Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tunisia blocks pornographic websites

The Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) announced Tuesday that it would enforce a court decision ordering it to block access to pornographic sites pending a trial on the merits. ATI said it would respect the decision of a judge of the Court of Appeal, which refused to accept a suspension of the measures ordered by the Court of First Instance in Tunis.

"Technical teams from ATI today begin a plan to implement the filtering equipment," the agency said adding that this could be done gradually, as its filtering equipment were not updated since the revolution of Tunisia and the flight of former President Zine El-Ali AbidineBen, January 14.

Under Ben Ali, ATI had introduced a successful system of filtering and Internet monitoring in the country. According to the website Tunisian Business News, September pornographic sites have appeared among the top 100 most visited websites in Tunisia since the lifting of censorship in the country.

Five of them are among the 50 most viewed. In late May, the court of first instance in Tunis had ordered the blocking of sites X, following a complaint by three lawyers, for whom these sites presented a danger to youth and were contrary to Islamic values. The ITA was then appealed the ruling.

"I'm not going to filter, and I refuse to have filtering equipment at home", said the leader of the ITA, Moez Chakchouk, in remarks reported by several Tunisian websites. The appellate court must consider on the merits from 4 July.

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