Porn in Indonesian parliament bodes ill for censorship plans

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Indonesian journalists got a bit of a shock yesterday, when they were treated to an X-rated video courtesy of the government.

Computer monitors outside the parliament press office, which normally show nothing more exciting than the day's agenda, screened hardcore porn for ten minutes before being shut down by security staff.

House Secretary-General Nining Indra told AP that the unscheduled screening was likely caused by a member of staff trying to access a porn site on the building's computer system.

She said officials would check the building's closed-circuit TV system to investigate.

The House Speaker, Marzuki Alie, told reporters that the guilty party would be punished. "Whoever hacked the screens is insolent and will be reported to the authorities," he said.

The incident comes as internet service providers in Indonesia -  the world's most populous Muslim nation - prepare for a ban on online porn. The block is due to come into force next week as Ramadan begins.

But while the country's information minister, Tifatul Sembiring, has announced the ban, he says he doesn't know how to implement it.

"It’s really a hard thing to do in technical terms. For me, it’s almost an impossible task," ," he told the New York Times.

"Not all of the sites, all of the pornographic content, will be gone from the internet. But step by step, we’re trying to filter pornographic content."

Yesterday's incident implies he's got a fair amount of work to do.