NEWS

Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia

March 31, 2006
Aaman Lamba

Pakistan temporarily blocked Wikipedia.org following their earlier blockage of the blogger.com domain. Dr Awab Alvi, who has been running the 'Don't Block the Blog' Campaign from Pakistan reports the blockage.

Today, 31 March 2006, the entire domain of Wikipedia.org, the free online encyclopaedia was blocked because one article of the massive 3.5 million topics covered on the website contained information pertaining to the controversial cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad. While the block appeared to be limited in duration, having been lifted at 20:00 (PST) seven hours after the initiation, the real issues remain about the future censorship of education and knowledge in Pakistan.

A month back, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked access to upwards of 10 million websites being hosted on the blogspot.com domain, following a Supreme Court order issued on March 3rd condemning the controversial cartoons. The judicial order instructed the PTA to regulate only twelve offending websites which were promoting the cartoons on the Prophet Muhammad. One of the offending websites happened to be hosted on the domain www.blogspot.com. The PTA, as the supreme controlling body of internet access in Pakistan, entirely blocked access to upwards of 10 millions websites.

Such blockades are of little value, given that smart surfers can proxy their way around the blockade, as explained by KO in an analysis of the Pakistani Internet Censorship on Desicritics. It also illustrates the inability of nations to realize that the Internet and information in general, transcends borders, ideologies and control.

The lifting of the ban is no solace for information-freedom mavens. The ability to take information away from public gaze is all too common. It was also reported earlier that Google China blocks much that was commonplace, from the image of the Dalai Lama to news about protests in mainland China.

It couldn't happen here, though, could it?

Aaman Lamba is the Publisher of Desicritics.org, a Blogcritics network site. He also blogs, more infrequently nowadays, at Audit Trails Of Self
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#1
Onlooker
URL
April 12, 2006
07:53 AM

I don't know about other Pakistani Blogspot users but my blog site - apart from a few brief days in between - cotinues to remain completely inaccessible to me without the use of anonymisers.

I wonder if other Pakistani bloggers are experiencing the same problem as me?

http://politicalpakistan.blogspot.com

#2
Shantanu Dutta
June 24, 2006
05:42 AM

Good , I ran and looked up all the articles and essays and material on the cartoon episode , my appetttile being aroused by the article about Paksitan blocking wikipedia.

#3
Mayank 'Austen'
URL
June 24, 2006
06:28 AM

Shame on Pakistan government.

#4
Roshan
URL
January 19, 2007
12:18 AM

It couldn't happen here?? They blocked blogger here too for some time. As far as censorship is concerned, we are right up there. It could and has happened here.

#5
lomi
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April 12, 2007
10:08 PM

wat else can u expect frm military general

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#9
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May 31, 2007
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The first stage of a 150m investment in regional museums is praised for boosting visitor numbers.

#10
Jake Trudeau
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May 31, 2007
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Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen reportedly signs a $42.5m (22m) film deal starring his character Bruno.

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June 6, 2007
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Nathaniel Giordano
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June 6, 2007
01:54 PM

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June 7, 2007
03:16 PM

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June 7, 2007
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Ryder Trudeau
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June 9, 2007
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Dillan Billiot
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June 9, 2007
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June 9, 2007
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June 9, 2007
04:25 AM

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June 9, 2007
04:25 AM

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