Afghanistan to start censoring the internet

The Financial Times is reporting that ISPs in Afghanistan will start filtering the internet starting May 1. According to a senior official in the Afghanistan government the goal is to block sites about gambling, promoting alcohol or pornography "because they are against our values"

The official said that there are at least 20 different ISPs in Afghanistan and one has reported that they will begin the filtering May 1. They will be filtering content containing alcohol, dating sites, drugs, weapons, gambling and pornography.

The filtering system is being put into place over concerns expressed by lawmakers in the country. They are concerned about western content that is not suitable for Afghan society. One of the most interesting items listed that they would like to ban is films made in India because they contain scenes of men and women dancing and together.

China is another country that heavily filters and censors Internet usage. Despite having 298 Million Internet users the country continues to block social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. China also attempted to impose further restrictions on the way its people use their computers by trying to pass legislation which would have required all personal computers sold within the country, to be shipped with software blocking access to certain websites. Fortunately the software, Green Dam Youth Escort, is only required on schools, internet cafes and other public use computers.

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"because they are against our values"

Yeah, values like stoning of rape victims. If population had secret vote in favor or to ban pornography on Internet then probably it would be very different picture from "our values".

It must be nice to live in a country where your government dictates what values you should have and then prevents you from being exposed to anything outside those boundaries. You don't have to turn on your brain at all just let your government do all the thinking and deciding for you.

A nice reminder for us in North America not to take our many freedoms for granted don't you think?

Wow....way to follow China's backward way of thinking....yes, denying citizens their right to information and TRUTH, yes, that will keep people from protesting! What a terribly antiquated way of thinking....People have a right to know what goes on outside their country and have a right to make their own decisions regarding the information that is out there.

ManOfMystery said,
Wow....way to follow China's backward way of thinking....yes, denying citizens their right to information and TRUTH, yes, that will keep people from protesting! What a terribly antiquated way of thinking....People have a right to know what goes on outside their country and have a right to make their own decisions regarding the information that is out there.

Pornography - That great beacon of truth...

ranasrule said,
Afghanistan has internet ?

I was going to say this, They can hardly fashion together a working Water,Gas and Electricity infrastructure. I would be interested to see where the ISPs are in Afghanistan and what they are like.

ranasrule said,
Afghanistan has internet ?

Yes, it could be considered surprising considering that most of their major cities only have electricity for 8 hours a day.

Iraq is going to censor internet next perhaps. There is already talk about this of keeping Islamic Values within the Iraqi parliament and censoring the internet was a topic.

While I am against censorship in general, I also believe that it is also wrong to inflict general western culture and values on another society just because their way of doing things is different to how we do them in the western world.

I don't agree with aspects of their way of life but I suppose we need to respect that they have a different culture.

Yes I know this is flame bait, I am not condoning things like oppression, genocide, etc, because there are basic human rights that should be universal but you can't expect every independent society on Earth to adopt your set of values just because you think that they're right.

The problem, is that no country on Earth is truly independent these days and their censorship effects more than just themselves.

Aren't we forgetting something here? This is democracy in action. They elected the officials and the officials have chosen to censor the internet. In the same way that the UK is implementing the digital economy bill.

Harsesis said,
Aren't we forgetting something here? This is democracy in action. They elected the officials and the officials have chosen to censor the internet. In the same way that the UK is implementing the digital economy bill.
back up a second. democracy in Afghanistan? the "prime minister" Karzai (sp) was put there by the Bush Admin. there's nothing democratic about that

Harsesis said,
Aren't we forgetting something here? This is democracy in action. They elected the officials and the officials have chosen to censor the internet. In the same way that the UK is implementing the digital economy bill.

"Elected" is a big word when used together with Afghanistan......... Same for democracy: the only interest Western Countries have there is control the pipelines that will, well maybe considering the situation, be built there......

Harsesis said,
Aren't we forgetting something here? This is democracy in action. They elected the officials and the officials have chosen to censor the internet. In the same way that the UK is implementing the digital economy bill.

Except in the case of the DEB, no MP actually stood for it when they were voted in (they couldn't since it was only brought up this year.)

Do you believe that MP's only ever vote on issues they raised during the election and never create new issues to legislate against?

"One of the most interesting items listed that they would like to ban is films made in India because they contain scenes of men and women dancing and together."

So hard to believe that people/countries/governments like this still actually exist. I wanna laugh but it aint even funny

stunts said,
"One of the most interesting items listed that they would like to ban is films made in India because they contain scenes of men and women dancing and together."

So hard to believe that people/countries/governments like this still actually exist. I wanna laugh but it aint even funny


Until the disease that is religion is removed from the equation, and the people have multiple generations to phase out the religion, it will never stop.

war said,
Indeed, I agree completely. Religion is the true route of all EVIL.

