Filtering SMS, What Next? Emails? Calls?

By now, I suppose everyone is familiar with this new determination issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority under which mobile phone companies are ordered to setup a system to filter SMS communication to block at least 1,500 keywords from English and Urdu language.

ad_141011This action is likely to protect those who get abusive text messages from random unknown numbers, which is a good thing.

Good indeed, however, don’t we have SMS/Call block services in place to tackle such situations? You can check out this image on right side for details.

While we also know that PTA has told all operators to aggressively deal with such obnoxious callers. Even it asked operators to maintain a list of black listed customers and never sell them SIMs again.

Having said this, filtering SMS content means either PTA has failed to protect mobile customers from such offensive messages or there is something else going on behind the scenes.

In case PTA has given up with controlling abusive text messages, and is unable to confine cellular operators to take necessary measures for blocking offenders then one can easily translate this into a situation where PTA’s regulations aren’t implemented the way they are supposed to be.

I am afraid this SMS filtration regulation can go ugly, real ugly. Anyone from government will be come up and will have his/her share of inputting in the list of banned keywords, especially when we Pakistanis are so good at breaking laws.

Intercepting communication at this level is first of it’s kind regionally, even globally, I am wondering what PTA has in mind to filter next, probably telephonic conversations, our drawing rooms? or even bedrooms?

I believe PTA has reached a point where it should stop all this. It has given enough business to this firm, we must not risk our national interests beyond this point or we won’t be able to pay the price for the surveillance we have opted our selves.

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

  • Firstly, the ban doesn’t need to be in place. If say I like to call my best friend an “ass”, please let me do. There could be an important message in that particular text too.

    And banning keywords like Jesus christ? That’s pure blasphemy if anything.

    Like Aamir mentioned, there are subscriber and network level blocks, we can take care of ourselves.

    • Use polite language to call your friends. Don’t forget that body parts have become english names because those english people have made such vulgar words part of their daily language and they are no longer vulgar words for them. Same thing is happening here.

        • mohtaram hammad sahab ye islami jhamoria e pakistan ha hamara dean hame tehzeb r tamez sekhata ha…agr ap muslim ho to mera ne keyl k ap ko kaka sahb ki bat bori lagne chea…kher ap jse ko samjna b fazol he hota ha

          • Islam censorship nahin sikhaata hai, self control sikhaata hai. Aap ka self control kahan hai?
            Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you watch TV? Don’t you interact freely with women that you aren’t a mahram of? Online and offline?
            More importantly, why not fix yourself before pointing fingers at anyone else and encouraging blind government censorship?

            • Kashif apka matlab to phir self control karain sab? aur jiska dil chahay bazar main behoda labaas pehnay phiray jiska chahay na phiray koi saza pabandi na ho?

              to phir chor daku wagera ko bhi koi saza nahi honi chahiyay, wo bhi self control karain jiski marzi na karay lootta phiray. Police bhi na ho. kanon bhi na ho. Aur apkay liyay to shayad Quran bhi koi ihmiyat nahi rakhta.

              Aapkay dosray point ka bhi yeh he matlab hay chor pakrda jayay to wo yeh keh ker apni jaan chudwa sekta hay “yaar kia tum nay bachpan say ab tak kia kabi chori nahi ki?”

              galat galat he hay main karon ya ap karo. PTA nay kuch acha ker dia, ap nay to kabi nahi kea koi ehtejaj jis main kaha ho kay mazid Islami qawaneen raij hon bay pardgi na ho. Balkay un qawaneen ko to tang nazri ka naam dia jata hay ab :D

              ap nay to kisi dost ko kabi yeh bhi nahi kaha hoga yaar sms main ganday alfaz mat bheja karo gunah hota hay. Ap to keh rahay ho gandi chezain allow honi chahiyain.

            • islam tamez sekhata ha ye ne sekhata k dosto ko ASS khe k pukaro…mama gal peli pori parh lai kro avain
              dada g a bn jaya kro…

      • We can take care of ourselves, yet 1month ago people were applauding PTA blocking porn.

        You idiots opened the door to censorship now you have sold out your voice.

  • When sending any sms first u have to read carefully then send but how you remember such keywords and what are these keywords?

    Suppose if they block “Pathan” keyword and a friend asking whats ur cast then what i say?

    These type of filtering will create a massive problems and nobody receiving any sms might be users discontinue their sms packages.

