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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push 184

An anonymous reader writes "The Indonesian government has blocked access to 1 million pornographic websites in advance of Ramadan, the country's holy month. Internet censorship is nothing new in Indonesia, but the scale of this particular restriction is unprecedented. Apparently this is only the beginning. Minister Tifatul Sembiring said Wednesday his office would target more sites through the country's holy month, and beyond."
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In Advance of Ramadan, Indonesian Gov't Starts Massive Censorship Push

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2012 @07:55PM (#40719849)

    Because Islam is the state religion.

  • One million? (Score:5, Informative)

    by TimHunter ( 174406 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:21PM (#40720059)

    Okay, possibly I'm stupid or out of touch, but I've been around the interwebs for a while and seen my share of stuff. It just doesn't seem likely that there are a million porn sites. I wouldn't have guessed 1 million in the world, and certainly not 1 million that the Indonesian government can block.

    Here's an article in Forbes article that says

    In 2010, out of the million most popular (most trafficked) websites in the world, 42,337 were sex-related sites.

    That's a far cry from 1 million. ( [])

    Maybe they mean 1 million pages. Or maybe there are a million sites that only host a single drawing of Mickey banging Minnie doggie-style. Or maybe they mean something different by the word "pornographic." But 1 million pornhubs? 1 million redtubes? I'm having a hard time believing this.

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:24PM (#40720079)

    It's the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for a whole month and then have a big feast at the end of it.

    Because it's a month long 'holiday' doesn't really do it justice. Life still goes on, just at strange hours and in strange ways. I've had islamic scholars tell me that part of the point is to experience hunger, so when some Muslims switch to being nocturnal they're missing the point. But that happens a lot of places, the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law so to speak.

    Technically Indonesia is not an islamic state, they recognize a couple of religions (some of Islam, some of Christianity, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Hinduism), but as is practically the case, with just shy of 90% of the population being (or at least claiming to be) Muslim you can't really get around Islamic tradition.

  • by similar_name ( 1164087 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:27PM (#40720109)

    There are way more than 12 countries, so you know each country can't have their own holy month. Why do you think August being the countries holy month prevents other countries from having the same holy month.

    August isn't the holy month, Ramadan [] is. Why do you think one calendar would prevent there being other calendars?

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @08:31PM (#40720135) Homepage Journal

    You can take away their rights, and you can take away their money, but take away their porn, and the people will revolt. :-D


    I think it would be fairer to say that you can take away their money, their rights and their lives, but that story won't get posted on Slashdot until it involves porn.

    The Indonesian government and military have tried to maintain a complete media blackout on the ongoing human rights abuses [] -including torture and murder- in the occupied territory of West Papua, which was annexed [] while the world looked away. This oppression has been going on for a generation, but nobody chooses to care, because of Indonesia's status as the largest pro-US muslim country in the world.

    But yeah, boobs. Let's support those horny Indonesians by slashdotting []. That'll get the add revenue going.

  • by ThatsMyNick ( 2004126 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:08PM (#40720333)

    They actually feast at the end of everyday, not just the end of the month. It is very often a community feast (called Iftar), where friends & neighbors (even the ones that are well off) are invited. I agree with you on the rest, though.

  • by lordshipmayhem ( 1063660 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @09:24PM (#40720435)
    This [] is how - jailing atheists and closing Christian churches.
  • by Cwix ( 1671282 ) on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:50PM (#40720871) []

    You're wrong.

    May 23, 2006 -- People who smoke marijuana do not appear to be at increased risk for developing lung cancer, new research suggests.
    While a clear increase in cancer risk was seen among cigarette smokers in the study, no such association was seen for regular cannabis users.
    Even very heavy, long-term marijuana users who had smoked more than 22,000 joints over a lifetime seemed to have no greater risk than infrequent marijuana users or nonusers.
    The findings surprised the study’s researchers, who expected to see an increase in cancer among people who smoked marijuana regularly in their youth.

    See what happens when you don't look up the stuff you hear? You look silly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 20, 2012 @10:54PM (#40720893)
    You can't approximate Ramadan by calling it August. it's based on a lunar calendar that is 12 to 14 days shorter each year than the Gregorian calendar. This means it moves relative to the Gregorian calendar each year such that Ramadan can/has/will occur alongside every month in the Gregorian calendar. You can call it a month because it is (maybe even more accurately so considering month comes from moon) but it shouldn't be called August since you might as well call it January or mid-March to mid-April.
  • Exercise in Futility (Score:4, Informative)

    by bimozx ( 2689433 ) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @04:29AM (#40722119)
    Indonesian here. The article exaggerates a little on how much it really impacts the people here. Most people here don't care about it, cause most of them know "Where there is a will, there is a way.". They will always find a way to circumvent these restrictions. In fact I just did, change the DNS server, and you're done. So yeah, the actual situation here is not as bad as the article make it out to be .
  • by MadCat ( 796 ) <[benvanstaveren] [at] []> on Saturday July 21, 2012 @09:09AM (#40723015)

    I live in Indonesia, just so we've got that out of the way (read that as: I know what I'm talking about). This is business as usual, these "blockades" are nothing more than some cheap DNS tricks, and depending on your ISP either changing your DNS servers to Google or OpenDNS or just running a little proxy will get you around it just fine.

    The only reason this is news is that the presidential elections are going to be happening in 2014 and a lot of officials are already jockeying for position, considering the current president is most likely on his way out in a hurry. The minister in question (Tifatul Sembiring) is also a totally technically clueless guy, so he just dictates "block stuff" and Indonesia being Indonesia, ISP's may or may not actually get it right and block things.

    So, just business as usual, move along...

    P.S. It's not "Indonesia's holy month" by the way, it's an Islamic thing, it's being observed world wide.

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