Breaking: Mobile Companies to Filter SMS Content

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is reportedly working on a mechanism under which mobile phone operators will filter SMS content for black listed keywords to make sure that SMS messages with bad language aren’t delivered to (intended or un-intended) mobile phone users, told us sources at PTA headquarters.

Though the information we have got is of preliminary nature but we can confirm that a list of almost 1,500 keywords (from both Urdu and English language) has been prepared and sent out to telecom companies to be filtered for any communication over SMS.

For the purpose a letter titled: “Implementation – Content Filtering through SMS” is reportedly on it’s way for telecom companies.

From what it looks like, each and every SMS message will be filtered by mobile companies and will be delivered to other party only if it passes the filter list.

We are yet to get the official confirmations from cellular companies and PTA, but the we have got this list of keywords, first shared by Faisal Sabzwari over twitter, which mostly contains abusive words. Even Mr. Sabzwari was trembled by the list:

Faisal_SMS_Filtering

If implemented in true spirit, this action by PTA is going to get massive applaud, especially because incidents of indecent and abusive SMS messages received from unknown users are increasing.

On other hands, cellular companies won’t be happy if such a regulation is implemented. Just imagine the size of work required in filtering billions of messages a day. There are going to be issues involved including the cost involved in deploying filters, latency, delivery issues and so on.

As we mentioned earlier, we aren’t aware of the procedures and execution methods for the filtering, but we sincerely hope that mobile companies will take necessary measures for the privacy of SMS communication. Moreover, government won’t use this regulation/determination to filter anti-government or anti-politicians messages.

Keep watching this space for more updates on this.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Very good, but some dash dash youth will hate this who cannot complete a sentence without including some vulgar word.

    • milkywayer

      Only like the ones in current government and ministries would want such kinds of censorships. We don’t want to live in a censored society.

      Anyway, iss government ne ore konsy teer maar liye hain jo ab aisay kaarnaamy sar-anjaam de kr kuch prove krny ki koshish kr rahy hain.

      lakh laanat. Live and let live. THey just keep on doing these stupid tactics to divert ppl’z attention from real issues like corruption, zero improvement and progress, no power, cng, inflation. Zardari ki jay ho.

      [Comment Edited]

  • Kashif

    i do not support this action. Am terrified by these moral policing. this is worst than saudi arabia and china… stay the hell away from my personal life PTA :(

    • EB

      Exactly! They just want to put these filtering systems in place and block whatever they deem WRONG….next step blocking all smses that are against the current government or calls to stage protests….

    • Ab!

      I agree with u Kashif

  • Kashif

    Medical terms to be banned:
    Athletes foot
    Breast
    Condom
    Flatulence
    Intercourse
    Period
    Premature
    Tongue
    Herpes
    Daily usage words to be banned:
    Deeper
    Fairy
    Fingerfood
    Hole
    Hostage
    Harder
    Religious terms to be banned:
    Devil
    Jesus Christ
    LGBT terms to be banned:
    Gay
    Homosexual
    Queer
    Musicians/artists to be banned:
    Wuutang
    tribune.com.pk/story/292774/filtering-sms-pta-may-ban-over-1500-english-urdu-words/

    • khan

      This list is hilarious.

      So no more a wife can SMS his husband to bring “””condoms””” because they are out of stock… and then since he missed that message due to filteration, she cant SMS him that she missed “””period””” and afterward she cant SMS that she got “””pregnant”””…. ;-)
      And finally she can’t SMS him that he need to work “””harder””” to provide for a new kid…. ;-) LMAO

      • SheedaBadmash

        :D

      • Asif

        lmao!

    • Asif Sajjad

      Where is “Zardari” Uncle ??? :p

  • Kashif

    now who want porn blocked? .. lolzz
    this is what happens when you handover moral policing to monkeys. :p

    • A for Apple

      Rise of the planet of the PTA – 2011…. :)

      • milkywayer

        Planet of the Apes label just fine for PTA and zardari co.

  • Fasih

    Interesting Move, question arise “will this implementation interrupt delivery of text messages (i.e: DELAY)”? QC is going be major job to cater.

