PNG Plans To Block Access To Online Pornography

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Office of Censorship to spent $1.5 million on filter system

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 30, 2015) – The Office of Censorship is planning to spend K4 million [US$1.5 million] to install a filter system to block all pornography sites and materials which are currently accessible to PNG.

The filter system will fall under a new Bill that was developed last year, called the Classification of Films, Publication & Online Services Bill, 2014.

"This system will be installed purposely to protect all Papua New Guinea children to access pornography and other adult materials online," said Steven Mala, the PNG Chief Censor. Mr Mala said there is no specific filter system preferred as yet, but his office will decide after going through certain feasibility studies of internet contents in other countries to choose the suitable system for PNG.

"The whole work will involve other leading agencies in the country to successfully complete the installation of the system in the PNG.

"We are not trying to control the medium of communication but we are just trying to filter the rubbish that are supplied free online which spoils the mindset of the young children of Papua New Guinea," he said.

Mr Mala said people, in particular school children now a days are realising the effects of technology and are exploiting everything online, whether legal or illegal, so there should be a control.

He said while officials begin to work on the feasibility studies, there will also be a ground policy where agents will travel throughout the country to raise awareness about the filter system.

"I will pass some of my powers stated on the new Bill to all government levels to be very strict on anything related to pornography.

"I am very serious with the filter system, therefore, a number of my powers will be passed on right down to the Ward councilors to confiscate illegal materials, refer the law-breakers to police and then to prosecution," Mr Mala said.

He said the penalty forbreaking the law was K1000 but now it will be of half a million kina.

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