PTA: Where is the List of Blocked Websites?

PTA-logoIssue of blocked websites has been discussed countless times on this website. We, at ProPakistani, have always supported blockade of websites that contain obscene content or are blasphemous in nature.

In our viewpoint, blocking such websites is in accordance with the law and such procedures are protected by the court orders.

However, at the same time, we always proposed the authorities concerned to make the list of blocked websites public and the reasons for their blockade. This way, the criticism flowing towards PTA (for censoring internet) could be molded to a point that everyone would exactly know the reason behind blockade of any particular website.

This was specifically necessary to make the whole process (of blocking websites) transparent as Government’s ability of block websites in the country could otherwise be used for personal and political purposes.

Blocking Websites for Personal and Political Reasons:

Unfortunately, this has happened recently. Keep reading to know the complete story.

First, check below this letter that was sent by PTA to all ISPs last month:

Dear All,

You are requested to block the website links  in mention below file immediately at URL Level without disrupting the main websites. In addition also flush out system cache and confirm the blocking of the links (blocking must be ensured prior to confirmation),   through return email latest by 1600 hours today i.e. 4th August, 2012 , positvely, please.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkumTgc68NM
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5SxdubU2wo&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX1pdqKVG38&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhDN0rT3WXo&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7mCtWU4tW8&feature=related
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rOr1EbEyVM&feature=related
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGbyYdbL9ZM&feature=related
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=civC1yVp4lc&feature=related
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYBaHFOeDQU
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xrDOEqxKqU&feature=related
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueaLUt1MSt0&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0THh7wMc90&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4Xf9WArwSA&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clztMR-YNII&feature=relmfu
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nntDytJbk8o&feature=relmfu

Regards,
_____________

Deputy Director (Enforcement),
Enforcement Division, PTA HQ,
F-5/1, Islamabad.

This enforcement letter from Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had 15 YouTube links, that are currently blocked on majority of ISPs (that we have checked).

Interestingly, these YouTube videos were neither blasphemous nor were inappropriate in nature. Instead, these videos were coverage of a press conference of a TV host in which she alleged her ex-husband (who happens to be the MD of TV channel) for various misdeeds.

We are yet to ascertain what criteria was considered when it was decided to block these 15 URLs. It is also not clear that who exactly was responsible for taking the decision for blocking of these videos.

Only Allah knows how this MD of a TV channel was able to get 15 URLs blocked, most probably through high-level influence, but we have a proven fact now that blockade of websites is very much possible based on political and influential pressures from government and corporate bodies.

We aren’t sure how many such enforcement orders have been issued by PTA so far, which had directed the ISPs to block websites/URLs based on personal reasons.

It is about time that PTA should make a list available to public revealing each and every website/URL they have directed to be blocked on Pakistani ISPs. This is particularly important at a time when elections are just ahead and there are chances of massive website blocking for political reasons.

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


  • Admin kindly some website hacking books in urdu ab hame khud hi kuch karna hoga ye PTA ki bas ki baat nahi aap hame books batao ham khud sikh k hack karenge aesi sites be serias.

  • It will be interesting to know if someone mails PTA to block dawn.com and they block it because I think they they just copy paste the website they receive :P

  • This is the problem I have with banning of websites. The authorities can label ANYTHING critical of their own performance as “objectionable” and ban them, which severely curtails freedom of speech and the individual’s right to access and distribute information about something he/she feels is important.

    Its not the banning of pornographic pages that worries me, its the banning of sites and pages that either expose the inner corrupt workings of our system, attacks the conduct of our “holy cow” institutions, or even criticises some prominent personality that should be worrying.

    I request the admins of ProPk to be VERY vigilant and cautious about PTA getting out of control in this regard. PTA’s banning orders, since they are court orders, should also be open for anyone to appeal and demand a review about the reasons of such bans.

    Otherwise controlling of information and free speech shows how scared, intolerant, and paranoid we really are.

    • I would agree with you on your point , i have the same reservations and there is no clear criteria for categorizing what sites got banned and why. For instance some pornography sites have been banned whereas some popular sites such as Playboy and Penthouse still enjoy freedom through our filter!

      • And even then, useful sites like pastebin are STILL blocked, even after months of being noticed.

        Or are they afraid of TEXT and WRITING?! Maybe they do not want us to exchange code?

    • — I request the admins of ProPk to be VERY vigilant and cautious about PTA getting out of control in this regard.

      As has been made clear several times, even above, the admins of this website are PRO-SURVEILLANCE and PRO-BANNING. It is simply impossible to have a network router/filter set up to ban a few hundred or thousand sites without also building a surveillance and mass-banning system.

    • Guys we asked for it. now just wait before our “babus” start blocking any website they feel like.

  • Well, really, did you expect any different? You gave the government power to block sites, did you think they would be angels and only ban “bad stuff”?

    Wait until the elections, I am sure you will see even more net blackouts.

  • admin you are saying that these videos are blocked but i downloaded the first URL video through Simple YouTube downloader…i didn’t check the rest but they will be downloadable if the first is….

  • Every thing will be going same as it is going now until this MisFortune Pakistanis get rid off ths government. I hope you guys heard about “Money Speaks”

    • What makes you think the next government will be better?

      Once you give an idiot (government) a weapon to use against us, why would they stop? We are just a bunch of nerds complaining about a few youtube links. They don’t care about us. No one here is hacking the PTA or PTV’s website to force them to “unban” such urls.

  • Mr.Munna and all others who want to hack websites get ready I have started to write an ebook which will teach you how to hack websites and believe me that book will make you a pro hacker.

    ProPakistani ROCKS

  • Thanks to PTA they take action on mentioned website. But sadly i accessed these site will little efforts. So it is requested to PTA to apply strict security

    • Why? Is it because you don’t want people to see the above listed videos? Why not? It’s from a press conference held by Pakistani citizens. What’s the harm in a public press conference?

      • Really I don’t think so above listed videos have some harmful materials. Every citizen has right to arrange press conference. This is only way to convey you message to government. I appreciate PTA to block website which is ruining life of our young generations.

        • Oh, and what EXACTLY is harmful about those allegations? No one has proved them false. No one has launched a case against her.

  • I dont get one thing, which muslim would like to see videos that is against islam or muslim,,, how pathetic PTA can be, what is the point of banning youtube?? i was getting so much information from youtube, all gone

    if u dont like any video, just ignore it, its simple….

  • Daily motion also has obscene contents that are easily accessible. I don’t want to share the procedure admin u better know the procedure….. I please request to get that URL link blocked as well. please run awareness campaign and promote the discussion to get it blocked….

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