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Major ISPs Ban Adult Websites in Nepal

As of yesterday, Internet Service Providers in Nepal started bocking sites with Adult content. The reason is this statement issued by NTA, Nepal Telecommunications Authority. The statement states that the Article 121 in the new Muluki Yen 2074 prohibits the broadcasting, distribution, and publication of sexual content. According to the statement, the easy reach of such adult content weakens our (Nepali citizens’) morals and values and encourages sexual crimes in the society. So, NTA is ordering the ISPs and NSPs in Nepal to block such contents.

From the reports we have got, WorldLink, ViaNet, and Subisu, the three most popular ISP in the valley have already complied with NTA’s orders. If you try to access an adult site in WorldLink’s network, it will redirect you to a page that shows something like this:

It’s funny WorldLink is using this opportunity for advertisement. It’s like: So what you can’t get your porn, at least you have our superfast connection to watch cat videos on Insta!

However, Vianet and Subisu do not redirect you to any page. They just don’t load the sites. Not all adult content sites have been blocked though, some lesser-known websites might not have made it to the list of sites to be banned by NTA.

But not everyone seems keen on complying with NTA. NSPs, Network Service Providers, like NTC and NCell have yet to prohibit these adult sites from loading on their network. All the sites that won’t load on WorldLink’s or Subisu’s networks are loading in NTC’s and NCell’s network at the time of writing this article. We don’t know if the NTA will fine or even cancel the work permit of these networks like it warned in the statement above. Imagine waking up tomorrow and not having any cellular network. That would be the best way to get rid of spam calls.

Jokes aside, the incidents that have pushed NTA to take this step are very serious. Cases of sexual assaults are on the rise, and the government is in a lot of pressure to do something about it. They see this ban as a partial solution to this heart-wrenching problem.

But is banning adult content websites the ideal or even a feasible solution? It is not possible to ban all these sites as new adult websites pop up everyday, and there are torrent sites. Also, there are some ways to bypass this ban and access the prohibited sites. So, the question is, how impactful will this ban be?

The idea behind this step is that removing the access to these pornographic sites will decrease the sexual assault fcases in the country. The relation between pornography and sexual crimes have been analyzed by several international studies but a definitive conclusion to whether watching pornography increases sexual crimes haven’t been found. In fact, some studies even show that pornography does the opposite: It lets the viewers see their violent fantasies played out online and pacifies them in the real world. If you want to learn more about the correlation between pornography and sexual crimes you can refer to some of these articles we found online: The Concerning Connection Between Sex Crimes And PornDoes watching porn really turn people into violent criminals?, and Evidence Mounts: More Porn, LESS Sexual Assault. There are other articles on this subject, of course.

So, is this the right move? Will banning pornographic sites solve the problem it is trying to solve? We know that not every person that watches these adult content is a sexual predator, but what we should also keep in mind is that we don’t know if every sexual predator is influenced by these adult content. So, don’t write off this ban as a useless poorly-thought step.

What we can say is, like all the experts that have studied this topic in detail, we don’t know if this is a definitive solution. More study is needed. It is a step, though. It makes the public feel like the government is listening to their problems and addressing it. Also, it buys the government more time to find a more robust solution to the problems that cause sexual assault. What might those more robust solutions be? Maybe you have some ideas. If you do, please share it with our community because the responsibility to make our country a better place belongs to every citizen of the country.


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