WordPress.com Gets Unblocked in Pakistan

The issue that had triggered a country-wide block on WordPress.com is reportedly resolved and Pakistani Internet Service Providers are now in process of restoring the access of WordPress.com in the country, we have checked with sources.

Internet Service Providers have received the directions from PTA in this regards and Pakistani users will soon (in 2-3 hours from now) be able to access WordPress.com.

PTA had yesterday asked ISPs to temporarily block the access of WordPress.com in Pakistan due to a problem that could impact Pakistan’s national security. PTA, however, hadn’t revealed the exact URL or the content that has caused the ban on the entire WordPress platform.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, which is now directly responsible for monitoring the content on the internet, interacts with ISPs relating to blockades or otherwise opening the access of websites in Pakistan.

Any blockades, even when for national security, earn bad press for the country and PTA is apparently aware of this but it says that there are certain issues which are way beyond the name and fame as they pose serious threat to national security.

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


  • Mirza Moazzam Baig

    I’m also unable to open some indian news sites … likendtv and zee news . . .while these were accessible using vpn … i think PTA has also blocked these in Pakistan

  • Shahid Saleem

    There is no evidence that any content of WordPress was ever against national security.

    Think about it. What does WordPress have? Words and pictures. What could possibly be posted on WordPress that is against national security of a country?

    This is not about religion. This is a claim about national security. Is something posted that is lies? If so, lots of sites have lies. But maybe it is not lies?

    Think carefully. Use your imagination.

    • Pakistani

      And there is no sense in your comment too.

      If they say, its a security concern than it is surely not to be made public. It is enough to say its a temporary ban and will be lifted in a day or two. So, what’s the reason to scream so loud?

      Furthermore, wordpress has only words and pictures – do you think you need something else other than to words and pictures to pass on a wrong message or anything that poses a threat to security measures? Specially, if your blog has a good readership or subscribers in masses?

      So, yes you really need to think carefully.

      • Shahid Saleem

        Your comment really is not convincing at all. It says nothing.

        I am serious. Use your imagination. Describe to me what sort of “national security” issue is of the nature that causes entire domain to be blocked for less than 36 hours and goes away on its own.

        Does wordpress company have a low commitment to free speech? Was block removed because PTA convinced wordpress to remove something? I would be very surprised if that was true. In fact, you can easily find thousands of posts on wordpress that defame people, individuals, nations, etc. etc. Even Pakistan & especially Pakistan military. Yet, they are still there.

        As for what you say about it will never be made public, well, I have to only point out that almost none of sites blocked by IMCEW have been given reasons for block. Were we ever told why fastly CDN was blocked last year? Why IMDB was blocked? Why Internet Archive was blocked? Toronto Sun newspaper? Rolling Stone? We were never told.

        I don’t want to be quiet any more. If you do, well, you make a loyal subject. I would rather be a citizen.

        • Ahmed Habib

          Why are you so upset?? It was temporary ban and it is lifted now, isn’t it???

          Lets be a layman here for you!

          You have a friend named XYZ, he comes your home daily but one day you requested him to never come into your home but you failed to disclose the reason to your home memberd, why? Because you had a fear of being spammed in your personal life due to high intensity of the reason! Reason I cant share here :p

          If you live in a country, you need to follow its rules wrong or right, right? If you say that buying alco**al is halal as per your terms, then friend you are nothing to decide against the rules of Govt and islamic based rules of govt, right?

          One last note here… you think that you are different from others in every part of life? Well, i think you are not different but insane idiot individual who just want fame and having no sense.

          Remember, you live in Pakistan then follow the rules else get lost, we dont want you here…

          Thanks!

          • Shahid Saleem

            You are very funny to say “if you live in a country you need to follow its rules wrong or right?”

            i mean, REALLY?!

            On March 24 you are going to say “if you live in a country you need to follow its rules wrong or right?”

            REALLY?!!!

