PTA has Blocked over 60,000 Websites So Far!

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has blocked some 60,000 websites so far in the country, out of which 50,000 websites were adult in nature while remaining 10,000 come under the head of blasphemous content and those from anti-state elements.

This was revealed by Chairman PTA, Dr. Ismail Shah in Islamabad High Court where a petition is being heard that has challenged the legal position of Inter-Ministerial Committee and the process that is involved in blocking of the websites.

Chairman PTA explained the court that majority of websites (which are adult in nature) are blocked after complaints are received from the common citizens, while there are other websites — such are YouTube — that are blocked after court orders.

Dr. Shah also submitted a list of blocked websites in a sealed documents that were blocked on the direction of security agencies. Some of the websites are being operated by banned outfits and those by anti-state elements.

Mudassir Hussain, member telecom from IT ministry requested the court to revisit the earlier order in which the court had restrained the authority from blocking any website without its approval.

Court, while granting the access to block websites, allowed PTA to start considering the complaints about the blockade of websites.

The court also directed PTA and information technology (IT) ministry officials to submit a detailed report on the issue on next hearing.

Counsels are expected to close their arguments during next hearing.

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


  • Eli Ehsan

    ZAAALIMOOO!!! YouTube khol do Amran lelo.. :(

    • Fawad Hassan

      Why don’t you use playit.pk. I never felt the need of youtube since I was using this site.

    • Jahangir

      Jis din Youtube dobara se open hogi us din se monthly data limits ka shor shuroo hojaega :D

  • YouTube

    Facebook band krdo per YouTube kholdo

    • taimoorak

      Chawal Awaam

  • taimoorak

    Genius, that is a tunnel to youtube, so you’re technically using youtube with a lesser awesome website. So you feel the need of it because you are already using it.

  • Rehmat Ali

    Why they block porn? Leave it up to individual’s choice.

  • Geekpk

    Biggest threat to Pakistan is porn and youtube while Mulana Abdul Aziz roams freely openly supporting Taliban and ISIS.

    • Khalid Yaldram

      kanjar yahan youtube ki bat ho rahi ha aur tu apna abba ka zikar la behta ha

  • Anas Saleem

    because it sucks. It has a cluttered design plus its slow

    • Fawad Hassan

      Yes I agree it’s design is not good and its slow because it’s proxy of youtube.
      But in such situation of youtube ban, guzara karo :P

      • Stone

        Why bother with all the crap when all you need to do is install the BROWSEC extension on your Chrome browser and surf youtube directly

      • Anas Saleem

        i prefer proxies
        they are faster

  • Anas Saleem

    I seriously don’t get what is wrong with this country. Those who want to access those urls will do it, blocking it simply opens a person to new possibilities and we all know when a Pakistani is backed up, he/she will get creative. So in my opinion blocking URL’s will lead to a bigger problem and that problem will bite PTA soon…… As for those who are pissed at youtube block well try a vpn there are plenty of those around

  • Aamir Lehri

    Big Achievement! :3

  • Quettay ka pathan

    KHOLO BEECEE!

  • Guest 147

    Can someone explain. why is the blocked websites list is being kept secretly form public. I guess that will expose them for overblocking.

    • Shahid Saleem

      According to ISPs pastebin is blocked by PTA, not by them. That is one big example of overblocking.

      And no one is able to get them to unblock the site.

      • Atif

        you mean pastebin.com ??? works fine, though i have seen many normal sites go blocked and back on and blocked again.
        also the fact ptcl still blocks google services one way or other or making it run not optimised, sometime playstore wont open sometime it will, try to login to new account on android wont work mostly, use vpn and all fine.

        and the answer i get from ptcl about this is hilarious, “NOT OUR PROBLEM, TELL GOOGLE TO NOT LINK PLAYSTORE AND SERVICES TO YOUTUBE”

  • Shahid Saleem

    One thing this article fails to mention is a bombshell that other news media have reported.

    THERE IS NO LAW THAT ALLOWS PTA TO BLOCK SITES.

    Not a single Law. PTA has no jurisdiction over blocking or unblocking websites and neither do Ministry of IT. I do not know why this site failed to mention that in above article.

    Next bombshell: Dr. Ismail Shah stated in court that there is NO TECHNICAL WAY to block sites completely.

    Final bombshell: Court has given government ten days to find a solution to the problem. Unfortunately the best solution government have right now is to PASS A LAW TO GIVE PTA PERMISSION TO BLOCK SITES.

    Say goodbye again (now with legal cover) to your online freedom.

    • aamir7

      If member legal of MoIT is incompetent and he was not able to respond to court, this doesn’t mean there’s no LAW for blocking content in Pakistan.
      Yes, there are flaws in that law and the process of blocking websites need betterment.

      What Chairman said yesterday is wrongly portrayed by you. He said there’s no system available to monitor whole of web, and there’s no technical automated way of blocking unwanted content.

      If there was no way, then why is this case being heard in the first place?
      As before, please don’t drag me into irrelevant discussion. I wanted to clear your mind (which I know I can’t).