  • Rashid

    Dear frnds . . . i think this all iz about politicians . . . they don’t want anymore of insult of there selves

    • life style

      List main un ka naam nahi hai :) wesey ye kaam nahi ker sakte kiu ke loog naam liye baghair bhi un ko bohot kuch kah dete hain

      For Example “Z”…… samajh to gay honge aap :D

      Karo is ko ban ;)

  • Stone

    ahhh ppl it says that PTA is working on it….mobile companies are yet to respond to all of this. With the billiions of SMS we send everyday, companies would have to pile up massive processing power to filter each and every SMS that is sent….

    I doubt this will ever be implemented

    • bilal

      exactly… it would be a bottleneck for SMS service.. Pakistani’s send a lot lot messages every day.. and processing power required for this is very large.. other wise it will create longer delays in messaging due to processing for clearance… lol

      • Shahid Saleem

        — Pakistani’s send a lot lot messages every day.. and processing power required for this is very large..

        No, it isn’t. In 2006 (almost six years ago), full mail classification using bogofilter or crm114 or dspam was as slow as 10 messages/second and as fast as 50 messages/second on a 2.2GHz Xeon (source: http://lwn.net/Articles/172491/). The average SMS is much much smaller than the average mail message, so specialized tools to filter spam can be a lot faster than that. It is only about 1,000 words to check for. Very easy task.

  • Imran

    Xcellent initiative. This should b done on top priority

    • MoMoo

      yes you are right, companies instead of sending a prayer timings sms to clients put all their effort to ban this stuff.

  • Akbar Rasheed

    No words .. This is hilarious .. I mean do these people have any sense of technology usage .. How many subscribers are being effected .. 100 Million .. Please Share these words with Public so every one should know what not to write in an SMS .. :) .. Another creepy step taken in haste by the regulator with out any information to the end-users .. What they want .. Control .. ! .. Be sensible rather a joke Internationally ..

  • Salam, bekar news, pr acha hai block sms service down ho jaye ge

  • ilyas

    is the name of any politician included

  • Sani

    Wh0 using full spelng n SMS pta…??:-D

  • Ahmed

    Welcome to communist china!

    Next thing will be filtering the Tv, internet chat, phone conversations, the news paper and soon the way we dress, the way we think.

    • Danish

      Agreed…

      This is simply against individual rights…

  • Ahmed

    I neva use ful spellin in sms,it is so funny..they want to control ppl, they deprived us 4m VoIP, nw next r VPN n dis shit..include [email protected]@ri’s name in it.

  • Imran Shah

    hahahahaha….isko kehte hein “GHANTA OFFER”

  • Ali

    Is the word ‘Zardari’ also included in the ban list ?

  • Haider Qureshi

    Damn H0lysh*t i wont be able to send
    L*ck
    s*ck
    F*ck
    M*thrF**ker and zardari too or may be some sweet pubjabi abbuses ;-)

    • haris

      ……hhhhhh !!! im n0t happyy ;p

  • Alam

    Initiative is outstanding but what about implementation? mobile companies are not investing to improve their call/message quality how hell they invest on this? Weird!

  • iwhizkid

    Breast, condom, tounge, hole.. Seriously?
    These aren’t freaking vulgur words. Sigh. #ptasucks

  • sss

    v bad action.pta cant interfere.mobile companies cant bear its cost.

  • Uzair

    Now, TelCo sector may increase SMS charges for this unwanted service.
    PTA should do the homework and black list all numbers who send these vulgar SMSs.
    I personally havent received these SMSs in more than 5 years.

  • now its feel like i am living in Islami Jhamoriya Pakistan

    i am loving in it ^_^

    PTA plz wateen waloon kay bhi kaan khencho :p

    • Danish

      As if this is the only condition for being in IJP ;

    • What complaint do you have with Wateen.

  • Patendo

    I have seen the list… It is hilarious… Common language words like ‘Stupid,sniper, slave, robber’ etc are in the list, which pretty much shows the level of people who have drafted the list… PTA get a life… blocking porn is one thing… but this ridiculous..people are eventually going to find another way out of it….

  • Stranger

    This defiantly looks like Talib Doger production (Director General PTA). Only he can come up with such sick ideas and cheap dictionary.

    I believe, he has copied his own cell phone dictionary to make a list of 1000+ words. I wonder how he plans to block word FCUK or any other combination.

