NEWS

Blogspot Censored in Pakistan

March 03, 2006
Teeth Maestro

As I write this post on the 4th of March 2006 all sub-domains on Blogspot.com/Blogger carrying thousands of free blogs continue to remain censored for all internet users in Pakistan. The mess started on the 27th of February when the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued instructions to all ISP to block all websites displaying the controversial cartoon images of Prophet Muhammad.

Hence from the 28th of February the regulatory body barred access to a number of sites and it sadly included a few domains being hosted on the blogspot domains, rather then blocking the select few websites it seems they placed a universal block on all Blogspot.com sub-domains causing a number of bloggers to be banned from their own site for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Mixed responses came through in the next few days some claiming it to be a technical glitch at Google (owners of Blogspot.com) and a few reports by some Indian based surfers facing the same blockage problem hence indicating a more global issue instead of a local Pakistan glitch. My personal experience remained consistent throughout the three days with a total blackout only solved by accessing the blocked sites through an anonymous proxy server, it goes to prove that the website is functioning fine and some censorship may after all exist.

I continue to object to the cartoons illustrations and feel that the decision by the Supreme Court of Pakistan should be implemented for what its worth, but the PTA should be reprimanded for idiotic move as it seems the PTA continues to disappoint the Pakistanis time after time again for some stupid ill-thought out mistakes. BBC has also reported on the so-called internet censorship in Pakistan

We would like to request everyone to join hands with us in condemning this action against blog Publishers and blog readers from Pakistan who have little to do with the cartoon controversy. To show support we would like to request you to display the banner presented below on your website

You may also check out the website - Help-Pakistan.com


DON'T BLOCK THE BLOG

Teeth Maestro aka Dr. Awab Alvi is a dentist by profession and specializes in the the field of Orthodontics, he currently practice in Karachi at Alvi Dental Hosptial and blogs as a passion to express himself at www.teeth.ocm.pk/blog
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Blogspot Censored in Pakistan

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Author: Teeth Maestro

 

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Ping #1
Metroblogging Karachi
March 4, 2006
02:13 AM

Don't Block the Blog: Friends its time for action - For the past few days a number of Bloggers using the free blogspot service in Pakistan either as a publisher or a reader have been locked out of thousands of blogs hosted on the...

#1
Aaman
URL
March 3, 2006
08:09 PM

Very important and sad news, TeethMaestro, I'm sure most of the usual proxies and anonymizers work, although, what a grief!

#2
RJ Elliott
URL
March 3, 2006
08:53 PM

This is a good example of why control of the Internet should not be handed over to the UN or any other international body. If they were to assume control, it is possible that sites on certain topics would be banned everywhere, and not just in those countries where censorship of news/information is the norm...

#3
temporal
URL
March 3, 2006
09:28 PM

doesn't work:)

ptc will realise the folly

they tried to block sehbai's US based SAT (south asian times)a year or two back and failed miserably

(sehbai folded the SAT recently for personal reasons)

#4
DrPolitics
URL
March 4, 2006
12:04 PM

Don't Block the Blog! Banner is displayed on my blog and Pakistan Bloggers, we are with you all the way!

#5
gazelle
URL
March 23, 2006
02:36 PM

RJ, what good is icann in the hands of the US dept of commerce here? Infact I make the opposite argument from the same premises.

The international postal system is also 'International law' Berne Treaty - IPU and part of the UN system.

the UN - ITU is a good idea, and favors developing countries. china is already starting to go its own way, anyway.

#6
Richard Marcus
URL
March 23, 2006
04:07 PM

I agree with gazelle. I fail to see how letting the internet, which is used by the whole world, be in the hands of any soverign nation as a good thing. First of all it makes it too much of a target for terrorists who would want to strike at a specific nation.

The only people who seem to universally oppose the U.N. controlling the internet are those in the United States where the root is currently held hostage.

I don't think it's a good idea that countries are starting to form their own root systems, that will allow them far too much control over usage of the internet in their countries. At least now the people in Pakistan are able to use proxies etc, but what would happen if their government had their own root-people would only be able to access what the government allowed them to access.

Whose to say that any soverign nation won't do the same thing. China already takes steps to control it's people's usage, and uses the net to track down and arrest dissidents. What will they be able to do once they have total control.

I still remember last fall after I published an interview with Ashok Banker, at B.C.( since reprinted here) that mysteriously the day after he ran it on his bogspot site he was denied access for almost five days. He had been highly critical of the Bush administration and our first reaction was that ther was some sort of cencorship going on.

It wasn't until I wrote about it, and it got picked up and run with by a few sites, that Google got back to his repeated requests for assistance and "discovered" that he had gone over the amount allowed for one page(he was just continually adding posts to one page.) All i know is it would take a lot of words to add up to a gigabite which is the number they said he had exceeded.

I'm still not convinced of anything either way in those circumstances, it just made me a lot more leary of trusting the internet in the hands of one anybody, whether it's a government or a corporation.

There are still too many parts of Africa where they don't even have servers, and have to rely on satallite for internet service. The digital divide is an obsenity that shouldn't be allowed to exist. I don't see how letting the U.N. govern the internet would increas cencorship, if no one government had control how could they block their people from seeing what they wanted.

Richard Marcus

p.s. I'll post the code at my blog good luck

#7
Anil
URL
March 23, 2006
06:52 PM

May be it is just me but if I have to choose between the US govt and a UN body which could be chaired by China or Iran I would go with Dubya.

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