No check on obscene internet cafés -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

No check on obscene internet cafés

ISLAMABAD: Internet cafés and clubs in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad instead of providing knowledge, information and education to the young generation are engaged in promoting obscenity by setting up private porn shows at very nominal rates.

Erotic movies can easily be watched at any internet club in Karachi Company (G-9 Markaz) for Rs 10 only. In addition, these small cabins have become an ideal dating spot for couples, who are foolish enough to think that they are not being judged or photographed.

Despite various news items appearing in the national newspapers highlighting this new social menace, the authorities concerned have done nothing to cope with the problem.

This is a very serious issue that needs the government’s immediate attention because this is leading to the new generation towards social, mental and cultural degradation.

A survey reveals that most of the computers in any net cafés do not get the Microsoft Office installed besides having lack of other important software which are necessary for a student or a person to download or copy the required information.

“In order to stop misuse of the internet facility in the cafés, the government should ensure replacement of coloured glasses with transparent ones so that the internet user is clearly visible from outside.

The cafe owners should also install firewall on their servers to stop unethical activities. In fact, some unscrupulous owners of the internet cafés help the net surfer in searching for immoral web sites,” said Ismail Shah, a computer engineer.

Abdul Aziz, a retired civil servant and a father of two college going teenagers, says, ” my children are computer geeks but I do not allow them using the internet in my absence, and let them go to a net café.

I agree that the internet is an unmatchable information tool nowadays, but the need to safeguard children from its harmful effects has ever been greater. And when it comes to the issue of morality, there is no room for compromise on it,” he said.

The internet is in itself a simple technological tool created to move bits of information around. So, at its heart, the internet values an unfiltered exchange of information.

But, it has been observed that the misuse of this technology has exposed its users, irrespective of their age or sex, to harmful effects. And as the internet becomes a way of life, these impacts are bound to grow intense.

“Just as we counter good and bad people in the streets, we counter good and bad people online. The grownups are mostly able to decide what is right and what is wrong for them but the immature users need guidance and protection. Pornography is just a click away.

And it is anybody’s guess what impact a visual encounter with such content can leave on a young mind,” opined Basharat Ellahi, a software engineer in Islamabad.

Usman Ali, a serving civil servant, says that, “unhealthy use of Internet has promoted “cybersex” addiction that has become a widely recognised mental health issue. The ease with which one can retrieve the desired content, one can lose oneself in the web world and lose touch with the real world.

” Last year, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication had ordered a blockade of hundreds of ‘objectionable’ websites. In addition to it, the government authorities, aided by heavy police contingents, started raiding net cafes accused of promoting obscenity and acts of vulgarity.

Most of the net cafés raided were suspected of providing opportunities to visitors to view porn websites and even porn movies without fear.Ironically, with the mushrooming internet cafés in the twin cities, one feels that the government has lost battle against obscenity, pornography and vulgarity on internet.

According to various international studies, there are about 15 million porno sites in different languages accessible on the internet, most of them are free to visit and offer links to sister sites.

Domain record-based surveys suggest that every week 50,000 plus porno sites are registered worldwide hence it is almost impossible to block pornographic material over the Internet.
Source: The Post
Date:9/6/2007