Broken promises: Pakistan announces plans to launch censorship firewall, possibly with Chinese tech
By Peter Micek
New mechanisms to censor websites and filter mobile communications could come online in Pakistan, possibly within 60 days, according to government officials in the country and activists on the ground. News that the censorship system is being built directly conflicts with promises made by Pakistani government officials a little less than a year ago to not pursue massive online censorship.
What an amazing 2012 thus far! In just three months, on the heels of the defeat of PIPA and SOPA, the Access global movement for digital freedom has played a critical role in many successes in the fight to keep the internet free and open. From Canada to Europe to Pakistan, our members have had a hand in some inspiring wins. Find out more!
Access is pleased to hear reports that the Pakistani government is reconsidering its attempt to build a national URL filtering system - a system that would have resulted in the censorship of over 20 million Internet users. During the past week, over 18,000 people from the Access global movement for digital freedom have condemned this oppressive plan, and expressed firm support for the basic rights of the Pakistani people.
“Governments seeking this technology and corporations willing to sell it should take note: The world will not stand by as blanket filtering systems censor and silence the voices of millions,” said Brett Solomon, Access Executive Director. “We look forward to an official statement from the Pakistani government, but will not stop fighting for the basic rights of the Pakistani people as long as those rights are in danger.”
20 Million Silenced?
Just like that, 20 million internet users in Pakistan could be censored.
In a shocking display of arrogance, the Pakistani government has put an ad (above) in their national papers asking for IT companies to help them build a national Chinese-style censorship firewall.
At least four western IT companies have already said they won’t participate (Websense, Cisco, Verizon, and Sandvine). Now we need you to help persuade other firms to urgently follow suit before the bidding deadline of this Friday.
Click on the link below to call upon Bluecoat, Huawei, McAfee, Netsweeper, ZTE, and all local bidders to refuse to play a role in putting up the walls of censorship.