            What was March 23 1940 about? Was it not about people in BRITISH INDIA deciding that they no longer wanted to follow the rules wrong or right? And are you benefiting from living in Pakistan or would you like to go back and live under boot heel of British government? Or maybe as a minority in a non-Muslim country? Hmm?

            Less than 4 hours after March 23 you already forget history of Lahore Resolution for creation of Pakistan??!!!. WOW.

            And you tell me I should sit back and let unknown people watch and play and filter and make patterns of my traffic (and yours) and just “live with it”?!!

            Okay, okay, let’s decide I do what you say. Let’s say I follow the rules.

            THEN WHAT ARE THE RULES?

            There are rules regarding what & how PTA can block now after bolobhi court case. And guess what? Government is not following the rules.

            So you want me to follow the country rules but you don’t care if the government follows the rules. WOW.

            Let’s rewind again to 1940. What were the conditions where we demanded separate homeland? Was it not because British rulers wanted people like us to follow their rules, right or wrong? Was it not because they created unequal rules to keep us down?

            And today when our government does it to us, instead of asking for better governance you say we should just “live with it”. Truly your comment wins the “idiot of the month” award, easily. You have made obvious what kind of Pakistani superpatriot you are: unaware of even the basics of why Pakistan exists & why we still need to fight for our independence.

            • Ahmed Habib

              With wrong or right, I mean if the rule is wrong or right you will have to follow what may come. If you have doubts, then please lodge a case against the rule, if you can’t then simply sit back and relax!

              I am a blogger & web developer, use wordpress a lot compared to you. I use it for api, i use it as a blogging platform, cms and many other startups. My sited effectedby the ban, comments were not working there and all other features related to WP. I should complain, right? Why I am quite? Because for security purposes if the wordpress was banned for mare 1 day then no big deal, isn’t it?

              I agree, there may not be great management at PTA but at least they are there and doing somewhat great work. They have full rights to block any domain or url as per their judgement and I don’t think PTA has any business competition with WP.

              I was waiting for a good competitive reply but you proved yourself “dada g”. :-)

              • Shahid Saleem

                You did not stay silent because it is a security issue. You stayed silent because you didn’t question government.

                AGAIN: there was no security issue. If (as you say) they won’t tell us, then speculate. Describe what it COULD HAVE BEEN. If you try, you will realize that THERE WAS NO ISSUE.

                Do you think I am lacking in imagination for not figuring out what kind of issue it was? If so, prove it: YOU DESCRIBE. (When you fail, …)

                Living by the rules does not mean not questioning the government. You think the people fighting court cases to make PTA PROVE that has the right to block sites were idiots and should have left Pakistan??? THOSE PEOPLE WON! GOVERNMENT ACCEPTED IN COURT THAT NONE OF THE SITES BLOCKED SINCE 2006 WERE DONE LEGALLY.

                Nevermind, go back to your sleep, subject.

                • Pakistani

                  Probably, you need to take some peaceful and sound sleep!

                  We are not yet the developed and well groomed nation. We are progressing but if we object on each and everything of what we are neither concerned nor we handle nor we have the capability to do anything in regards to the subject issue, then for sure we are going to mess around even more. Isn’t a good practice to put blame or question government on blocking such issues since blockade of the wordpress.com neither disturbed your life nor it hindered your balance. And, if they block any site just like youtube.com, you got nothing to do except making so loud voice and noise – but wasting your energy since it will remain blacked until their concerns addressed. Think of the majority who have access to the Internet and who don’t have. Probably, they foresee the vial impact and of the majority who go after the religious concern. So, it is just to give you an example of different (an for sure out of various other) reason(s) for a cause. They simply said, its a national security concern, so might be they are right in their position and the sanctity of the concern doesn’t allow to be disclosed publicly.

          • good one :D

    • guest

      LOL shahid saleem you are an idiot seriously.

      • Shahid Saleem

        Shrug. Government isn’t making a fool out of me, but it is making a fool out of you (and you love it).

