Pakistan Asking For Proposals On A System That Will Let The Government Censor 50 Million Websites

from the aim-high? dept

A few months back we noted that Pakistan was trying to ban encryption for surfing the internet. Now that they’ve tackled letting the government spy on everyone, they’re tackling the other side of the equation, by very publicly putting out a request for proposal on a system to censor up to 50 million websites. Apparently, when Pakistan wants to censor the internet, it goes big.

Even more ridiculous is that this is coming from an organization who claims its mandate is “to transform Pakistan’s economy into a knowledge based economy.” Yeah, mass censorship of the internet is not how you do that.

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Comments on “Pakistan Asking For Proposals On A System That Will Let The Government Censor 50 Million Websites”

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Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t get it.

Trying to make a “knowledge economy” doesn’t require access to porn sites or such. It doesn’t require access to TMZ. If things get filtered out to conform with local law, what is the issue?

For that matter, how come nobody has been making a big deal out of the middle east, where most countries had have different filters in place since almost the start of the internet?

Seems like EFF is having a senior moment here.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:


Taking a quick look (Feel free to ignore my quick research as you probably would anyways), Pakistan’s age of consent laws would suggest that this has absolutely nothing to do with child porn. If it has anything to do with porn at all, it would be to block all porn.

So don’t be talking shit if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


Because claims of filtering child porn out have been historically used to get these sorts of things in place.
Once in place then they argue they should be used in new and unique ways expanding them massively, often depriving people of access to thoughts someone objects to.
They will make the list of sites blocked a secret, so no one will every know what is on there, until the day it is leaked and you can find content blocked that according to the rules shouldn’t have been blocked. But because it is a secret list, for your own good, you can never see the list and question the reasoning.

Nice way to trot out the old tired if your against this your for child molesters argument. You seem very focused on those sites, is there something you’d like to tell the class?

Anonymous Coward says:

i wonder how long it will take before there is moaning from the US because some of their ‘legitimate’ sites are blocked?

or, perhaps, the US will then buy the system from Pakistan and implement themselves? it obviously wont matter whether it works correctly or not, as long as it censors the ‘net, it will be ok. sure Lamar Smith will be able to do a deal!

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:


Fear of abuse is a valid response to systems like this. Show me one government that has implemented a filter and hasn’t abused it. After this much failure, it’s only normal to expect failure.

If they create a filter that is truly not abused, is exclusively for illegal activities in that country, and has a proper appeal process, then good for them. They’ll be the first.

Edward Teach says:

One thing...

Arrr, lad, you’ve made the mistake that the US wants to get the lowest bidder, or even wants more than a single bidder. Shiver me sides, more than one bidder means that Taxpayer’s National Security Dollar might not be spent lining a beltway “consulting firm’s” pocket. As a pirate meself, I’m familiar with “consulting firm” operations!

Anonymous Coward says:


“They have their laws and we have ours.”

Interesting. So when the U.K. and Spain and several other countries have laws that say file sharing is okay, that running and operating such sites (from within said country) is legal and within the bounds of the law, WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS “they have their laws and we have ours” and we should not meddle?

Is that correct?

Or is it “they have their laws and we have ours and when their laws don’t conflict with ours in ways we don’t like, it’s okay”, BUT when “they have their laws and we have ours and when their laws allow something that is perfectly legal in their country to happen that we DO NOT approve of/life, well then our laws trump their laws”? Does that about sum up your argument?

I’m going to assume you’re one of the pro-RIAA/MPAA as well as pro-SOPA and all that other nonsense people who comment regularly on here. So by all means, please adequately explain your position. I’m referring to, do our laws apply to us (the United States) and only us, which means other countries can have whatever laws they want? Or is it, other countries can have whatever laws they want til we decide ours trump theirs?

Anonymous Coward says:

Economic Mismanagement

Everybody please note carefully, this proposal to establish a censorship system is being done by the government of an impoverished third world country, which cannot afford to give its own ordinary people things like sewerage, reliable electricity, decent schools, a health system that works, etc. All censorship systems suffer from ongoing high costs caused by ordinary people fighting it, ever-increasing snooping, ever-rising enforcement costs, chilling effects, scope creep, and political arguments.

It is clear economic mismanagement. Money is fungible. If money is spent on a censorship system then the same money cannot be spent on giving the Pakistani people a decent life. This shows that the present Pakistani politicians do not have the interests of the Pakistani people at heart.

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