          • So you mean ISLAM permit you to kill innocent people? You are truly a retarded extremist dude. and this time i am not sorry to say that.

            • Islam never killed innocents :)

              There is difference between Talibans, the one who are being supported by Pakistan such as Osama being living in ISB, and the other who are being supported by India, America who bomb Pakistan.

              Taliban tanzeem kafi pehlay ke tokron main taqseem ho chuki.

              • OK so you mean OBL didn’t kill innocent people? There are thousands of videos of so called your Loving talibans killing innocent peoples.

                and wait do you really think OBL was in isb ? he was dead long before that dude.

                You are supporting taliban who kill people on the bases of religion.

                Taliban: whats your religion.
                Man: I am hindu.
                Taliban: Shoot him, hes kafir.

                Do you think islam permits you to kill innocent non muslims? no it never do. it teach you to invite them to your religion.

                Man get out of that Extremist mentality and stop supporting Taliban, if you really do want to support them, do it. but please don’t call them muslims, they aren’t muslims.


      • If you don’t have the guts to use your real name here, don’t comment and don’t try to enforce your thinking onto anyone else.

        NO ONE has the right to enforce their thinking onto anyone else. Imagine you messaging your wife or girlfriend something personal, and some idiot at the PTA or your cellular service provider reading it.

        Baat achi zabaan istemaal karne ki nahin hai
        Baat choice ki hai and yeh choice humaara apna hai ke hum kaise baat karen.. Kissi ko yeh haq nahin hai ke hum pe aise restrictions lagaye. Least of all, uneducated people or “parhe likhe jaahil” like you who think that censorship is good.

        • Will i get some certificate if i use my real name?

          What is girl friend? In other words galat friend :D yeah they are sent vulgar words :D

          Waldeen apko sari umar roktay rahay burai say, ab zindagi ka pahiyah apnay haath agaya hay to yeh kehna shuru ker dia no one have the right to control us. Afsoos ki baat hay.

          Perhay likhay jahil to yeh he hain jo apnay apko modern samajtay hain. english mahol bohat pasand kertay hain isko modern dunia samajtay hain. SMS main galian istemal kerna modern samajtay hain. Gandi sites hon jis country main us main reh ker apnay apko modern samajtay hain.

          Mujhay to dur hay jab yeh “modern type youth” road per ehtejaj ko nikal ayay ge kay zana per koi saza nahi honi chahiyay. Zana hamara haq hay, no one have the right to control us.

      • — They are blocking vulgar words, not pathan.

        Is “period” a vulgar word, kaka? Is “tongue”? “deeper” “harder” “idiot”??? All vulgar words now?

        — There is difference between Talibans, the one who are being supported by Pakistan such as Osama being living in ISB, and the other who are being supported by India, America who bomb Pakistan.

        What stupidity. So every time a Taliban kills innocent people you automatically say oh, he was Indian/American/whatever supported Taliban.

        Where are the Real Taliban, kaka? They seem invisible…

        And lastly Osama was NOT taliban, he was Al Qaeda. Show me any video or statement where he claims to be Taliban? Nope, all in your head.

  • When will we people stand up for our rights? The government is putting these filtering system into place with excuses of blocking porn and now vulgar language, which is all a farce just to take away your personal rights and privacy one step at a time. Wake up people!

        • @ kashif malim kia sahaba k zamany main ghalat kamo pe kia pabandi nahi lagti thi?aaj ki hukumat tu buri hai hi likin agar wo koi acha kaam kar rahi hai, matlab porn websites pe pabandi laga rahi hai aur vulgar word pe tu is main tumain q bura lag raha hai?aur ab hukumat k buraiyan nahi ginwana k wo itnay corrupt hain phelay wo khatam karo ,bhai agar aik kaam ghalat hai tu kia koi doosra kaam acha nahi kar saktay??agar hukumat buri hai tu kia tum bhi us se mukabala kar k bura bano gay?? wah bhai wah kia logics hai aaj k awam ki.aur ye kisi bhi government ka right hai k wo kisi bhi ghalat cheez pe pabandi lagai,main is hukumat ki taraf dari nahi kar raha likin ye step PTA ka bhot acha hai.

  • This is Because of Z A R D A R I. Itney tu mesaage ban gaye hain. akhir us ki b koi izzat hai. :)Smaj te tussi gai ho gai.

