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Thai Gov Creates Porn Database

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Feb 10, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
THAILAND – As part of a new stand against porn, the Southeast Asian government is rallying citizen support of a national database that would reduce the risk of having children exposed to pornographic websites. The government initiative will also include the release of a filtering software called 'Black Bin' aimed at blocking porn websites that run operations out of Thailand.

According to the Culture Ministry, the new filtering software will upload porn site URLs into a national database as often as every two or three months.

The growing consensus among Thai citizens is that they do not want their children exposed to adult content on the web. The route the Thai government is taking is to empower its citizens to block out the information, rather than enforcing a countrywide ban on adult content; a nearly impossible task given the nature of the Internet.

Parents who do not want their children exposed to adult entertainment content will eventually be able to download Black Bin and block all websites determined to be pornographic in nature. The filtering program is still in its infancy, according to the Culture Ministry, and getting the project off the ground could take many months.

The Thai government's new push to protect its citizens, in particular its youth, comes on the heels of a government assembly regarding obscenity in the media. Those in attendance reportedly represented the Culture Ministry, the Information and Communications Technology Ministry, and the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

The Culture Ministry has recruited upwards of 8,000 volunteers to help enforce Thailand's newfangled anti-porn stance. The volunteers will act as an unofficial task force that will report sitings on pornographic content to the government. That information will eventually be added to the database, although the Culture ministry has not revealed details on what methods those volunteers will use to obtain such information, other than by surfing the web. Additionally, the government is calling on Internet Service Providers to block user access to all porn websites operated within the country.

The Thai government has been in the global media eye lately for its overt denial of being one of the world's major contributors to the international sex industry.

In December, the government was outraged when it discovered that a Thai woman living in England had displayed the national flag on her porn website. The webmaster also described Thailand as being a mecca for the sex trade.

There were threats at the time of discovery to extradite the webmaster and either imprison her or fine her for violating the National Flag Act. The Thai government claimed at the time that the pornographers actions had "tarnished the country's image."

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