Unbanning of youtube in Pakistan is still pending, Anusha Rehman busy in getting some free publicity

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youtube with anushaFew days ago we did a post about why and how ban on Youtube is only hurting Pakistanis. Soon after I finished as I was wandering on different Facebook pages, I cam across a story about unbanning youtube in Pakistan. Out of querulousness I done some research on that and whole Internet, I mean most of Pakistan sites and blogs were full of the same story. It was telling that Anusha Rehman, who is Federal Minister of IT and Telecom have hinted that youtube will open very soon in Pakistan.

Story also included the content like Pakistan already have a URL filtering system ready, which will operate via PTCL and is developed million of Dollars. Not only this, the circulating story also included text like it is already tested and will just allow us filtering and banning 4000 URLs. This caught my attention that a Software which cost millions will only filter out 4000 URLs, I was happy that ok at least they are doing something.

But seems like the Federal Minister of IT and Telecom from the new ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have this habit of making news like our former Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Her statements are also similar as that of what Rehman Malik’s have been. On one side Anusha Rehman was warning Google few months back that we will even ban Google, on other side she is giving many statements about unbanning youtube.com from couple of months.

As soon as after Anusha took charge of IT and Telecom Ministry and given this statement about banning Google in Pakistan, I immediately had an idea that a person who does not know the importance of search engine like Google in today’s era, does not know any thing about telecom and specially Information Technology (IT). Though like former interior minister Rehman Malik our new IT and Telecom Minister had to face lots of criticism about her statement about banning Google. Also there is much of pressure from people about unbanning the youtube in the country on interior minister.

Despite that pressure seems like our IT and Telecom minister seem to do nothing but just giving some statements which keep people calm and give her some publicity as well so that people might think she is busy. You would have idea that people from this ruling party PML-N have a habit of looking very busy but producing much less, like some politician look very busy in resolving electricity shortage issue but end result is same. Same kind of load shedding is going on. Like statements of Rehman Malik, Anusha have also been coming up with statements like youtube will open soon, we are working on the issue.

Anusha you do not need to look busy, you just have to work on the real issue because I want that people of Pakistan do benefit from services which are available for rest of world. I want that Web Applications developer “Imran Zia” to use youtube video tutorial to learn new technologies, I want that student “Danish” to learn theories of physics via youtube video animations, I want that jobless Hafeez to learn some skill via youtube video tutorials from youtube and I want every Pakistani to get benefit from the services available to the whole world. And if you think, I am making this up, oh no, I am not, I have seen and heard many Pakistani people getting benefited from service like youtube in the past.

Youtube would be our first baby step, next would be paving the way for bringing the PayPal in to support the Pakistani Developers and Freelancers who are bringing in huge bulks of cash daily in Pakistan but have no support at all from government.

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PTA fails to keep people informed about banned and unbanned websites

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PTA Updates Page Snapshot
PTA Updates Page Snapshot

It is 30th may today and the last update on PTA’s website about the blocked websites was on 2oth of may. They even didn’t even mentioned any other blocked websites other than the Facebook and Youtube on their website. Hundreds of URLs were blocked and some of websites like Facebook , wikipedia, youtube and many more had faced blanket ban but PTA never mentioned about these banned websites on their website.

Youtube is already unblocked few days ago but still no update about that on their website. Whats more important is Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) never published the details of blocked websites over the internet nor they have updated people about when certain websites are being banned or unbanned. It would have been much better if things would have been much more transparent.

Proxy websites blocked in Pakistan, Whats the point?

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Proxy Websites Banned in PakistanIn connection with the issue of blasphemous violent content, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked many websites and many people including me supported this decision of PTA. Banning the websites in Pakistan should have not mainly to prevent local people from accessing the blasphemous content but to make a statement to sites that your racism regarding the religion will not be accepted.

Considering the fact that Pakistan is an Islamic state and people at least have love for prophet Muhammad, no one would be willing to see that blasphemous content. But unfortunately PTA took things here differently, they gone few steps further and also blocked the proxy website.

Chairman PTA: We have blocked a number of sites having the blasphemous content and also blocked some proxy websites, so that the content can’t be accessed in Pakistan in anyway.

Blocking the original websites was more than enough to make a statement and blocking the proxy websites was unnecessary step. Ideally no one would try to access that blasphemous content via proxies, at least those who follow Islam and love Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and if some one would, well every one is responsible for his/her own faith.

In fact the guys blocking the proxy websites didn’t thought about the positive features and capabilities which proxies enable us with, they only kept eye on negativity and end up blocking most of proxy websites known to them.

At times proxy websites are very useful, some times certain ISP dns servers don’t have most updated IP records against domains or have problems with certain websites, in this case the proxy websites are the only handy tool to access them.

Finally I would say, it would have been better, if ban must have been symbolic for the world other than just to restrict the locals from looking at the content. Whatever else is done, I am in full favor of that but not in favor of blocking the proxy websites which still are blocked in Pakistan.

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