Afghanistan Follows Pakistan In Demanding ISPs Censor The Internet

from the not-so-inter dept

Last week we noted that Pakistan had chosen to start censoring a bunch of big websites, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon. And now the EFF notes that Afghanistan has created new rules for the internet, saying that ISPs need to start filtering websites that fall under the following categories:
  • Alcohol
  • Dating/Social Networking
  • Gambling
  • Pornography
Because it's not easy to properly filter, reports coming out of the country suggest that ISPs are just choosing to block Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, and Twitter outright. It looks like more and more countries are deciding to censor the internet. This may not be a surprise, but it is a little upsetting if you believe in the importance of free expression.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Moo^2, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 11:17pm

    It seems that a lot of this could be done a lot easier by just outlawing the internet. just claim that the very concept of the internet is wrong for a variety of reasons and presto, no internet for you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 28th, 2010 @ 11:43pm

    Drugs ?

    It's interesting to see that they are not stopping drug related information.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 12:28am

    As if Afghanistan didn't have enough problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    JackSombra (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 12:41am

    And this is the government western troops are dying to keep in power

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 12:42am

    why do you harp on countries that have no belief in free anything, thought, speech, rights etc...you act like this is truly newsworthy, or commenting on it will somehow make these countries see the error of their ways

     

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  6.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 3:50am

    Re:

    Because idiots like yourself keep bringing up those other countries and trying to demand that "pirated" material is blocked by ISPs and other non-infringing parties?

    Because, if this is successful, people like the religious right will try to use this as precedent to stop speech they don't like (e.g. information on abortion or evolution)?

    Because it's a good thing to know about what is happening elsewhere in the world, even if it doesn't affect you directly?

    Because restriction on rights in other countries are still "newsworthy" even if you show no personal interest in them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 4:04am

    Re: Re:

    So, let's pretend TAM isn't trolling right now. If he weren't trolling, his point would be:

    The headline "Pakistani Government Hacks Apart Bloggers With Machetes" isn't news; it's Tuesday.

    There is no point in showing any surprise when governments known for suppressing freedom actually suppress freedom.

    However, it is is good starting point for discussion on the state of other nations, which is a perfectly acceptable reason to have these articles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 4:14am

    Re:

    why do you harp on countries that have no belief in free anything, thought, speech, rights etc...you act like this is truly newsworthy, or commenting on it will somehow make these countries see the error of their ways
    Maybe because our governments are spending a lot of money (and lives) in military adventures in those countries - and therefore ought to have some leverage.

     

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  9.  
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    abc gum, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re:

    Are you suggesting the rest of the world go along with their insanity and censor all news about their problems? I'm positive there are those in more developed nations who would rejoice at the prospect of censoring all things they object to. Studying this phenomenon shows forethought and aknowledgement that someday, we too may be facing such intolerance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    falconcy (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    They are censoring Internet for ISAF too

    This has actually been on the cards for quite a while now, they have been demanding that resellers of VSAT Services comply too with heavy fines/having their licenses rescinded.

    This has the knock on effect of censoring locally sourced VSAT access being provided to members of the Military serving there. The work around for those affected is to order services direct from the actual service providers and not from Afghan Resellers.

     

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  11.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 6:56am

    soldiers cant hand out dvdrs now

    haha
    OH i can see a rebellion....OH WAIT

     

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  12.  
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    Mr. CD (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Freedom of expression and sarcasm

    Do corporate banking interests operate a propaganda machine that controls all expression? Is freedom of expression real when the sound of our voice is easily lost in the roar of that machine? Do the economic depression, gulf oil crisis and constant wars evidence how a few priviledged elite can afford to spread their opinions? Our leaders bathe in continuous extravagance, which clogs their ears to our voices anyway. Website filtering will be needed for we useless eaters, while the elite can always purchase more freedom.

     

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  13.  
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    Overtkill (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    Umm....

    They get internet access in Afghanistan? :)

     

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  14.  
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    BruceLD, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    So?

    Let them censor. They're doing it to copycat other countries that do it. Being egotistical dictators it makes them feel even more important and more powerful to know that the western press is talking about it.

    If no one cared or paid attention they wouldn't be doing it.

     

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  15.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re: Umm....

    The average Afghan makes $1 a day. I'm sure they'll cry about the unavailability of online porn.

    But hey, on the bright side, I hear they are a democracy now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 29th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    why do you harp on countries that have no belief in free anything, thought, speech, rights etc...you act like this is truly newsworthy, or commenting on it will somehow make these countries see the error of their ways


    I always figured you thought facist censorship was both admirable and mundane, TAM. Thanks for confirming it for the rest of us.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 29th, 2010 @ 2:19pm

    We all know the real reasons for their censorship

    It's because the dictators running these countries are sexually inadequate, replete with afflictions such as micro-phallus and erectile dysfunction, and this is their way of feeling better about themselves. I may have micro-phallus myself, for all I know, but I don't try to censor the internet. What's up with them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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