PTA Decides to Withdraw SMS Filtration Orders

After all the SMS filtration drama lately and revelation of original source of SMS ban list, the news is that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has decided to hold its directive for implementing SMS filters for over 1,500 keywords, told us a source with close connections to PTA head-office.

Our source tell us that PTA is likely to withdraw earlier orders through a letter today in which PTA will explain the operators that the ban list should not be implemented due to issues known to everyone.

Before the decision was taken, officials at PTA reportedly revised and stripped the ban list  down to 40 keywords only with 10 English words/phrases and 30 words and phrases in Urdu. However, authority later settled to not to float this new list of 40 keywords and maintained that input from stakeholders should be taken before any further deliberation.

It is anticipated that PTA will now ask cellular operators and other stakeholders to input to prepare a list for SMS filtration, which is likely to have fewer than 50 words in total.

If sources are to be believed than this whole process will take around a month and new SMB ban list, after proper consultation, will be communicated to cellular companies by mid December or so.

It maybe recalled that PTA last week issued a directive for cellular operators to filter SMS communication to block those message containing obscene, offensive and indecent words. However, the whole matter fired back when the list of banned keywords got leaked.

PTA was hugely criticized for the SMS filtration and for the selection of words for ban list. PTA’s negligence and lack of homework for preparation of ban list was exposed when we found that list was actually copied from a website and was not revised to meet localized and SMS needs.

Update:

Its official now that PTA has withdrawn SMS filtering it’s directive. Check following official release for more details:

In order to resolve complaints received from customers regarding obnoxious calls and unwanted/undesired SMSs, PTA formulated “Promulgation of Protection from Spam, Unsolicited, Obnoxious and Fraudulent Communication Regulations 2009” and “Telecom Consumer Protection Regulations”.

Based on these regulations PTA has established Consumer Complaint Management Cell and initiated dialogue and consultation with mobile operators to curb the transmission of undesired words through SMS. In this regard instructions were given to the mobile operators.

Mobile operators have now highlighted certain implications to implement PTA directive. PTA has also received input from customers, Government and other quarters on this issue. Therefore, implementation of previous PTA instructions have been withheld.

In order to obtain views of different segments of the society and make broad based recommendations to PTA, a Committee has been constituted. This committee includes representatives from Federal government, Academia, Media, Cellular Mobile Operators, Consumer Forums and Civil Society.

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


  • zain

    well i looked at the list. some words must be banned. it was a good step but not planned well. they have included not to be banned words as well which made their case weak

    filtration must be done as Pakistani youth is going out of control morally

    • Pro_Desi

      ban ban ban…. this our solution to all the issues

    • milkywayer

      people like you think dictating to people what they can and can’t do will make the world a better place. *NEWS FLASH* it won’t. There’s a reason why everyone hates dictators. Censoring the internet/sms/media will only benefit just the top dogs who are feeding on our blood by corruption and theft. It won’t help the common man.

      Do you realise they can instantly added words like ‘zardari’ , ‘jalsa’, ‘strike’ to the sms list anyday if the govt fears people are going to stand up agianst their BS?. That is why, it is good we don’t allow filters at all.

      If you want to siblings/kids or yourself saved from bad words (for which, OH MY GOD, you can go to ‘hell’) then just stop using fb/sms whatever or only stay in contact with people you trust.

      THE END.
      Live and Let Live.
      Pakistan Zindabad.

    • Muhammad Umair

      PTA needs to check packages of mobile companies to control moral of the youth instead of banning works. They have rather made youth aware of many words which they did not know. ;)

  • This is sad news.

  • Saeed

    Hmmm Good News.

    But should be banned 50-200 words that our society not allowed that words.

    I think they can also do that if the keyword on the message why they add *** on that word.

    What u suggested?

  • kashif

    dekh liyah ap logon nay PTA ki dobara _____ ________________

    [Comment Edited]

  • murtaza

    I am sure that you just cannot stop the ppl from abusing I mean you just cannot shut their mouth PTA is wasting their time on such a lame project.

  • AsadGhumman

    That is good…. This level of interventions & monitoring can cause severe reactions.

    Rather PTA should force operators to offer free of cost call block & SMS block services that users can utilize against any number with a free mind & as per their own choice…..

  • Zuhaib Chauhdary

    This is good step. 50 words are more then enough in vulgur point of view.

  • atif

    hahahahaha… who is running PTA??? this move should have been the first step but never the less.. thank GOD they are doing the right thing now…

  • Lahorimunda

    PTA trying to convert pakistan in to Suaudi Arabia where no one have freedom of speeh. Blocking of websites and filtering SMS is not acceptable at all.
    we should try to educate people rather than blocking

    • Absentee Lord

      +1

  • IWhizKID

    Issue is not about how many words should or shouldn’t be blocked. It is about privacy. Why the hell pta is poking in our privacy.

  • Muhammad Anees Ur Rahman

    Asalamo Alaykum,

    Just heard a news from PTA spokes man on GEO TV Channel that PTA didn’t decided to withdraw completely and yet considering to consult Civil Society & Mobile Phone Operator to add more words. I strongly believe to implement this. Hurrahhhh

    Regards,
    Muhammad Anees Ur Rahman

    • admin

      PTA won’t understand until a blasphemy case is registered against them… ppl learn the hard way.

  • skrik

    whatever people say in text is between them why should PTA want to regulate text messages. This is the most lame decision ever.Doesn’t matter if there are 1500 words or only 50 the filter shouldn’t be implemented and all this bullshit that this should be done cause youth is going out of control morally this will not help in anyway.

  • Ahmed

    PTA should GTFO and get a life!

    Is this organization run from lal masjid?

  • Maani

    This is what I wanted!، I sent them my arguments, of course more other fellows too registered their concerns trough PTA complaint system. and at least we won to some extent!
    However since they’re still maintaining a list of some words, so we’ll continue our struggle till they withdraw completely, as we believe that the only way to minimize a problem is to increase “Self Awareness”” and “Quality Education”
    So my advice to PTA is that, educate the people instead treating them like “بھیڑ بکریاں” and violating their rights.
    That’s how successful nations progressed, and that’s what we need right now.

  • Pieter

    Good news! Freedom of speech is a right. I am also against rude words, but I read that words like ‘Jesus Christ’ also were forbidden. That’s too bad because that is one of the most important words in life of mankind. Only Jesus Christ can save you!! Believe in Him!! And don’t ban such words!!

    I understand loads of people think different of this, but the beautifull thing is: they can, because of freedom of speech!!

  • abdul

    this is a reactive approach. They want to regulate our ppl which are going out of control. This is not the way of doing it. You cant stop ppl abusing or using bad words. U cant change values and norms like that. There are other proactive approaches.. Education, social system, economic system, finance, life style standard of living.. Use these things to change it.

  • Free SMS Fun

    I think banning of rude words is good but i suggest govt should invite poeple to send them the words which should be banned, this way is more comfortable.

  • samz
  • my sms is blocked in telenor but i havenot used such spam words…can any body tell me how to re active?