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Indonesia to ask internet providers to block pornography

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono


Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, is planning use a controversial anti-pornography law to restrict porn websites in the next few months, a communications ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

The law was passed in 2008 to ban public displays of flesh and behavior that could incite lust, any many see it as a sign of the growing influence of conservative Islam in officially secular and traditionally moderate Indonesia.

"We will send a formal request to internet service providers to be more pro-active to every complaint related to pornography because we don't have the instruments to block it," said Gatot Dewa Broto.

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There are nearly 180 internet service providers in Indonesia, including ten major ones such as state firm Telkom and Indosat, Broto added. The ministry is still considering whether there would be sanctions for those who don't comply, he added.

The ministry had received many complaints, including from Indonesia's child protection commission and Islamic group Muhammadiyah, about pornographic content on the internet, he said.

The communications ministry, led by a minister from an Islamist party, aims to pass another controversial regulation controlling internet content by the end of this year, which critics see as an effort to clamp down on freedom of expression.

The moves come after anger from Islamic groups over home-made sex clips widely circulated on the internet that allegedly feature a pop star and his celebrity girlfriends.

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