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.

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Comments on “Afghanistan Follows Pakistan In Demanding ISPs Censor The Internet”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: 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?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: 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.

abc gum says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

falconcy (profile) says:

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.

Mr. CD (profile) says:

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.

The Devil's Coachman (profile) says:

Re: 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?

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