Pakistan removed from the Internet

Posted on 1:35 PM by 1001 Webs

Pakistan removed from the Internet by ZDNet's Richard Stiennon -- 4:30 PM Eastern (US).

The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic, PCCW (one of the largest communications provider in Asia), has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today.

Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP’s must block access to YouTube because it was a source of "blasphemous content, videos and documents".

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority sent this e-mail to their customers:

Dear Valued Customer:
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has directed all ISPs of the country to block access to www.youtube.com web site for containing blasphemous web content/movies.
The site would remain blocked till further orders from PTA. Meanwhile, Internet users can write to youtube.com to remove the objectionable webcontent/movies because this removal would enablethe authorities to order un-blocking of this website.
We're sorry for any inconvenience.
Best Regards
Manager Technical Assistance Center Micronet Broadband Pvt. Ltd. Islamabad
The authority did not specify what the offensive material was, but a PTA official said the ban concerned a movie trailer for an upcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, who has said he plans to release an anti-Koran movie portraying the religion as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.

In the past twenty five years Geert Wilders has visited Israel about forty times, where he has met with, among others, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. Furthermore, he claims to have tight connections with the Mossad and to love Israel:

"The past years I have visited many interesting countries, from Tunisia to Turkey and from Cyprus to Iran, but nowhere I have that special feeling of solidarity that I always get if I set foot on the Israeli Goerion-airport."

Geert Wilders caused an uproar by writting at the Volkskrant that:

"The Koran is a facist book which incites violence. That is why this book, just like Mein Kampf, must be banned."
The Government of Pakistan is also keen on banning and censors all internet traffic by means of routing all connections through a central exchange which is administered by the Internet Exchange.
Furthermore Pakistani ISPs are also under orders to block certain websites on their own routers.

A common target by major ISPs in Pakistan was the weblogs hosted at blogspot.com among other important social networking websites.

More Info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Pakistan

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