It has been a week since many websites have been inaccessible in Pakistan due to “unethical and improper” content. The point of surprise is that major websites banned consists of online shopping giant AliBaba, news platform like Bloomberg and buzzfeed, a popular media platform, all these websites show content which has nothing to do with the comments made in regards with the ban on these websites.
It was surprising to see that when asked regarding the ban, many senior officials were completely unaware of the ban while some suggested to restart routers and devices to regain access. It is a peculiar decision to ban such websites on the verge of Eid without any prior notice or reason for why the ban was placed on the said websites in the first place. PTA were quick to deny any initial connection with the ban clearly stating that they weren’t involved, however, later confirmed receiving orders from the management in this regard.“The directions come from the Ministry of Interior, which also identifies objectionable or controversial content posted on a particular website and tells the PTA to block it,” a member of PTCL’s technical support team said.
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Besides, several thousand other websites are also on the block list along with these sites. It must be mentioned here that popular encrypted messaging app and WhatsApp competitor, Telegram, has also been banned in Pakistan for nearly two years. Without any reason for such bans, internet freedom is being compromised and this should be dealt by senior officials who are able to give substantial evidence regarding such matters without making it so abrupt. Many users have not been impressed with this stunt by the PTA, completely uncalled for. Lets see whether PTA has an explanation in sigh for the ban.