Content filtering in Mauritius. Can Mauritians opt-out?

July 2, 2015
mauritius internet censorship

I’ve been doing some search regarding how Internet content is regulated in the UK. News articles from BBC and the Guardian indicate that customers can opt-out from Internet filtering at the ISP level. Meanwhile in Mauritius people do not even know that their web traffic is filtered. Content filtering in Mauritius is a never-heard topic. In May 2015 I wrote about Internet filtering in Mauritius. I contacted the ICT Authority for answers but I was diplomatically asked to “shut up”. On the website, the following is mentioned:

Under Section 18(1)(m) of the ICT Act 2001 of Mauritius, one of the functions of the ICT Authority is to “take steps to regulate or curtail harmful and illegal content on Internet and other information and communication services”.

##Content filtering in Mauritius

Currently, the ICT Authority blocks Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) materials, that is what they say. They support the need of this filter by using the CSA excuse and show their authority using section 18(1)m of the ICT Act 2001. Under the same clause pornography, warez, pirated music & video, all are illegal. Are they going to block those too?

The way the content filter was implemented sends shivers down the spine. No one knows where it is and the ICT Authority does not reply clearly. All other channels through which I have tried to get an answer about this filter have proved futile. People are either scared to talk on the matter or they would avoid it for some obscure reason.

From the ICT Observatory stats, I found that during May 2015, 884 Mauritian IP addresses were identified to have tried accessing child sexual abuse material.

Content filtering in Mauritius

What happens when these IP addresses are flagged? Are these Internet subscribers put on a cybercrime watch list? I don’t know & the fact that no officer ever gives you a clear answer makes you worry more about the practices of the ICT Authority.

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