        • aamir7

          I am consistently watching you bash the government for blocking WordPress, even when they told you in advance that block was for a day and it was national security.

          You should stop this now.

          You should stop this because your own CIA and NSA ripped each and everything of you apart and you were just quite. I wish you could say bad things about US too but then who will take care of your kitchen.

          • Shahid Saleem

            First of all I want to say: it is my right as a citizen of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to criticise my government when they do not the right thing. I see no reason NOT to be skeptical of the government, given their past deceptions against the public and proven in news articles and in court cases repeatedly over the decades.

            And it is very odd again that in March, right after March 23, that you can even talk to me as if I am acting like a traitor for questioning my government. Again I feel compelled to remind you that many Muslims got together to make resolution on March 23 1940. Back then, I am sure, there were also people like you thinking of them as traitors to British India government.

            You can attack my position any day of the week and you have had plenty of opportunity to do that over the years. Some things are undeniable: I have campaigned FOR YEARS against my traffic being monitored and you and others have just laughed at me and scorned me but have I been wrong?

            After all these years, have I been wrong about the effects of the filters you championed?

            I have not. I have been consistent in my warnings, and I have been proven true over time.

            We can and do differ in opinions, and that is no problem at all BUT if you attack my character I will have to be brutally honest. Mainly, WHY do you rely on half-truths? Why cannot you tell 100% facts?

            #1. You write in your comment that they told me in advance that the block was for a day and it was national security.

            FALSE: they told me. They didn’t tell me. I found out from complaints on Twitter and then searched online. There is and has never been a notification by PTA officially in any medium (newspaper, their website, anywhere) to tell the public about the block. Even when I checked the news, the only news article I found quoted your site, not PTA. Even owner of Brain ISP didn’t think it was banned by government, and he said so.

            FALSE: they told me in advance. They didn’t tell anyone in advance except ISPs (allegedly — see above about Basit Alvi). Even on your own blog you wrote “PTA Blocks WordPress.com in Pakistan”. You LATER amended the title of the post to say it was temporary. So even you did not know in the beginning.

            FALSE: they told me it was for a day. Where? Where did they officially say it was a short term block? In a private unofficial conversation with you? That is telling “me”? That is telling “the public”?

            (Are you a spokesman for the PTA and MoIT now? Maybe you are not objective in your sycophantic “reporting” in order to maintain your “unofficial” contacts.)

            TRUE: they said it was for national security.

            Now I keep coming back to this because no one (not you, not any other commenter, no one on Twitter, no one in media, NO ONE AT ALL) can even imagine & describe a situation where some content on a website can be hidden from us for NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS. It is unfathomable how something that is against Pakistan’s national security can be hidden FROM PAKISTANIS ONLY and not from anyone else around the world.

            Unless… it is something like whistleblowing? A factual content they want us not to see. Am I right? But no one wants to even think that.

            #2: You say: You should stop this because your own CIA and NSA ripped each and everything of you apart and you were just quite.

            Sorry, but no matter how many times you make this insinuation, A) they are not my CIA or NSA, B) my passport is no different from any other Pakistani’s, C) You are just as silent about the issue as I am.

            My taxes do not pay for CIA or NSA. They pay for ISI and PTA and MoIT and I DEMAND BETTER RESULTS FOR MY MONEY.

            You can go on maintaining your unofficial contacts and feeling elite if you want to because you rub shoulders with untouchable bureaucrats, but I am just an ordinary person who chafes at the sight of my work being interrupted by stupid filters.

            I also worry that some day I or someone else will click on a link and find out that it is something illegal like blasphemy or something else. And someone will use that as evidence against me to through me in jail. Think it’s not possible? Well, when PTA or my ISP is watching everyone’s traffic, anything like that is 100% possible.

            That’s the next step, or did you not understand that? Anyone can be made an enemy of the state like this. You helped give them the public opinion to support the filters, did you not understand why?