No, just the people who use it as a lever to push their own evil ideologies. Religions is ok as such; hope, caring, bringing people together and loving one another etc is what religion is really about. I don't think stereotyping or generalizing is good in itself. You're in a way a hypocrite saying those who believe in religion are following "evil" but in saying that, you're provocating, same as what is happening with religion. You don't need to have religion in the mix. The same argument has been used by white people saying that "colored" people are evil (and visa-versa). So in the end, it is not religion itself that is the problem, it all comes down to the individual.

Billus said,

No, just the people who use it as a lever to push their own evil ideologies. Religions is ok as such; hope, caring, bringing people together and loving one another etc is what religion is really about.


Religion is really about both things; we shouldn't kid ourselves and only look at the upsides of religion and disregard the rest as "something else". That's blindfolding yourself. Religion has in all times been used for both opression ("but God says it is this way, obey or burn in hell, your choice!" is an as old trick as Methuselah) and for caring and love. I wish people, regardless if they are Christians, Catholics, or Muslims, would show a much greater responsibility for those who use their religion for opression.


And no, it is not just about the Muslims and the "terrists" - that is once again a blindfold. It is just as much about Christians that want to control school systems and work for maintained integration of church and state, for example. This is opression too, opression in a modern society, in the western world.


The saddest part about religious people is IMHO that they always take the easy road and just say "we don't stand for this" when you see violence caused by aggressive followers of their religion, instead of actively working against that violence more than anyone else, because it is their responsibility as promoters of what is followed by both them and those who have more sinister goals. It's a bit like working at a place where e.g. groping and minor sexual crimes are common. The employees there should work harder than anyone else to stop it. I will only be convinced of the kindness of religions, if their own followers start to take active stances against their criminals. Yes, THEIR criminals.

Edited by Northgrove, Apr 29 2010, 8:55am :

stunts said,
"One of the most interesting items listed that they would like to ban is films made in India because they contain scenes of men and women dancing and together."

What would they prefer, films with scenes where men are dancing and are "together" with other men?

Edited by _dandy_, Apr 29 2010, 10:04am :

Maybe they should focus on building an internet infrastructure instead of censoring it. The 3 people using it might get upset. Just kidding!

Apple-a-Day said,
Good thing we are over there having our men and women fighting for them and promoting democracy

That's delusional.

Good for them, at least its a step forward. I disagree with censorship however at least having a stable government that is legit (meaning its supported by the people and their views) is good. It needs to be that way, for now. And I believe in time they also will adopt a level of secularism, a level not completely secularized but yea...

FireBomb said,
Good for them, at least its a step forward. I disagree with censorship however at least having a stable government that is legit (meaning its supported by the people and their views) is good. It needs to be that way, for now. And I believe in time they also will adopt a level of secularism, a level not completely secularized but yea...

The words stable and government really don't mix when you talk about Afghanistan

Blasius said,

The words stable and government really don't mix when you talk about Afghanistan

Yes, you are [currently] correct. But right now any government that can as a long term goal represent the people and that even if its nonsecular that is ok. It sure as hell is better than terrorists running the country and manipulating the people and drafting them either into slavery for opium or into the "national army"


P.S. I hate censorship, but in this instance support it if it means better peace in their country because of the above.

Edited by Arkaic, Apr 29 2010, 12:36am :

FireBomb said,

Yes, you are [currently] correct. But right now any government that can as a long term goal represent the people and that even if its nonsecular that is ok. It sure as hell is better than terrorists running the country and manipulating the people and drafting them either into slavery for opium or into the "national army"


P.S. I hate censorship, but in this instance support it if it means better peace in their country because of the above.

How on earth would this mean better peace? Peace is achieved through open minds and education. Censoring this (especially about the men dancing with women) only promotes closed minds, forced ideals and lack of education as to what else is out there in the world.

Censorship is never an answer for making things better. Education is.

necrosis said,
How on earth would this mean better peace? Peace is achieved through open minds and education. Censoring this (especially about the men dancing with women) only promotes closed minds, forced ideals and lack of education as to what else is out there in the world.

Censorship is never an answer for making things better. Education is.

Well said Sir!!

necrosis said,
How on earth would this mean better peace? Peace is achieved through open minds and education. Censoring this (especially about the men dancing with women) only promotes closed minds, forced ideals and lack of education as to what else is out there in the world.

Censorship is never an answer for making things better. Education is.

It means peace because their is not resistance against illegitimate government. Realize its not about censorship its about national security and stability.

Master1 said,
its not hard to use a proxy nowadays
Maybe for those who were not born into a world of Censorship.