Crime & Justice

Thailand bans Pornhub over alleged violation of cybercrime law

Bangkok, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- The Thai government has called on internet providers in the country to restrict access to Cyprus-based pornography firm Pornhub and other similar portals over violations of the country’s cybercrime law, the authorities said on Tuesday.

Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said in statement that the restrictions, applied to nearly 200 websites, came in response to several complaints from parents who voiced concern over their children having access to porn sites on the internet.

“Most pornography websites in some countries may be legal (…) but in Thailand it is still considered illegal. Therefore, it needs to be restricted in the country,” said Punnakanta, who has sent a court order enforcing the ban to the internet providers.

The minister underlined they had received multiple complaints from the parents who were concerned over their children’s exposure to the pornography website, and that “the authorities need to strictly follow the law (…) because children are the future of the nation.”

Punnakanta, as DES minister, has so far ordered internet service providers in the country to prevent access to at least 190 URLs – most of them based abroad – for hosting pornographic content as it violated the Computer Crime Act.

He admitted that there were several people who did not agree with the ban but defended the move saying that he was only performing his duties and hoped that “one day they will understand the reasons” behind the move.

In response to the ban, an anti-government group known as the “Anonymous Party” urged the government to respect the people’s right and freedom of choice.

“People have the right to choose any type of media. Banning Pornhub (is) not compromise. Don’t make people lose their patience,” the group said in a statement shared on social media, light-heartedly referring to King Vajiralongkorn’s press statement on Sunday in which he described Thailand as a “land of compromise.”

The hashtag #Horny Power went viral on social media with over 150,000 comments on Tuesday calling for protests in front of the DES Ministry to express their disapproval.

Thailand was on Pornhub’s Top Twenty Countries by Traffic list in 2019; with a varied user base evident by the fact that capital Bangkok witnessed 19 percent more traffic in the “Popular with Women” category compared to the rest of the country.

It’s not the first time that Pornhub has been banned for violating the country’s laws; the last such instance occurred in May during the Covid-19 lock-down, also triggering widespread complaints.

As of September 2020, Pornhub was the 10th most visited website in the world, according to the marketing intelligence firm Similarweb. EFE-EPA


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