Searches for expensive life-sized sex dolls, information on Germany’s gay scene, lingerie, extreme violence, and Latin Masses are among some of the websites blocked by the Oireachtas security system in the past 12 months.
The system, which oversees the online activity of TDs, senators, civil servants, and the media working in Leinster House, released details of all attempts to access banned websites.
In total, 1,075 separate websites were blocked by the system since September 1, 2018, according to documents released to the Irish Examiner under Freedom of Information.
The Oireachtas said sites are blocked based on the category assigned to it by its software and include subjects such as pornography, extreme, incidental nudity, nudity, profanity, and sexual materials.
According to the documents, among the blocked sites were:
The documents show that the site providing the sex dolls was blocked a total of four times. Loversire.com offers “luxury, realistic sex dolls, soft material, realistic size,” with the top of the range dolls on offer selling for up to $2,000 (€1,789). However, many of their top offers are currently on sale for about $700 (€626).
“Our vision is to create a better sex life for the many people,” the Loversire.com site states.
According to the documents released, the most blocked site was data analytics site ping.chartbeat.net, with a total of 116,900 hit attempts.
“If someone is on a website, chartbeat may be running in the background, gathering analytical data from the user, hence why it is blocked,” the Oireachtas has said.
The second most blocked site related to Google push notifications which have been disabled by the network and the third most blocked site was Youtube.com.
A large number of sites for weapons including knives and guns also show up on the blocked list. They included barlow-knives.com, knivesplus.com, allaboutpocket-knives.com, roughrider-knives.com, and gunsamerica.com.
The Oireachtas also appears to have its fair share of online gamers who were blocked in their attempts to access sites relating to their games consoles such as account.xbox.com, compass.xboxlive.com, and pcgamesn.com.
Some extreme content websites such as Liveleak.com also fell foul of the censors, as it features videos which often include graphic content involving fatal accidents, shootings, and torture.
The site came to international prominence in 2007 after it featured the unauthorised filming and leaking of the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Among some of the more curious sites blocked included searches for Latin Masses in Ireland. The website Latinmassireland.com was blocked a total of 25 times, the documents show.
In providing the data, the Oireachtas stated that some of the data may have been generated by automatic links from other sites via pop-ups.
Some access attempts may be related to the presence of spyware, malware, or viruses on the computers from which these blocked attempts originated.
The service would not consider these to be meaningful or user-actioned attempts to access a site, the Oireachtas said.