or two, if you are a porn watcher then you have to lie low for few weeks.
    As for child pornography the concerns are real even in western countries. so it is good to get hold of few guys who are doing it as a profession. The problem of “sexting” is real.

    Anyway no ban would last long. The country has other pressing problems. Apart from these militarization of lot of day to day task is a bit of a bother though !

  16. I wouldn’t say that this is a bad idea. But what the government should realize is that if they want to have a better future generation, then this is not where it should start. It should start with cutting down on usage of drugs in very popular local schools and added to that smoking and alcohol as well. How many night clubs are open in Srilanka ? And is there anyone to check who comes in and goes out? Isn’t it obvious that these are the places that need to be shut down first or made inaccessible to youngsters. Pornography has very little effect compared to the life long lasting effects that drugs, smoking will have. When is the government going to ban this? With the son’s of ministers involved in the trade the answer to that will be NEVER. If the president thinks that this (Blocking porn etc) is the best way to bring up a better future then Mr.President you have got it all wrong. The root cause of crimes are drugs, alcohol etc. The government should spend money on banning these and making effective ways of monitoring such activities and not try to polish up their names by wasting money on minor things that has absolutely a null effect on the younger generation COMPARED to the drug menace. My perspective of this is that all in all if Mr.Rajapaksha and his associates think that this would benefit the younger generation, then you are wasting money and our resources simply because there are more major and lethal threats aimed at the younger generation rather than exposure to porn. The government should spend money and resources on uprooting these root courses and not minor matters.