Internet not safe yet

Jannatul Islam

16 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Internet not safe yet

Internet users can still reach some adult sites, which are dominating the virtual world, despite government’s continuous drive to block those from appearing online in Bangladesh.

Users said several leading adult and gambling sites are escaping the ongoing drive against such sites banned in Bangladesh.

The authorities already blocked nearly 5,000 sites in the last couple of months, sources with the ministry concerned said.

There are some local websites, which are also transmitting offensive contents in the country ignoring the government ban, said an internet service provider (ISP) official requesting anonymity.

The government will not bow down to any pressure from any corner with a view to ensuring safe internet for country’s future generation, Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar told the daily sun on Friday.

He denied the allegation that several adult and gambling sites are still accessible to those living in Bangladesh but said his ministry will look into the allegations.

“We’ve blocked nearly 5,000 sites during our ongoing drive.  We’ve blocked the sites from our end in Bangladesh. However, we will look into the matter and take necessary action, if the allegation is found true,” he said.

The telecom regulator blocked the Universal Resource Location (URL) of the adult and gambling sites from Bangladesh end.

But users can still access the banned sites through internet connection on their cell phone and Virtual Private Network (VPN) software, some ISP firms said.

Cyber security analyst Rezwanur Rahman said the blocked sites are accessible mainly to mobile internet users.

“Users can still access those blocked sites on their mobile phone sets. Around 90 percent of internet users are connected with smart phones which help them get access to those banned sites,” he said.

“The sites have been blocked from the end of broadband connection but not from the cell phone connections.”

Rezwanur suggests blocking the sites from cell phone connections too.

“The ministry concerned should block the sites from cell phone connections,” he said.

In a recent order, the High Court asked the authorities concerned to block all the adult websites accessible to those living in Bangladesh.

The sites are greatly contributing to moral degradation of the users, particularly the young generation.  The addiction to adult sites is also affecting psychological and behavioral patterns of the youth.

Guardians urges the government to take the issue more seriously and effectively block the adult sites to save their children.

“We heard that many adult sites are accessible to the people living in Bangladesh despite government’s measures to block them. I hope the government will find out the flaws and effectively block the access,” said Basir Ahmed, a resident of Moghbazar in the capital.