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Internet Censorshiip


Submitted By rasham
Words 2795
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In this era of information, Internet and censorship are considered to be opposite to each other. Where internet is the source of worldwide knowledge and censorship is the policy to censor some of the information which can cause any type of disruption. In Pakistan, the use of this new technology is under practice with the control of censorship on some content.
This research paper looks at the measurements taken by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to control the censored information and block the sites which holds the improper and immoral information.
The paper tends to find the historical background of the internet censorship in Pakistan holding the precautionary measures taken by PTA and how the religious values are protected by blocking various anti-Islamic sites. The guidelines are being followed by the Government of Pakistan in order to supervise the censored material on the internet.

Censorship is the act or policy of omitting the obscene, corrupt and politically dangerous content form the books, movies/ films etc. (Wikipedia)
Internet censorship is to restrict every type of content that includes immoral and offensive approach. (Wikipedia)
Till 2010 in Pakistan, people had the open and unrestricted access to every kind of religious, political, social and sexual escalating content on the internet. The websites offering the critical content against Pakistani government and military are also banned. Pakistan government has not really an effective blocking system but though it has restricted some sites to protect the security of internet. (Sohail, 2007)
PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd) took an initiative in April 2003, to restrict the anti-Islamic and Pornographic sites, whereas it also worked on the banning of blasphemous sites on the internet to protect the religion. Federal Investigation Agency wanted to have a control on pornographic sites and for this purpose they ordered Internet Services Providers in 2004 to supervise such content, but ISPs could not do that due the lacking techs and therefore they forwarded this task to PTCL, as it was in the commendable situation to hold the task. (Hephaestus, 2011)
On 30 September, 2005, The Danish newspaper named Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in their news outlet. This activity of Danish editor brought a huge flood of disruption and caused many deaths of the Protestants against the anti-Islamic activity of Danish newspaper. The Danish embassy in Pakistan was exploded by the Protestants in Islamabad where as in other Islamic states such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon also set the fire to Danish embassies in their homeland. The Protestants showed the great disgrace for the Europeans nations including Danish, French, and Dutch etc. They dishonored their flags by setting them on fire in Gaza city. (Jillian, 2011)
On 1 March 2006 the session of the Supreme Court was held on this severe Islamic issue. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered the government to take complete control over the websites showing the blasphemous content regarding the cartoons of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and also were demanded an explanation that why such anti-Islamic sites had not been banned earlier. On 2 March 2006, all Judges ordered the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and other Communication departments of Pakistan government to censor the anti-Islamic websites. The making of laws was ordered to the Attorney General Makhdoom Ali Khan to facilitate the block system of such sites. (Sohail, 2007)
On 14 March 2006, at the hearing of the Supreme Court regarding the measures taken in order to implement Court’s order, the PTA came up with the information that all websites hosting the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had been censored. (Sohail, 2007)
Five websites were banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in 2006, for exercising the provision of ambiguous content and it was declared that these sites were being accused of offending the Law by providing the exposure of the conflict regarding Baluchistan separatism. (Hephaestus, 2011)
Number of Anti-Islamic videos was available on the YouTube; therefore Pakistan Telecommunication Authority took a decision on 22 Feb 2007, to block the YouTube. To some extent the Dutch movie named ‘Fitna’ was the reason to block the YouTube because the movie was a controversial. ISPs were ordered to block the YouTube as it contained the profane content and so it remained block on 24 Feb. (Corrigendum, 2008)
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had put a ban on for introducing the competition with the name of “Draw Muhammad Day”. Many other sites such as Flicker and YouTube were also banned by the PTA for disrespecting the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The was banned on the order of Lahore High Court and other sites were banned by PTA on the logical basis. (Jillian, 2011)
Pakistan government is now working on their initiative of blocking the censored sites up to 50 million with the help of some nationwide system of filtering or restricting those sites. For this purpose Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has published the call for tender in order to practically apply this filtering system on the internet so that the censored sites would be omitted from nation’s approach. (Corrigendum, 2008)
The entries of the filtering system proposal can be done by different private organizations as well as research and academic institutions until 16 March, 2012. Whatever the proposal will be submitted should be able to restrict the list of censored sites up to 50 million within the time limit of 1 milliseconds processing period.