      • Shahid Saleem

        Well, LET ME CLEAR YOUR MIND, TOO.

        If there is a law, please point to the law, and the clause in the law that lets PTA block websites.

        IF THE JUDGE DOES NOT KNOW OF ANY LAW

        IF THE PETITIONER DOES NOT KNOW OF ANY LAW

        IF THE MINISTRY DOES NOT KNOW OF ANY LAW

        AND YOU KNOW

        tell us what the law is, then.

        Because right now the JUDGE considers that the blocking is illegitimate.

        Second point. Why is the case being heard. BECAUSE THERE IS NO LAW. BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CAUGHT LYING AND LYING PUBLICLY.

        To the public the government has said again and again that the IMCEW committee is responsible for blocking sites and it is handling blocking requests.

        THEN WE FIND OUT THAT IMCEW HAS NEVER EVER HELD A MEETING IN SEVEN YEARS AND NO ONE KNOWS WHO IS ON THAT COMMITTEE

        So who blocked those 60,000 sites?

        If there was a LAW there would be no dispute. If the process was transparent we could find out what is going on. But because there is no law and PTA and Ministry are blocking sites left and right WITHOUT ANY SUPERVISION, Someone needs to challenge the government.

        Hence that is why the case is being heard.

        • aamir7

          So here you go with mixing up the things….

          When you said that Chairman PTA said that there’s no technical way of blocking websites, and you called it bombshell…. I had explained you what exactly Dr. Shah had said.

          About the law, go to Pakistan Penal Code and read sections 295 through 298 and see that blasphemy is not only disallowed but its punishable offence.

          Explanation of this section will reveal to you that LAEs can confiscate the material related to blasphemy and exactly the same section was used when YouTube was banned by Chief Justice of Pakistan in Sep 2012.

          About the blocking of 60,000 websites, there’s this IMC that was constituted by prime minister of Pakistan in August 2006 (through a policy directive and thus making it a lawful body) to ensure that content on internet is regulated.

          Its not that there are no laws, however, I can agree that how strictly they were followed or how flawed they are, one can argue on it.

          • Shahid Saleem

            It is a bombshell because many readers of this blog think technical solution is possible. It is certainly not a bombshell to anyone who knows tech.

            Sigh, Still stuck on IMC. Look, here’s the problem: The prime minister formed it in 2006. The judge handling the case right now looked at the notification for creating IMC and told the Ministry and PTA in December that the IMC VIOLATES SECTION 19-A OF THE CONSTITUTION.

            As such, it should be dead in the water.

            Lastly, in court PTA chairman said IMCEW DOES NOT BAN WEBSITES which is against 2006 ruling!!!! Instead it “advises” PTA to ban sites. And PTA does not need a ruling from IMCEW to ban a site, it can do it on its own.

            Now, who gave PTA power to ban websites?

            Not the Prime Minister in 2006 or 2012.
            Not the Laws of the country.
            Not the Constitution.

            ??? WHO ???

            That is the legal issue here.

            I am sure after all these meetings in different courts they could have mentioned PPC clauses but apparently the judges know better than us and have not accepted such excuses. We have gone over it already in Lahore High Court last year. We are going over it in Islamabad High Court now. There are other pending cases against PTA on this matter in LHC. And yet no judge has so far accepted that those PPC clauses give PTA the power.

            • aamir7

              Right, so its more about how we do it — and not that doing it is illegal or not in the law.

              You got my point. Thank you!

              • Shahid Saleem

                What are you talking about? I have been against government control of blocking mechanism from day one. Have I ever posted a comment saying I like the idea? I TOLERATE it but I don’t like it at all.

                When I see a full post on your blog about how you convinced PTA or IMCEW using ***proper channels only**** to unblock an incorrectly blocked site like pastebin, then I will see your “point”.

                Until then, keep watching the government treat internet traffic like Punjab Police treats women and children.

  • Shahid Saleem

    It is officially blocked By PTA. They sent circular to ISPs to block in October 2011. Some ISPs may follow, some do not but I think all ISPs that use TW1 (like MultiNet, FiberNet, etc etc) block it.

    • Atif

      Works on ptcl, why was it blocked?
      I’ve seen my free opensource download manager got blocked, so does neowin a tech blog site and many more which just dont make sense.

      • Shahid Saleem

        Ha ha, you think PTA will trust the people of Pakistan with reasons for any block??? They just give orders, they don’t take questions or orders from us.

  • Zohaib Jahan

    it’s about +2 years gone!
    Tune.pk is a good choice! but unfortunately our GOVT. policies are not so stronger to convince utube to remove these blasphemous videos…

  • StickMaster

    They have blocked: Anidb.net I dont know what’s the logic behind that.

  • Atif

    Works on ptcl

  • Khalid Yaldram

    beta tera guzara nahi ho raha is ka elan kerna ki khya zarorat ha aur gusa nahi kertay ha health ka lia acha nahi hota ha

    • Rehmat Ali

      Bhi main tu torrent se downlaod kar leta :D

      • Khalid Yaldram

        kanjra elan karan di ki zarorat aa

        • Rehmat Ali

          3d b a gai hain :D