    • like it

      Dog Doger Dogest….the best one is yet to come

  • atif

    i don’t know how to react on this news… i mean they can never avoid such things thru BAN… they need to improve people’s Moral Values, educate them from grass root level, make them a better muslim.. only then they can get rid of this.. secondly this is invasion of my privacy and i don’t feel comfortable as they are taking away the means thru which i (like others) use to express my frustration or feeling without any hesitation.. sad n bad

  • Salman Abbas

    Solution: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/encrypt-sms/id432891578?mt=8 :D (am sure there are apps for other platforms as well)

  • zain

    KIYANI aur pakistan army , ISI tou ban list main sub say ouper ho ga . because they dont want people to know their reality

  • Sajid

    I don’t appreciate that move,there are many messages we send that contain information but also include those words.

  • Hassan

    I’ll just leet, sorry, l337 these words

  • zain

    well this ban is not for vulgarity etc. vulgarity is not an issue for our govt. its due to security concernds

    • Shahid Saleem

      Exactly. Once the providers have the setup in place to filter/block/report messages with certain keywords, then the PTA/government can give them an updated list of security or politics related keywords to watch for, especially near events. This looks like just an attempt to make providers implement the blocking/tracking solutions.

      • admin

        I fear it’s even worse… might do a story, coz i don’t know after that I will be able to hold the pressure or not

        • Maani

          That’s what would happen when you let the “Big Brother” to play the “Game” :-(

        • Ahmed

          Amir Bhai, worry not. I saw that CNBC guy the other day in local Islamabad hospital, he was freely roaming around, he is most sensible, polite but very critical analyist in any news channel, I am sure Govt, foojis won’t like him much.

  • SYED KASHIF ZAHOOR

    LO G…. ab to mamooli sa msg. bhi kartay huye 100 Baar sochna paray ga… Mobile Co.s ko faaida iasay hoga keh sms ki jaga Call krna paregi.

  • Imran

    When it Will Get Operating i have Tested it but its not working…
    And i think its Almost Impossible because People in Pakistan Send Mass Amount of SMS to each other this is because of The Free SMS packages.

    After PTA’s this step i think they are completely Idiots They Should Minimize the Flow of SMS by banning Such Free Sms Packages first because filtering that Mass Amount of SMS will be Definitely a challenge … What a Foolish Idea.!!!

  • Talat

    they should add Zardari & Altaf to this list as well :P
    it ll help to substantially reduce the number of abusive sms regarding that travel to millions of phones everyday :P

  • xyz

    It wudnt mak ani difernce cos a selight chnge in alphabt can pass it frm filtr. Does any1 writ full word if usng absive lang?. Wud u writ intrcorse this way and pass the filtr and mean somethng not bad… Hahaha…. :)

    [Comment Edited]

  • Hassan

    Pakistan GOVT has already snatched people’s basic rights such as food and water and now they are also snatching to express their views openly.

    [Comment Edited]

  • @Hassan

    Have you ever heard about China? A country have no access to social networks that penetrate each packet in/out from the China. How do you like to comment on this?

    Chinese are happier with this regulations than Pakistan where you are allowed to surf any thing on web. :-)

  • Imran

    @Alam

    If China has banned Social Networks so as they Also provided alternatives, e.g china dont use Google Search Engine and they made similar to it. They Atleast care about their Public not Cut and throw them like Altaf Bhai Choora. Lolx.

  • Dan Strassel

    Fine job! More please.

  • @Imran

    Chinese government didn’t make baidu perhaps their people made it, and Google was there for decade. It recently stopped services because of too much filtration imposed by China Govt.

    Pakistani community have been pushed into social media, internet in such a dirty way that you can not imagine.

    Few days back, i asked one uncle, provide internet to your kid to get help from internet. He said no, internet is very bad thing. ‘jahannum mein dakheldon apne bete ko’ :-D

    As stats shared by some sources may be aamir that more then 69% internet bandwidth used by torrents, youtube/streaming.

  • GFShaikh

    I will not support this action but sms packages should be controlled because such sms packages are wasting the time of youngsters and generations….so all sms packages should be blocked and charges per sms should be started…..