KABUL – Restrictions almost always seem to start with porn, and that's certainly the case with a new plan by the Afghan government to curtail Internet use.
Afghanistan's first fiber-optic cable will come online in a few weeks, and communications and information ministries are considering Web access limitations, reports new service AFP.
Officials believe the "free Internet environment" is being abused by many, especially young people.
"We will mainly set limitations on pornography because it does not fit our Islamic values," said communications ministry spokesman Abdul Hadi. "In the second step, we hope to be able to also limit websites providing bad information, especially that could mislead our children."
The government said the move seeks to foil propaganda from Islamist insurgents who claim access to porn in not controlled, according to Inquirer.net.
The Afghan government is drafting the legislation, which will address Web use and also include the aforementioned curbs as well as govern the registration of .af domains.
Internet access in Afghanistan came in late 2001, following the end of the totalitarian Taliban, taken down by international forces led by the U.S.
According to reports, Afghanistan currently has some 20 Internet service providers with about 600,000 subscribers out of a generally illiterate population, estimated at more than 30 million. Internet use costs are also high – $4,000 for 1 gigabyte – though the new fiber-optic cable system is expected to make access more affordable and also more widespread, running roughly $400 per gig.