Internet Filtering Being Debated in Cabinet


I have recently blogged about the possibility of Internet Filtering being introduced in Mauritius.

I guess this is being confirmed now, with the publication of this piece of news in the local newspapers. Le Mauricien, if I’m not mistaken. For now, I think it’ll only be filtering out pr0n. No word on whether it filters everything by default, or whether you need to opt-in, or if there is an opt-out clause, or whether you need to install some client. Nothing.

Let’s wait and see. I fear that, it starts with protecting children, and ends with censoring websites the government or other powerful lobbies don’t like. Even legitimate websites with good-intent.

I still stand by my view that education is still the best way to inform children about the dangers on the Internet. So they may in turn educate their friends, and children afterward. Censoring the content is just denying the truth. Or, implement local censoring. This task is left to parents. ISPs could provide filtering software whenever there is a new customer registration, and inform the parents about how to install the software (or install it as part of customer support).

What are your views, dear readers?

Internet Filtering Coming To Mauritius Soon?


I have found an interesting article coming from Le Mauricien newspaper of Friday 21st of May. You can see a shot below.

It deals with some measures ICTA (Information Communication Technology Authority) wishes to introduce or see implemented. While some are laudable, such as promotion of ICT as education tools and enhancing performance of communication systems, the last part of the article ticks off my Paranoia Alarm.

The shot of the scary paragraph, with highlighted portions can be seen below.

Well, what do I see? ICTA wants to implement Internet filtering in Mauritius.

I remember Ex-President, Mr. Cassam Uteem’s wish to see some pages of Facebook blocked due to some offensive content. There have also been past instances of Facebook being blocked in Mauritius, for example, due to the usurpation of our PM’s identity to create a profile. These cases may have warranted a blocking of the incriminating pages, but I doubt censorship was the only possible solution.

Now imagine if our local politicians or authorities have the power to block sites at a whim. Tomorrow, Mr. X doesn’t like a parody video of his speech on Youtube, and the site is blocked? No thanks!

Something strikes me as funny in this article: “the idea is not to implement censorship”. Can somebody enlighten me about the difference between “filtering” and “censorship”? I thought that content that was filtered out was censored. Am I wrong?

Giving censorship powers to a Government is too much in my opinion. The Internet should be a free-flow of information, and not to be controlled by anybody. I agree that there are some content that deserve censorship, but I believe it’s best left to its users to know what should be accessed and what should not. Such situations exist in real-life too. There are some places in cities where it is dangerous to go. However, I do not see any barriers erected to prevent people, especially children from going there. So why should this apply to the Internet?

If parents do not want their kids accessing unauthorized contents, well, they can be educated into how to implement filtration software on their machines locally. Or make the government-filtering opt-in. So people who want to see the Internet filtered can install software locally to do the job, with the use of a Government-managed database. Others can continue using the Internet as they see fit, taking their responsibilities if ever they are caught doing nasty stuff.

On a side note, we see the Internet from the social and crowd aspect nowadays. You have social networking, social bookmarking, social music discovery, social-tea-making, social-what-not. Why not social filtering? I have no idea how this would work, but hey, we do democratic voting to elect out leaders, we could do some democratic voting on what we want off the Internet too right?

I leave you to the views and your comments…

New ISP in Mauritius soon?


Internet Speed

Or so L’Express Newspaper claims.

The offer seems interesting. They, yes “they” since the article doesn’t mention what ISP it will be, but I suspect it will be Outremer Telecom, since it’s already in Mauritius. There is no confirmation yet, so it’s just my supposition.

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