ICT R&D to Finance National URL Filtering and Blocking System a.k.a National Firewall

products-box-url-filteringNational ICT R&D Fund has asked for proposals from academia/research institutions, companies, organizations for the development, deployment and operation of a national level URL Filtering and Blocking System.

This URL Filtering and Blocking system will work as a country firewall and will potentially be able to block the access of any URL, throughout the country.

According to RFP (Request for Proposal), available at ICT R&D Fund website, system should be capable of URL filtering and blocking, from domain level to sub folder, file levels and file types – in addition to have ability of blocking a single IP or range of IPs.

It said that solution should be able to handle bandwidth of 85Gbps, with scalability for 40-50 percent growth every year.

You can view RFP here, and FAQs here.

Pakistani authorities have long urged to have a country-level firewall in place to block specific URLs countrywide, such as those which are blasphemous in nature.

PTA even asked for quotations for blocking system from international players – those who are offering services in UAE or KSA, but couldn’t buy the solution due to higher prices. Vendors in China were also contacted but deal didn’t go through with any of them.

It merits mentioning here that PTA recently asked ISPs to block as many as thirteen thousand websites, which were of explicit in nature.

Activists, on the other hands, fear that such firewall can be misused by the government for political and other obvious reasons. They demand that list of blocked websites should be made public, possibly through PTA website, detailing the blockade reason for each website.


    • It won’t make a single difference. Pakistan Taliban Government (aka PPP’s government) is unable to censor a single URL for me. Bypassing censorship is so easy that I don’t even have to click any thing. Bypassing censorship is so fast that all websites open almost as I am directly opening it. And best of all, it is totally FREE. I can’t mention here because PTA will censor this website too (like they censored wiredpakistan when they mentioned how to bypass censorship).

      We, Pakistanis, are living life as mentioned in “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato. That is why we don’t know we are being slaved and subject to iron-fist rule of Mullahs. Because we never saw the light of real freedom. Real freedom scare us just as Plato mentioned in “Allegory of the Cave”.

      However, people living in countries where they have freedom are giving away internet freedom (bypassing censorship) for FREE to people like us. Because they know what is real freedom and why it is most important for every human being. Freedom is the one of most important basic rights of a human being.

      May Allah give real freedom to all of human beings. Aameen.

  • What do you expect from these current politicians, they have the tendency to misuse any thing they can get hold of.

    Plus, if such thing to be implemented, project should be given to a qualified organization on merit otherwise it would be a total mess and will bring in lots of delays and even issues for some applications.

    For my work i like to code and save live on server using the Eclipse, I have tried many ISPs but this setup works well with only with LinkDotNet for me. Similarly, if that PTA firewall is not implemented well by taking these things in mind, this could also be a real mess.

  • Pakistan Basic Ideology Islamic Welfare State.Good Step As A Muslim Country Govt. Should Ban All Porn URL’s.

    • I beg to differ, what you are mentioning is the ideology of Al-Qaida and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). I wonder why Quaid-e-Azam and Alama Iqbal didn’t had beards like Mullahs? Why they got education in Britain and why they used English language? Do I even have to mention Quaid-e-Azam and Shakespear plays…? I am pretty sure that wives of founding fathers of Pakistan and founding ladies (for example, Begum Viqar-un-Nisa Noon) were wearing full topi-burka when they entered Pakistani in 1947? Or not? Everything must be censored in 1947’s Pakistan? Or not?

      It is only the Mullahs who spread the false history that Pakistan was created so that Taliban and Al-Qaida can rule on this land and Mullahs can enjoy their freedom and force everyone to follow what they wish.

      Pakistan was NOT created so that Taliban, Al-Qaida or Mullahs’ can rule this land. Pakistan was created so that Muslims of India can enjoy freedom. Forcing anyone is not freedom and it’s against basic rights of a human being.

  • What the hell are they planning to do with internet in Pakistan? Are they trying to follow the success stories of Iran, Saudi Arabia and China? And snatch our freedom and free space and trample it under their feet. Are they trying to catch up with the silly gigantic firewall of China? This is what is left for us to learn from others. Where are we going with this? We are giving them a free hand and providing them with a dangerous tool in their hands that is begging to be misused for the political interest of our brainless politicians and vigilantism of our self appointed moral brigades (who think that by blocking illicit websites they will turn male testosterone into a nice docile orange juice thus saving women in the streets from its wrath). Are they acting Maya Khan for us, telling us what to do and what not?

    This is exactly how China started its firewall, negligible and non-conspicuous at the beginning and now enslaving the whole nation and feeding them Pakistan’s PTV like stuff all the time. I know we wouldn’t have a support as large as for SOPA and PIPA in States but still raise your voice and let others hear you and make people talk about this especially on electronic media….the ball is in our court now!

  • Any kind of censorship is against a human being’s basic right of Freedom of Information and Freedom of Expression.

    Pakistan’s People Party (PPP)’s government is actually in-disguise government of Al-Qaida and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). This is why they are censoring:
    * Newspapers
    * Magazines
    * TV
    * Cable-TV
    * Mobile Phone’s Text Messaging
    * Internet
    * Public Gathering

    Almost every aspect of life is controlled by Pakistani government just like Al-Qaida and TTP do.

    Remember my words that if Nawaz Shareef’s PML-N or Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) got elected in next elections then this censorship will get so hard that it may get impossible to write even this message. A very dark and bleak future awaits us. But trust me, you’ll not see a single protest against censorship. Because Pakistani people are living lives as mentioned in “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato. We have never seen real freedom that’s why we don’t know that we are being slaved and subject to iron-fist rule of fanatic Mullahs.

    May Allah give real freedom to all of us. Aameen.

  • Simple rule is that, any party whether its PPP, PMLN or PTI, if have any links with extremists like Al-Qaida or TTP, or if they’re supporting any scheme of censorship or dictatorship, don’t support them in next election and show them the real power of public. (Na rahega baans, tu na bajegi bansuri)


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