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They blocked the blog again…

They unblocked the blogs! And then they blocked them again…

I just got an email from Dr. Awab Alvi with some bad news:

I apologize to have to send you yet another email after such a short period of time, but regrettably I have to inform you that as of today, 6th May 2006 after a brief relief of three precious days for the internet surfing society of Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority appears to have again resumed the blocking of the entire blogspot domain. Initial reports came in at around 5:00pm (Pakistan Time) of problems in accessing the blogspot domain and it was slowly verified by dozens of activists across the country.

It just seems that this cat and mouse game was probably played out just to appease the world during the annual World Press Freedom Day which is held on 3rd of May, ironically it was the same day the entire ban was lifted and we were actually patting each other on the back for a job well done, who knew three days later we were again to land flat on our face. This brief period of freedom followed by the censorship actually makes us even more determined to create change. We will fight them to the nail and I assure you with good support from you and other international agencies we can indeed dream of knocking some common sense into the bureaucracy.

Keep your eyes on the Don’t Block the Blog site to see if Blogspot remains blocked. Good luck to my Pakistani friends in helping convince the government that blocking tools of free expression is a poor way of handling controversial speech.

4 thoughts on “They blocked the blog again…”

  1. it’s a cat and mouse game Ethan.. frustating as ever…apparently the PIE — pakistan’s internet exchange network was designed by a research center based in Japan, they’ve got two core routers based in karachi and lahore which does the policing on outgoing and incoming data traffic, they also have gateways set up for PIE and Flag Telecom plus 6 main routers and 26 distributed routers for the various out ISPs that go thru the PIE network.

    In short who ever is not going through the PIE is being caught on through Flag’s network by the PTA who’ve been granted permission by Flag to set up filtering of the net…. ;-)

    Flag — they need some sense kicked into them!

  2. This is a real problem with IXs, unfortunately, Angelo. They can serve as chokepoints for governments who want to control the net. On the other hand, they’re hugely important for cutting down connectivity costs and for building local interconnection. I’m very sad to see an IX being used for censorship purposes.

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