By Bandula Sirimanna
Experts from China — which is embroiled in a battle with global search giant Google over allegations of web censorship — will help Sri Lanka to block “offensive” websites.
IT experts of China’s Military Intelligence Division will be here within the next two weeks to map out the modalities required for this process.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) will introduce necessary legislation to make registration with the institution compulsory for all news websites. These websites should obtain the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from the TRC under new regulations that will be introduced shortly. In addition action will be taken to impose controls on the Google search engine as well in relation to these issues.
The four-member National Express Internet Service Advisory Committee which deals with IP addresses and related matters will also handle the proposed new rules, a senior official of the TRC said.
Newly appointed TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita, who is also the director of Government Information, said he has not received instructions from the President to impose such restrictions on news websites but he did not rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions and censorship.
The TRC has received a grant from the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) under the World Bank to develop its knowledge base and implementation capacity, enabling it to design and implement the second-generation of regulatory reforms in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, official sources said.
The TRC intends to engage a consulting firm to assist it in the establishment of a policy and regulatory framework for Next Generation Networks (NGNs).
The overall objective of the consultancy is to establish a policy and regulatory framework with a view to facilitate efficient investments in NGN and other new comparable technologies and maintain effective competition among the infrastructure and service providers while safeguarding consumer interest. The Chinese IT experts will assist the TRC in the detailed consultation process in formulating the policy and regulatory framework on NGNs, the sources revealed.
The consultancy will also consider the issues relating to both the Internet Protocol (IP) based core networks and their interconnection with NGNs and the issues relating to the IP based Next Generation Access Networks (NGANs) connecting end users to the NGNs.