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Iraq switches off electronic billboards after hacker broadcasts porn to Baghdad passers-by

Iraqi authorities have switched off electronic advertising boards in Baghdad after pornographic footage was broadcast on one of the screens.

A man has now been arrested by the police after the x-rated material was broadcast to passers-by in the capital, local media reported.

The digital advertising boards were switched off on Sunday, according to Shafaq News, which said: “Iraqi security authorities decided to temporarily turn off screens displaying advertisements in public places in the capital, Baghdad, after they were subjected to electronic hacking and immoral clips were displayed in public.”

A statement from the Iraqi Interior Ministry said the adult content was aired on a screen in Uqba bin Nafeh Square, a busy thoroughfare in central Baghdad.

The statement from the ministry’s Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency, posted on Facebook, said: “The Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency, after obtaining judicial approvals and through field work, auditing and monitoring of surveillance cameras, was able to arrest the accused who carried out the hacking.”

The statement went on to add that following “preliminary investigations,” the accused man suggested that “he had committed this immoral act due to financial problems with the owner of the company that owns the display screen.”

Last year, the Iraqi government announced that it planned to block porn sites, though it is not clear how effective that policy has been.

Over the past year, the government has also cracked down on social media influencers.

A platform called “Report” was launched this year to allow citizens to anonymously report “negative” or “immoral” content seen online. The government has nevertheless insisted that freedoms of expression are not at risk and will always be protected.

Earlier this month, Iraq’s official media regulator ordered all media and social media companies operating in the Arab state not to use the term “homosexuality” and instead to say “sexual deviance.”

The Communications and Media Commission (CMC) document said the use of the term “gender” was also banned. It prohibited all phone and internet companies licensed by it from using the terms in any of their mobile applications.

Iraq does not explicitly criminalize gay sex but loosely defined morality clauses in its penal code have been used to target members of the LGBT community.

This post appeared first on cnn.com

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