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.