Currently, there are certain websites restricted and banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in order to make the use of internet better and not morally abusive. * * * * the *
Censoring the internet is been hotly discussed these days. People have different views about censoring internet, some people thinks that it is not censored because it is supported by various government officials and some thinks that the data available on internet should be passed through a device which will exclude the data which is censored or objectionable. Basically the meaning of censorship is to hide the objects or material that is objectionable. People have different type of opinions on censoring the internet. A few people support censoring the internet, and many people have no concern about it have no problem in it and watching offensive thing. (Brown, 1984)
There are many reasons for censoring internet. One of them is how children’s will perceive these offensive things and how these offensive things will affect them psychologically. Secondly, the devices used in censoring the internet may lead the e children towards believing that their parents or adults don’t have faith on them and they have no freedom for doing anything. Many schools use this situation for developing responsibility in their students. They do not block the offensive websites in school and give their students full freedom to select the right path for them. They become aware what is good and what is wrong for them. (Nellen, 2000) This study leads to a question that who is determining to filter that what is objectionable or what is not? The answer to this question cannot be getting by finding something offensive on website by a person. A person can change anything which he/she finds offensive on internet but the culture of the society restricts him to do so. It is not the solution of our problem to filter the websites that are censored. Every person in our society should be enough educated that he/she should be aware of what is right and what is wrong for them. (Nellen, 2000)
Now days there are many ways of blocking the offensive websites. But the most frequently used ways (which are very helpful) to restrict these websites are (a) different software’s of blocking (b) by using word blocking software (it will restrict the search engines to open all blocked word’s), like pornography, violence etc (c) lastly, by block our internet server setting. (The Economist, 1996)
Parents try’s to protect their children’s from watching inappropriate or objectionable context on the websites. Surf Watch is one of the best blocking software used worldwide. It is taking reasonable measures to protect the children from watching violated content on internet; it blocks all that type of websites which are having such data (like the data related to violence, abusive language, pornography related material, alcohol and drug related data). This software is working at its best to block offensive websites which are excesses by children’s. (Ray, 2002)
Like many other issues pornography is one of the big issues in censoring the internet. Websites relates with pornographic content are opened easily on internet and are in range of children’s. To protect the children from seeing harmful and highly censored data the high officials of that time take reasonable measures for protecting children. They made an organization named as CID (Communication Decency Act) under t his act the authorities were ordered to protect the nation’s future (children) from watching such censored content on internet and should take permanent measure to block such websites. (Lewise, 2001)
As internet is used worldwide and is highly useful. The making of internet was to help people connect with each other cheap rates. But due to some objectionable content on internet is making it costly. It is analyzed that censoring the internet cost too much. (Gidari, 1995)
While searching on censoring internet we found that many of times people uses offensive and x rated information on their websites as a scheme to create high ratings. A man Kiyoshi Kuromiya who owns a websites but due to low ratings he made it pornographic website and added it with a lot of sex related information in high detail for more explanation he added explicit pictures. Which could attract the audience towards its website and he would have high ratings. He does this to create high rating if did not do so then due to low ratings his website would be blocked. (Ray Bradbury, 2002)
Pakistan has increased the ratio of censoring internet in the country for many years. Many social networking sites were banned in Pakistan due to posting o blasphemous data on their websites. A blog was also blocked due to the posting “Mohammad cartoons”. The blog was posted in Denmark. Due to these violated acts not even Pakistan but also Bangladesh blocked the whole website. And Saudi Arabia also blocked that page in their country. Pakistan blocked the whole website not the page because it was also against the ideology of Pakistan. People use it as schemes to create hip of their website by disgracing others religious dogmas which are not good. (Jillian, 2011)
Plenty of times different websites show or organizes a campaign against religious dogmas of Muslims. For it in the period of Musharaf in 2002 he made organization, who works to protest the nation from such things. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority PTA) blocks such websites. On February 2002, a video posted on YouTube named as “Fitna” made by Greet Wilders. In this video he tried to mock on our beloved Prophet Muhammad. PTA ordered to block that website. (Corrigendum, 2008)