          • Shahid Saleem

            First of all I want to say: it is my right as a citizen of the
            Islamic Republic of Pakistan to criticise my government when they do not
            the right thing. I see no reason NOT to be skeptical of the
            government, given their past deceptions against the public and proven in
            news articles and in court cases repeatedly over the decades.

            And
            it is very odd again that in March, right after March 23, that you can
            even talk to me as if I am acting like a traitor for questioning my
            government. Again I feel compelled to remind you that many Muslims got
            together to make resolution on March 23 1940. Back then, I am sure,
            there were also people like you thinking of them as traitors to British
            India government.

            You can attack my position any day of the week
            and you have had plenty of opportunity to do that over the years. Some
            things are undeniable: I have campaigned FOR YEARS against my traffic
            being monitored and you and others have just laughed at me and scorned
            me but have I been wrong?

            After all these years, have I been wrong about the effects of the filters you championed?

            I have not. I have been consistent in my warnings, and I have been proven true over time.

            We
            can and do differ in opinions, and that is no problem at all BUT if you
            attack my character I will have to be brutally honest. Mainly, WHY do
            you rely on half-truths? Why cannot you tell 100% facts?

            #1. You write in your comment that they told me in advance that the block was for a day and it was national security.

            FALSE:
            they told me. They didn’t tell me. I found out from complaints on
            Twitter and then searched online. There is and has never been a
            notification by PTA officially in any medium (newspaper, their website,
            anywhere) to tell the public about the block. Even when I checked the
            news, the only news article I found quoted your site, not PTA. Even
            owner of Brain ISP didn’t think it was banned by government, and he said
            so.

            FALSE: they told me in advance. They didn’t tell anyone in
            advance except ISPs (allegedly — see above about Basit Alvi). Even on
            your own blog you wrote “PTA Blocks WordPress.com in Pakistan”. You LATER amended the title of the post to say it was temporary. So even you did not know in the beginning.

            FALSE:
            they told me it was for a day. Where? Where did they officially say it
            was a short term block? In a private unofficial conversation with you?
            That is telling “me”? That is telling “the public”?

            (Are you a
            spokesman for the PTA and MoIT now? Maybe you are not objective in your
            sycophantic “reporting” in order to maintain your “unofficial”
            contacts.)

            TRUE: they said it was for national security.

            Now
            I keep coming back to this because no one (not you, not any other
            commenter, no one on Twitter, no one in media, NO ONE AT ALL) can even
            imagine & describe a situation where some content on a website can
            be hidden from us for NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS. It is unfathomable how
            something that is against Pakistan’s national security can be hidden
            FROM PAKISTANIS ONLY and not from anyone else around the world.

            Unless…
            it is something like whistleblowing? A factual content they want us not
            to see. Am I right? But no one wants to even think that.

            #2: You say: You should stop this because your own CIA and NSA ripped each and everything of you apart and you were just quite.

            Sorry,
            but no matter how many times you make this insinuation, A) they are not
            my CIA or NSA, B) my passport is no different from any other
            Pakistani’s, C) You are just as silent about the issue as I am.

            My taxes do not pay for CIA or NSA. They pay for ISI and PTA and MoIT and I DEMAND BETTER RESULTS FOR MY MONEY.

            You
            can go on maintaining your unofficial contacts and feeling elite if you
            want to because you rub shoulders with untouchable bureaucrats, but I
            am just an ordinary person who chafes at the sight of my work being
            interrupted by stupid filters.

            I also worry that some day I or
            someone else will click on a link and find out that it is something
            illegal like blasphemy or something else. And someone will use that as
            evidence against me to through me in jail. Think it’s not possible?
            Well, when PTA or my ISP is watching everyone’s traffic, anything like
            that is 100% possible.

            That’s the next step, or did you not
            understand that? Anyone can be made an enemy of the state like this.
            You helped give them the public opinion to support the filters, did you
            not understand why?