  • As Muslims we should respect other religions. Agr Europe & America mai ‘Allah’ or ‘Muhammad’ ka word ban ho jae to sab log cheekh parein gy. Blasphemy ka ilzaam lgaya jaye ga. Products ka bycott kiya jaega. Now Wt the hell are we doing by blocking the words like ‘Jesus Christ’. Now we are showing us Our Blasphmer face…

  • Yeh sub uss paidaaishi jhootay Rehman Malik aur us kay boss Zardari ka kaam hai.

    Then don’t want people to criticize their corruption and poor performance thru sms.

    PTA is exceeding far beyond its limits. Who gave it the right to filter and block personal communications between friends and family members??

  • i read somewhere… a person rightly said.. the pta doesn’t know the ability of our youth… they know how to use special characters for such words… do ban won’t affect much…

  • I argued it before, and I argue it again. If there is a personal level system available to filter unwanted stuff (calls and text in this case) then why we “scream” for ban all the time, and why we let the authority to play with our “Rights”, and exploit its power for their own agendas.

    As Aamir pointed it above. All our operators has the proper mechanism for us + any smart or even some cheap phones these days has the filter system built-in. Then what’s the hassle all about?

    I’ll not accept this. and I’ll send a protest letter to our authority ,to abandon this and other similar ideas at once. and respect our Freedom and our Rights. We don’t want you to monitor us all the time, and “use” us the way you want.

  • PTA really should focus on what they are doing. It Instead of forcing Cellular Operators to record and maintain valid user information against cell numbers they are using such tactics to annoy normal customers who are themselves tired of obnoxious messages.
    Retards are hired by PTA and i don’t know how they come up with such annoying ways to stop wrong doings.
    Cellular Operators are also at fault who are just giving away SIM’s without verifying Information provided by the user.

  • And you fellows thought it was only Porn that was getting blocked? Just wait and watch, the very definition of ‘truth’ will be distorted in this country.

  • So you say PTA should stop on this point, i say there should be no censorship, sms, internet etc should not be monitored or filtered by any authority.

  • what the hell, pta porn sites ko to block ker nhi saka sms aur voice calls ko kese filter karein ge, Pta ko chahiye k pehle porn sites ko block karein

  • I know right..Aur itni cheezein hain sahi kerney ko, sms content filter kerein ge?

    Imagine the huge costs and delays this will bring to network operators.

    Also, banning smsing after 12Am would have been a better idea, so people who really need to talk, can just switch to calling people and consuming less amount of credit henceforth. This might even stop late night sms dates, and to some extent control our youth indulging into things their parents wouldn’t want them to!

    As for the words, I’ve been told a few and would like to share them with u guys:
    dafa, daffa, daffaa..and variations like these!

    So yayy for our informal smses to friends:D

  • We, Pakistanis, come up with solution to every problem. For example, if the word “ass” is blocked or something similar, then one can use “asss” or something similar as a replacement.

    The point is, freedom of expression should not be banned.

    Meri marzi mein apnay best friend ko jo marzi kahoon? Who the hell is PTA and Govt. to stop me from using such language !!! Peace!

  • The 1,500 keywords list should be made public through media or concerned websites, so that user should be aware of for not using those words.

  • not sure why people are so worry about this. more than half of phone users in PK cant spell most word correctly any way. another point is even if they block some words e.g. Taxi… use taxii etc.

  • See this is what happens when you support the ‘ban’ culture. Once you support the ban of some thing which you consider bad, like Porn, authorities will go on and ban every other thing which it considers ‘bad’, and you may have other ideas. So, go on, live in your land of the pure, which should be free of all kinds of porn and profanity, be it on the internet, SMS, calls, person to person conversation, and think you can support one, while opposing other ‘bans’ :)

  • This is going to be a big flop even if implemented wisely. Just change the spellings of abusive words and messages are on the go to receiver. They need some enhanced system to block such things.

  • as we all know we miss spell intentionally like if we sa ass hole some thing like that we write it as axx holx. what pta do in this case…… or we can do in a** H*les… thy can do nothing only making us fool.

  • First and foremost, this is what you get for supporting censorship and bans. Remember the Facebook fiasco?

    Illiterate idiots support government censorship and this is what happens. They go crazy and breach your privacy to the core. They don’t give a damn about you, all they care about is making sure that no one can say or do anything that is against them.

    This is what most people here have supported and encouraged with their ban and censorship frenzy!!!!

    If someone has issues with anything, why not just avoid that thing yourself rather than letting this wannabe government mess things up and invade our privacy????