Censorship on Internet is strictly followed because of the Communication Decency Act (CDA), it is one of the part of telecommunication since February 1996. CDA is a law, according to this law a person who open offensive material on their computer network under the age of 18 are being consider as criminals. Many of book writers journalist thinks that this law has taken their freedom of speech. (Russell Wander, 2000)
Internet censorship is favored by many people as well as many people don’t favor it. Censoring the internet would destroy it people would stop using it because the people associated with it worldwide use it because they feel freedom in using it. But censoring it will lose its popularity. People like internet because they come here interact with each other from one corner to the other do debates openly on different topics. Due to its boldness and freedom many of the new agencies are moving toward internet here they can easily express and show the truth to the world which they can’t do otherwise. If internet would be censored then there would be no freedom for anyone. (Bradsher, Keith, 2000)
Many people who support internet censorship claims that internet should be censored because it is criminalized by many thing like it makes children to attract towards pornography. In these way children spoils their life in wrong sides at the age of innocence they become matured by seeking such thing at very little age. Pornographic material is easily accessible on internet these days which can’t be permanently or totally could be omit so these thing should be censored if we want to secure the future of our children’s. Many criminals use internet for their wrong purposes these use mail system and sent wrong type of mails to people which is illegal. When the person is not your peer, relative etc just to disturb they send illegal mails with offensive data on it sometime explicit diagrams too. (Society 39)
The Pakistani officials are trying to make a high rated Internet Censoring System. Through this system they can block many websites which are related with objectionable material. Because the system they presently having is not enough capable of blocking the 50 million websites which are been blacklisted by Pakistani government. To block a website is only done by its router. By managing internet router we could block websites. Pakistani ISP’s having bad system for blocking the websites which needs to be flourished. It can be analyzed by seeing this condition that a private company introduced blocking software Mobiles through which the Pakistani can’t even search the name of their president Asif Ali Zardari. (Danny O’Brien 2012)
Internet has always been a source of information worldwide. But in the bad time of Pakistani politics it has plays a vital role stabling the politics of Pakistan. When on November, 3 2007 the Pakistani president imposed emergency in the country and banned or blocked all kind of media in country then there was no source of information exchange. At that time internet was the only source to know what is happening in the country. (Shaheen, 2008)
All the media channels record every kind of data and upload it on internet live new and breaking new could easily been seen on various internet sites. YouTube is one of the biggest website for watching uploading and sharing videos. (Bolognani, 2010)

Hypothesis Questions: 1. Is there internet censorship in Pakistan? 2. How effectual is the internet censorship in Pakistan? 3. How censorship of internet is carried out in Pakistan?
1. Do you agree there is internet censorship in Pakistan? 2. Do you agree that internet censorship in Pakistan is effective? 3. Do you agree that PTA is doing well in practicing the censorship of internet? 4. Do you agree that censorship of internet is necessary to protect the religious values? 5. Do you agree that internet censorship in Pakistan is securing the Islamic society from violence? 6. Do you agree that sites such as facebook, twitter and flicker should be permanently banned for initiating the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) drawings competition? 7. Do you agree that Pakistani government is taking enough preventing measures to keep internet under the control of censorship? 8. Do you think censorship of internet in Pakistan is helpful in making the environment of society better? 9. Do you agree that Pakistani government has several departments to deal with the censorship of internet? 10. Do you agree that being an Islamic Republic there should be internet censorship in Pakistan?
Work Cited 1. Brown, Andrew, (1984) “The limit of freedom” New Statesman, 2. Economist, (May 1996) “The Top Shelf: Internet Censorship”. The Economist 84.18. 3. Gidari Albert, (January 1995) “Bringing the Law to the internet”. 4. Ray Bradbury, (17 march 2002) “Fahrenheit 451”. 5. Jillian C. York, (27 July 2011) “Pakistan escalates its internet censorship”. 6. Corrigendum. Most_ Urgent _Subject (22 February 2008): “Blocking of offensive Website” Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. 7. Bradsher, Keith, (February 2000) A no to Internet censors. 8. The New York Times, (July 2000) Internet Censorship Growing Society 9. Danny O’Brien, (March 1,2012) “Pakistan’s excessive Internet Censorship plans” 10. Shaheen, M. A. (2008). Use of social networks and information seeking behavior of students during political crises in Pakistan: A case study. The International Information & Library Review, 40, 142-147 11. Bolognani, M. (2010). Virtual protest with tangible effects? Some observations on the media strategies of the 2007 Pakistani anti-Emergency movement. Contemporary South Asia, 18(4), 401-412 12. Christine Zuchora-Walske, (2007), “Internet Censorship: Protecting Citizens or Trampling Freedom?” 13. Sohail Mahmood, (2007), “Good Governance Reform Agenda in Pakistan: Current Challenges”. 14. Hephaestus books, (2011), “Internet Censorship by Country”. | |

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