Fighting online censorship when legal action fails - Grassroots activists in Pakistan have set an example for digital rights activism by Jillian C. York, EFF
Posted in: Censorship at 10/04/2012 20:04
When, in late February, Pakistan's Telecommunications Authority (PTA) issued a call for proposals on a large scale internet filtering system to allow for the blocking of up to 50 million URLs (with, it should be noted, a processing delay of "not more than 1 milliseconds [sic]"), Pakistani rights activists were more than a little peeved. While censorship (either online or offline) in the Islamic Republic is no new thing, the new move - presumably designed to entice Western companies to the country - would potentially put Pakistan on par with countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia in terms of sites blocked.
Of course, Pakistan is not China, Iran or Saudi Arabia. It is, at least in theory, a democracy, with freely held elections. And yet, when it comes to the constitutionally protected right to freedom of expression, citizens find themselves increasingly with no say in the matter.