  • Shahid Saleem

    Actually you are wrong. Way way wrong. All the “noise” as you call it directed at opening Youtube did end up with court & government agreeing that they had no authority to block websites, and all blocks since 2006 were not legal. Court also decided on what path PTA can follow when it blocks sites now.

    (Youtube itself case is different because Supreme Court ordered block, not PTA)

    So there IS an effect that citizens can have in forcing government to explain themselves. It IS a proven method.

    No one claimed the wordpress block was due to religious reasons. No one claimed it was due to anti-state reasons or anti-defamation reasons. PTA claimed (and QUIETLY, not PUBLICLY) that the block was due to national security reasons. I see a lot of blather in your comments but it is even obvious to everyone that neither you, nor Habib nor anyone else can even justify the block.

    The mere fact that NO ONE can even imagine a case where “national security” is threatened by a blogging service is very very interesting. And yet here you are, blinding following the government’s line like sheeple.

    • busy

      apni salary halal krlo bhaiyo. fight at your own expense not company’s

      • Shahid Saleem

        What salary? What work?

        What future is there in tech industry if PTA can turn you off within a second and never explain why? Is it a future you want? Apparently. Not one I want…

        In the meantime, next door in India, their Supreme Court just struck down laws against internet filtering. Even they have more sense than you.

  • aamir7

    still you haven’t questioned NSA for rapping your privacy. Why you can’t say bad words about them? any conflict of interests?

    • Shahid Saleem

      ???

      I am a doer, not a whiner. Why do you expect me to sit around idly whining about NSA or CIA or GCHQ or …?

      Reason #1 I do not do what you expect:

      I tell people to use encryption. I tell people to use tools like TextSecure and PeerIO and other tools that NSA is KNOWN cannot crack. I tell people how to protect their internet traffic from being monitored. I warn people from using tools that have bad crypto like Telegram.

      THESE ARE SOLUTIONS. The ==Pro== Pakistani thing to do is to provide Solutions, not to sit around whining. If you want people who sit around and waste their fingers typing about NSA or CIA or MI5/MI6 or whatever, well, you have all the other commenters on your blog. Me? Don’t expect that of me. I would rather spread solutions.

      On a professional level, on my day to day work, I REGULARLY use encryption software to protect myself.

      Reason #2:

      I do not see any point to complaining about NSA in a site named ==propakistani==. Why should I? As I keep repeating, my taxes pay for MoIT and PTA and ISI and FIA and … THEY ARE MY WORRIES NOT NSA. My taxes do not pay for anyone outside Pakistan.

      If you want people who sit around and waste their fingers typing about NSA or CIA or MI5/MI6 or whatever, well, you have all the other commenters on your blog. Me? Don’t expect that of me. I would rather spread solutions.

      Which I do.

      ——

      You know, back in 2010 there was a time when if someone posted about proxy or vpn to access Facebook in the comments you would delete it. Even as late as 2012 there was an article you published titled

      Fabricating Internet Censorship in Pakistan Through Lies

      But nowadays, you openly publish articles on keeping your internet traffic safe. You act like you changed but I remember your past.

      —–

      Back to the subject at hand:

      I will also like to reiterate you did ==NOT== tell the truth about PTA & WordPress. PTA did not tell the public. They certainly did not tell in advance like you wrote. When even Basit Alvi owner of Brain openly denies block then how can you make that claim? Is he a fool? Or is PTA fooling you?

      There never was a security situation. You complain loudly when Sindh government tries to block Viber and you complain loudly when Pakistan government started blocking telecom signals (read your own blog post history if you don’t believe me). And even a child can be made to understand how Viber and mobile can be used to communicate in the event of terrorist action.

      But NO ONE, not you, not anyone else commenting here, not any writer on any blog in Pakistan, not anyone in Twitter, not anyone working in an ISP, NO ONE can explain how blocking WordPress for one day solves any national security problem.

  • Jameel Baloch

    now blogger website block in pakistan……