  • @Sacha kaka either you are blind or retard (sory to say that but you’re proving that) “jesus christ”, “Do me” and “harder” these aren’t vulgur words man. PTA isn’t just filtering words, its playing with privacy of people. Who the hell are they to “implement” these freaking rules on people i mean what ever we think we’ll call each other.

    @AMIR is was expecting more from this topic, more information for people to understand how worst this can be.

    Rakh [email protected]

    • Probably you missed the last paragraph, it meant more than what it appears like. I couldn’t say things more openly.

  • Sacha kaka. Tell me a thing… Wt will you say when some one starts to make ur personal indoor videos…. Tb b yahi kaho gy k ghar mai baat cheet krna bnd kr do. O mere bhai privacy b koi cheez hoti hai

    • Agreed with Zuhaib here. This is simply getting out of hand and uneducated people like this Sacha Kaka who don’t even have the guts to use their real name here support such bans and censorship, and hence encourage the government to exercise dictatorship :@

  • Sacha kaka. Tell me a thing… Wt will you say when some one starts to make ur personal indoor videos…. Tb b yahi kaho gy k ghar mai baat cheet krna bnd kr do. Bhai privacy b koi cheez hoti hai.

  • I doubt, the ban will not work and not serve the purpose, as people will find alternate methods.There are words which can not be banned as vulgar. For example the words “push harder” these words can not be added to database in the category of vulgar words, where as the words in a malafide sms will serve the purpose. Moreover such implementation will severely harm by adding overhead to the system and slow down the sms/voice service.
    There be law for using vulgar words and fine should be imposed @ Rs 1.00+tax per word. This will increase revenue of service providers and the government. A surplus budget immediately!!!! ha ha ha

    • What a stupid idea.

      P.S. The caps lock is intentional!

      • there is no freedom of expression
        and PTA is let loose by ignorant people and deciding on their own what is good or bad

  • Kashif No Need To Argue wid this person… His name showing His mental Level… He is kaka (baby) after aal. Agr Koi Person vulgar & non-vulgar words mai differntiate hi ni kr skta. Us se kya expect kr skty hain.

    • True lol
      Sad but true. This is the sorry state of quite a few people here. They use the internet but only for chatting and “making fraandship” with girls on Facebook and Orkut, and not to learn what society is really about. Alas.

  • assalam o alikum a very hot issue more then electricity more then terrorism more then poverty .
    ok let me guess something here . if any one call on your mothers, sisters , etc any family female and miss behave sms thats becoming routine in pakistan. so i m here loudly and clearly appreciating this act ban all those vulgar bad words that send to your friends , strangers . aur khuda kay liye har baat ka patangar na banaya karo aap log . kabhi achay kaam ki tareef bhi kar lo .

    • Is “period” a vulgar word, ahmed? Is “tongue”? “deeper” “fairy” “harder” “idiot”???

      I would appreciate it if you kept your [PTACENSORED] thoughts about [PTACENSORED] [PTACENSORED] and [PTACENSORED] to yourself.

    • there are laws to abide by and if someone is harassing, follow law than imposing on others
      just like if someone was killed by a knife, does that mean banning all the knifes in Pakistan
      but i guess u wouldn’t understand what is happening
      it could even have been a value added self opting service, that would have been something positive instead of imposing on others

  • I recommend more action like this, including blocking all websites, songs, movies, BBM, MMS, blogs, letters, with vulgar words. It is the only way we can save society.

  • First they banned websites.. now this.. those who were praising internet filtering are now dumbstruck by SMS filtering.. Evolution is a free flowing river.. people should have realised it by now

  • first we see the affects of this filtering implementation . then we can carry on whats good whats bad being a pakistani we can only do 1 work just see the errors of others or bad things not like good things or positive site . here are lot of people they called there self ” modernized or liberal ” but internally they think they do only there self no no offensive dude .

  • If I say I do “Phone S**” in calls, will PTA look into that as well ? Did they felt their responsibility when millions of sim cards were issued to people on fake ID cards, unauthorized issuance of SIM cards is still not corrected, infact user is demanded to visit Telecoms to get records corrected, why should I give my 3 hours (driving, waiting, then driving back) for your lazines, inability to perform??

