Saudi Arabia is currently reeling from a flourishing black market — or
would that be "blue market?" — in digital pornography, and the growing
number of 3G handsets are at the heart of it.
Believe it or not, until just a few years ago, Saudi cellphones with cameras and/or video capability were outright banned. And X-rated web sites are officially blocked in "The Kingdom."
But an explosive handset sales boom, coupled with 3G’s high data rates and clandestine porno "service providers" ‚Äì usually Bangladeshis, Filipinos and Indians ‚Äì has Saudis from 15 to 50 getting a gander at those womanly parts their own culture keeps under wraps.
Most of the digi-smut is openly traded on the streets of Batha, or at best sold from private homes and through word-of-mouth networks.
Music and video cassette stalls often serve as a front for the porn peddler’s activities.
According to one cellphone store owner,
"We have a difficult time keeping up with the frenzy. On weekends we must hire additional help…Shops selling items other than mobiles, have to resort to ‚Äòdiscount‚Äô
gimmicks in order to stay ahead and not close down, to compete with the
shops that sell pornographic material on the side."
Critics fear that "[i]n the wrong hands, advanced technology is creating unlimited
degenerate possibilities and threatening the moral fiber of youngsters
in the Kingdom."
[Via The Saudi Gazette]