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Khan stressed that it is essential to instill good values at a young age in the digital age. Image Credit: REUTERS

Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the country’s regulatory authority to ensure an effective mechanism to block online obscene material.

The premier asked the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to put in place an effective gatekeeping of the online content to shield children innocent brains from immoral and pornographic content online.

“We need to protect our youth especially kids from being exposed to immoral and unethical content available online,” PM Khan said after presiding over a meeting on blocking obscene and pornographic websites in the country. The meeting was attended by the chairman of PM’s Taskforce on science and technology, Prof Dr Attaur Rehman, Chairman of telecom company Nayatel, Rashid Khan, and other senior officers.

Khan stressed that it is essential to instill good values at a young age in the digital age. “Character building is very crucial in the modern tech-savvy era as the proliferation of tech gadgets and 3G/4G internet technology has made all sort of content available to everyone.”

The premier was informed that the content delivery networks (CDNs) particularly Cloudfare, which has 1-2 per cent of total internet traffic share, had complaints of hosting pornographic content while other CDNs do not serve pornographic material as per their policies.

The officials pointed out in the meeting that PTA needs to work with ISPs/CDNs to block pornographic content, especially at Cloudfare’s network. PTA also needs to enhance its warehouse management system (WMS) capability by integrating with some global and regularly updated databases of pornographic sites to block them at URL and domain level, the official statement said.

Earlier this year, the PTA had told the apex court that it blocked 980,000 links, containing hate speech, controversial and objectionable content, and mostly pornographic material.