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Software to block porn sites to be ready this year -- ICT ministry
[February 25, 2013]

Software to block porn sites to be ready this year -- ICT ministry

AMMAN, Feb 25, 2013 (Jordan Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A parental control software programme that enables parents to limit the content their children see online and block pornographic sites is expected to be ready this year, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT).

"Work with the National Centre for Information Technology is ongoing to complete the software, which we expect to be available during this year," a source at the MoICT said on Sunday.

"Once it is ready, the software will be tested in cooperation with Internet service providers (ISP) to start the gradual blockage of [pornographic] sites," the source added.

"It will be up to the parents to use the software to prevent their kids from accessing pornographic sites," he noted.

Australian company TCG has provided the MoICT with UN-approved child protection software that gives parents control over when their children can use the Internet and what websites they can access, to prevent them from viewing pornography or other objectionable content.

The national IT centre is localising and translating the software into Arabic in cooperation with the Australian company. When the pilot project is implemented, Internet users subscribed to the ISPs that install the software on their servers will be able to create usernames and passwords for each of their children.

For each account, parents can decide which websites to allow their children to access and which to restrict. They can also set limits on the amount of time their children can spend on the Internet. The software will also send a weekly report to the parents on the websites their children visit.

According to an IT expert, viewing pornography on the web represents one of the main usages for Internet users.

"Viewing pornography online is a worldwide trend and Jordan is part of this trend... Nowadays, several countries... plan to block access to pornographic sites," said the expert, who asked not to be named.

According to a recent study by Top Ten Reviews portal, 42.7 per cent of Internet users globally view pornography and 72 million visit adult sites per month, while there are 1.5 billion pornographic downloads every month.

There are 4.2 million pornographic websites, constituting 12 per cent of total websites, and 68 million daily pornographic search engine requests that represent around 25 per cent of total requests on the search engines, according to the research portal.

The figures are based on a 2006 study, according to Top Ten Reviews.

In July last year, dozens of Jordanians demonstrated to urge the government to block pornographic websites in the Kingdom, and launched a Facebook campaign to rally public opinion to block these sites.

In response, several Internet freedom activists and NGOs launched countercampaigns on Facebook to oppose the calls for censorship.

___ (c)2013 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) Visit the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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