  • Talibanization is THE word … thanks pakis for doing our thing, you do it better than us, even beyond our expectation …

    back to future … welcome to delhi of 1857, all letters in and out of city shall be screened by British RAJ … sorry, PAK RAJ to curb the mutiny … ooops, to curb moral corruption …

    meanwhile, Pakistan Post waaley bhi wailey baithey hai … lets task them to scan and filter all personal and private mail for any unethical content … and lets not forget all the emails … all those baabu log must be exchanging vulgar ideas via kuffaaar firangi’s viscious ludicrous lucid technology … west is conspiring against the ummah …

    empty mind … devils workshop …

    better keep mouth shut than get exposed by strutting non sense to the pinnacle of becoming a laughing stock …

    Talibanization is THE word … guess what … uncle Bushie aint need to bomb us back to stone ages … why waste the bombs???

  • need not to worry ,blocking words doesn’t cost mush than including few spaces ,example kuta can be written as k u t a

  • I have been laughing since day 1lol

    pta filtering sms msgs ohhh that sounds easy…… The cost involved in this wud have been so big that the companies wud have been bankcrupted plus filtering is never an option for half of the times ppl spell things wrong so how would you stop them n plus for filtering at such a level yu need a massive server which frankly speaking only google has

    Plus they failed to block the pornsites only a few arnt.opening bt that to is not a problem a proxy solves the issues

    pta is nothing but a bunch of idiots who dnt even prolly know what the word technology means they r mostly ppl frm villages v wudnt even find on maps n now they r just confused n sad fr when they get up in the morning they cant see thr farms nor can they go smell the cow.dung which they later used to cook food on

    • No and No. But you’re missing the point. State has no right to enforce morality on its people. Porn and SMS is is ok, but do you think it will stop here? Zardari’s Shut Up video was banned on youtube! Trust me, it is only a matter of time before these restrictions cross the line from moral to fascist.

  • @Sacha Kaka
    And you too Answer the following question in YES or NO.

    Does ban resolve the problems?

    Only Yes or No… No dodging…

  • list is ridiculous.. its cheap and worthless! this act of PTA should be condemned strongly. This is our personal matter. they better stay out of it. who are they to tell us what words to use and what not! WTH is wrong in using:

    Lotion etc….

    if anyone is having trouble in getting these lists. I can send that through email.

    [email protected]

  • Hye whr y r u ppl dragging talibs and obl into this dialogue.

    Look around thrs nothing islamic left in.this ccountry women are.being sold openly on every road, gays r awl around us n then lesbs too crimes are at thr highest while law is a joke

    So what harm is in it if some1 wants to watch porn or sext let.them do it atleast they r somewhr inside safe and busy an empty mind is a devils playground so let the kids watch porn or sext rather then them harasing some random prson rnt our lives already too tough n plus we need teenage drivers off the roads as well cuz they kill

  • Iftekhar dnt worry about that its pakistan

    this would only result in them benefitting from the situation

    every txt msg wud b charged evenif it never gts to the destination

  • Dirt cheap sms’s is what corrupting our society and causing waste of our young generation’s precious time that should have been spent in some other productive activity.

    Just make sending one sms equal in cost to making one ordinary voice call and ban all bulk sms packages and you overcome all this non-sense.

    Those who might criticise this suggestion – pls think twice – CAN sending sms’s be the only goal of anyone’s life? if not – making them a little expensive will not be a life & death issue.

    Feel free to comment!

  • @nn

    y do ppl luk at things from only the negative prespective…… so much talent can be nutured thru sms tht yu simply cant imagine juat give the youth a chance to show off.thr skills these txt addicts socialise and are up to date with the trends in IT which is a breakthru considering where pakistan stands if you go thru the txts yu find only 10% of them as vulgar while the others wud be busy discussing things from politics to whats happeing in thr are its way to keep them busy and helping.them create a better tomorow

    mark my words the next revolution would be triggered.thru mass texting

  • I think SMS filtering is infrigment in somone’s privacy. Further, people sitting at PTA, i think, have not read that list before it was issued. Had they been able to read the list, they would have removed word Jesus Crist.

    SMS SPAMing will never stop until cross subsidization by mobile operators is not stopped. If wholesale SMS rates are higher than the retail rates, people will keep sending Spam SMS from their handsets. Limit of 100 SMS and all these things cannot work.

    I my view, it is right time that PTA should look at pricing of SMS services, if they are really interested to stop this menace.

  • @PTA Decides to Withdraw SMS Filtration Orders
    Should people responsible for this negligence be taken to task. I think people holding high government offices are just passing time and are not paying due attention to their work. I ask everyone on this forum whether people responsible for bringing bad name to Pakistan should be punished or not?

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