Pakistani Court Says Internet Censorship Plan Is Unconstitutional

from the well-look-at-that dept

We recently wrote about Pakistan's attempts to build its own internet censorship regime, capable of blocking 50 million sites that the government doesn't like. However, a petition by civil rights groups has apparently resulted in a court ruling saying that such censorship is unconstitutional under the Pakistani constitution. Of course, from the writeup linked above (from Reporters Without Borders), it appears that there is at least some skepticism that the Pakistani government will obey its own court:
The high court’s ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system.

While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA’s past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions.
Still, it's good to see courts around the globe pushing back on this desire to censor the internet.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 3:38am

    What's wrong with this picture?

    The UK courts allowing censorship and the Pakistani court ruling censorship is unconstitutional. What kind of freakin' topsy turvy world is this?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 4:59am

      Re:

      It is refreshing to see the rights of the people to be free from censorship being defended. Censorship is a standard tool of all tyrannies. Kudos to that feisty high court in Pakistan. Other jurisdictions please note. UK jurisdiction please note very carefully.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 3:53am

    Good

    Oh well. Its a good thing then. I always thought they were only good blowing up people.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 6:33am

      Re: Good

      Oh well. Its a good thing then. I always thought they were only good blowing up people.

      Well then. Thanks for reminding us that free speech cuts both ways.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 4:01am

    it goes to show how the definitions and implementations of so-called democracy have changed so, so quickly and where. the UK was a staunch democratic country that respected people, respected what was 'right'. now, it's turned into the same sort of place as the USA where nothing and no one matters except what the government and big businesses want.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 5:02am

    This just in...

    The Pakistani courts have ruled that the death penalty for leaving the state religon is constitutional. Hmm, you win some you lose some.

     

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    whisk33, May 1st, 2012 @ 5:08am

    Censorship

    "the could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the... national security provisions."

    I am baffled how American politicians do not see the parallel here.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 5:11am

    Pakistani women have acid thrown in their face by their husbands and brothers.
    Pakistan is brewing to be the next Afghanistan.
    But yeah, lets give their courts a cheer over internet policies.

     

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      icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), May 1st, 2012 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      Pakistani women have acid thrown in their face by their husbands and brothers.
      Pakistan is brewing to be the next Afghanistan.
      But yeah, lets give their courts a cheer over internet policies.


      Do you know what is the single best first step towards solving social and political problems? Making sure the people have a voice.

       

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        Ninja (profile), May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:56am

        Re: Re:

        It is unfortunate that this AC is just one example of what seems to be the majority of the ppl. Most can't grasp anything that's not right in front of their eyes and fail to see the broad implications of one court decision in many aspects of politics and social issues.

        Sad.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      ....yes, lets. Or in your world, if someone does something good amidst a lot of bad, does that mean they did not do the good act at all?

      Feel free to bash them about all you listed (and more which you didn't list), but that doesn't mean that no one should report on them doing something good here.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:09pm

      Re:

      If a woman has acid thrown in her face in the forest and no one is around to hear it on the internet, does it make a sound?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2012 @ 7:33am

    Pakistan

    "Pakistani women have acid thrown in their face by their husbands and brothers.
    Pakistan is brewing to be the next Afghanistan.
    But yeah, lets give their courts a cheer over internet policies."

    pakistan's judiciary is westernized and you can bet that the courts are more liberal than the population.

    However, the constitution explicitly mandates legal discrimination against the Ahmadiyya sect, a provision the Supreme Court had no choice but to apply in a case challenging the constitutionality of the antiahmadiyya ordinance.

    And apostasy from Islam is a capital offense, this is true, and apostates are frequently murdered without the perpetrators being punished.

     

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