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Pakistan: Blog-o-block

I am sure the readers of Global Voices are, by now, well aware of the recent move by ISPs in Pakistan to block blogspot.com sites. The rationale behind this ban cannot be logically justified. The reason given is that due to pressure from (political) groups within Pakistan, the government has in turn (through Pakistan Telecommunications Authority) has pressured ISPs to block sites that displayed the controversial caricatures of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). What has resulted as a consequence of the ISP move is the blocking of all blogspot.com web logs, which cannot be viewed within Pakistan. What the ISPs, the government and those who initiated this cartoon protest web site ban, fail to realize is that they also blocked all those web logs on blogspot.com that actually protested against the printing of these controversial cartoons.

I am very happy to report that it was Global Voices that brought the requisite attention to many readers before the mainstream media even picked up on the story.

Personally, I protested this blogspot.com ban the only way I thought logical, which was to start the DON’T BLOCK THE BLOG campaign with an old blogger friend, Awab Alvi.

As an update to what is being written on blogs regarding this issue, please review a small sample of links presented below:.

Teeth Maestro announces the launch of our campaign; Procrastination also details the blogspot issue; Danial suggests actions to protest the ban; Ovais Khan presents some ways around the ban; and finally, Windmills also writes a furious response to this blogspot.com ban in Pakistan.

I encourage all the readers to support our campaign or any other online free speech campaign. This is a very important issue. And I thank all of you who have supported our campaign and/or protested this blogspot.com blockade.

20 comments

  • Pingback: Opinionated Voice

    […] Neha, Shirazi, Zakintosh, Procrastination and Global Voices report on the the Freedom of Expression of Pakistani Bloggers that has been under attack by some. Initially intended to restrict availability of sites publishing the cartoons, but instead blocking all blogger blog sites. Join the campaign! . . . . […]

  • Pingback: Opinionated Voice

    […] Neha, Shirazi, Zakintosh, Procrastination and Global Voices report on the the Freedom of Expression of Pakistani Bloggers that has been under attack by some. Initially intended to restrict availability of sites publishing the cartoons, but instead blocking all blogger blog sites. Join the campaign! Since I’m on the subject of publishing the cartoons, Ayman Al-Zawahri has said; “In the eyes of the West, they have the right to occupy our land, rob our wealth and then insult us and our religion, and humiliate our Quran and our prophet (pbuh),” .. “After that they give us lessons in freedom, justice and human rights.” . […]

  • What political pressures? do they even know what blogs are?

    You’d think theyd be satisfied with taking out rallies and burning building, but no they have to stop the voices of those who actually had something to say in support of their cause.

    “Jahalat” is the word that comes to mind.

  • Good luck on your campaign, I’ve put your banner on my blog and hope many others follow suit. “Freedom ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free”, or at least it ought to be…love and peace, sometimes, B.

  • Great.I will put it on my blog and I will send it to friends.
    Best

  • The banners up on my blog and i encourage all to join this campaign, we can not sit idly while our rights are taken away from us one by one, untill we become slaves to our country’s leaders.

  • Good piece here!

    But I guess … Ban’s just been lifted !

    Anyways, ban on blogspot, which is one of the major service used by Pakistani bloggers in order to air their thoughts their expression is nothing bu a foolish act!

    Hope PTA’s over it now!

  • THe ban is still in place. As of 17th March 2006

  • The creative mind of a few local Pakistanis Yasir Memon & Naveed Memon – has created this nifty utility for those individuals in Pakistan stuck behind the Government supported censorship on our Internet

    The way this service works is that you can simply go-to

    http://www.pkblogs.com/blogname

    where blogname is “blogname.blogspot.com”

    Alternatively head on over to http://www.pkblogs.com – you get NO ads or any annoying pop-up to disturb your surfing experience, the service converts all inside and outside links

  • While the blocking of blogspot.com is a very sad move does anyone else not see irony of the protesting against this move while Google (owners of blogspot.com) blocks access to many websites in accordance to the political wishes of the Chinese government….

    Shame on the Pakistani authorities and shame on Google too.

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