In response to an open letter that was sent to PTA, Ministry of IT and Supreme Court, regarding the free and easy access of po*n websites in Pakistan, PTA has asked the complainant to send the list of po*n websites that are supposed to get blocked, said a news report published today in ‘The News’.
Citing the Director General, Law and Regulations, newspaper writes:
PTA is aware of its responsibilities in controlling the spread of adult material on the Internet. It added that the PTA, as the telecom sector regulator, has been directing the country’s internet service providers to block several hundreds of websites showing offensive and anti-Islamic material and in this regard the PTA is committed to achieving the desired objectives.
If there is any specific website that you wish to bring into the knowledge of PTA, it is requested that PTA may be informed of the same accordingly for further necessary action at our end.
It merits mentioning here that Ghazi Muhammad Abdullah, a 15-year-old 9th grader, had written to the Chief Justice to take notice of the po*n websites, which are easily and freely accessible in Pakistan.
Abdullah had approached Chief Justice after failed attempt of convincing IT Ministry and PTA for blocking these objectionable websites.
What is Current Process of Blocking Websites?
Just in case you don’t know, PTA can’t taken decision of blocking any website, instead there’s this Inter-Ministerial Committee which has been given the specific mandate to evaluate/examine all such requests for blocking of offensive and objectionable/obnoxious websites (URLs) forwarded by agencies, Ministries, or individuals.
The Sub-Committee sends its recommendations (either to block or not to block a url) to Ministry of Information Technology for issuance of necessary directives.
Then upon the directives of Ministry of Information Technology, PTA asks the ISPs to get website or URLs blocked.
Are ISPs Capable of Blocking Websites/URLs?
Local ISPs said that 90% access to such websites can easily be blocked by them at technical level. Though it will increase the overhead, but ISPAK said that they are ready to pursue any directive given by PTA in this regard.
And it is said that ISPs on their own are in process to block such websites.
Who is Responsible then?
It’s the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which has got the mandate of deciding the fate of any website.
What’s the Hurdle?
Seemingly, our government doesn’t know the websites that contain po*n. Hence, they require a list of websites to get them blocked.
Though the question remains un-answered, even after getting the list of websites, will they block them indeed or they are just delaying the process?
Tip for PTA and Concerned Authorities:
- Hire a guy of average qualification, with salary package of around PKR 10,000
- Ask him to go to this URL: www.google.com
- There will be a prominent search bar there in the middle of the page (with a mic on right side – check below image for details)
- Enter search queries in search bar, for instance: Se* sites, Pakistan Se* sites, Pakistani Po*n and so on.
- Hit the enter button, or you press the “Search” button available on the page
- it will give you a good list of website that you may want to block