Internet filtering and online censorship is increasingly becoming a norm in the country. In the name of national security, war on terror, religious morality and indecency, the Government of Pakistan has been hyperactive in curtailing means of communications, expression and information access over the Internet spanning larger digital communications sphere. Continue reading
From the Bytes for All, Pakistan website:
Islamabad, July 18, 2013: Bytes for All, Pakistan has just sent an Open Letter to Ms. Susan Morgan, Executive Director, Global Network Initiative (GNI) seeking her help and kind support to investigate the Facebook’s secret censorship deal with the Pakistan government authorities. This letter can be downloaded from here and is also published below:
Dear Ms. Morgan,
Yesterday, on July 08, 2013, Bytes for All, Pakistan received several complaints from credible sources that a number of people living in Pakistan were unable to access prominent news website, Al-Jazeera. After verification and via our internal network, we found these complaints to be true.
Upon further investigation, our team learnt that seeing the government’s past track record with censorship and Internet access issues, a probable cause for the sudden blocking of this website on PTCL services could be the publication of a sensitive document nicknamed ‘Pakistan’s Bin Laden Dossier’.
This critical 336 page report unveils the findings of a commission set up by the Government of Pakistan to investigate as to ”how the US was able to execute a hostile military mission, which lasted around three hours, deep inside Pakistan”, and how Pakistan’s “intelligence establishment apparently had no idea that an international fugitive of the renown or notoriety of [Osama bin Laden] was residing in [Abbottabad]“.
As per the mandate of Access Is My Right! campaign, we condemn this cowardly act of censorship of a document, access to which is a basic right of all citizens of Pakistan.
Additionally, in solidarity with the citizens of Pakistan, AlJazeera has officially provided this report to B4A for dissemination amongst those who are interested in reading it. The report documents can be accessed below:
Those unable to access the AlJazeera’s link to the news article on the dossier can read it below.
A new research report by University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and Bytes for All (B4A), Pakistan reveals that Pakistani authorities have have developed an Internet firewall using technology procured from Canadian based service provider, Netsweeper.
Take a stand against red tape of oppression and censorship. It is against very foundation of democracy!
Surveillance technologies such as FinFisher curb freedom of expression, are anti-democracy, and infringe upon civil liberties.
Lending support to B4A’s Access Is My Right campaign and struggle against Net Censorship and online blanket bans on the citizens’ right to access of information, communication and freedom of expression, world renowned nuclear physicist, defence analyst, activist and academic Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy shares his comments.
Communication blocks are the fundamental rights of citizens in any democratic country.