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Monday, February 25, 2008

Apnay hee paer par külhaa∂ee maarna ham say seekho

Here's what one site has to say about the Pak-YouTube Fiasco: Pakistan removed from the Internet Posted by Richard Stiennon Categories: State Sponsored Hacking Tags: YouTube Inc., Pakistan, Internet, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic, PCCW, has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today. Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP’s must block access to YouTube because it was a source of blasphemous content. I cannot let the irony pass with out commenting. A religious state, Pakistan, identifies a content provider, YouTube, as the source of blasphemous, seditious content and orders, King Canute style, that the Internet tides be stopped. A zealous ISP ignorantly decides the best way to comply with the decree is to re-route all of YouTube’s IP addresses to whatever site they thought was more appropriate. The first repercussion was that YouTube disappeared from the Internet for almost an hour. I suspect the second repercussion was that Pakistan’s Internet access crawled to a halt as all of a sudden they were handling IP requests for one of the busiest sites in the world. As of this writing YouTube has announced more granular routes so that at least in the US they supercede the routes announced by PieNet. The rest of the world is still struggling. So, while working on a fix that will filter out the spurious route announcements, PCCW has found it necessary to shut down Pakistan’s Internet access. The leadership of Pakistan just created a massive Denial of Service on their own country. I could say: “be careful what you wish for” to those elements that object to free and open access to information and expression of ideas. But to put it in terms they might understand better: Do not anger the Internet gods or you will suffer their wrath! ------ Many many years ago Aslam Azhar - a friend I admire and respect - as head of PTV, 'allowed' the broadcast of a music show that showed a pop concert and taubah, taubah an audience in which boys and girls actually performed obscene gestures, such as sitting on their seats and waving their arms in the air, in full view of the public. The pure in the land were horrified. After all, this was no simple prank, like the abduction of political opponents, or jirga-ordered rape, or the naked parading of women on the streets by feudal enemies, or enhancing political power and personal wealth by supporting the USA's outsourced torture program whose victims were from countries including Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan, and included children as young as seven!!! 'What next?', everyone wondered, with their twin virtues of nationalism and religiosity simultaneously under threat by bared wrists. A few days later I happened to be visiting Lahore and heard that Aslam was going to be 'put in the docks' by people during a discussion forum at Jang's office. Off I went to hear him defend his promotion of such lewd actions. I shall always remember what he said at one point, rather coolly, during the other side's display of hotness: "In years to come, if we go down the path some people are suggesting," he predicted, "we will not just be a nation that chose a different track, we will be considered - and become - a different species!" That time, dear Aslam, is fast approaching!!! ============================================== 30 minutes later Update and Clarification: PCCW has been identified by Richard Stiennon, above, as "The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic". This indicates that other telecom routes may still have remained operative and Pakistan not entirely cut off. While one friend reports successfully accessing the 'Net from his Blackberry from Lahore, a techie from Pakistan has responded to Stiennon's article stating that he is being able to access not just the Internet but, surprisingly, also YouTube from his computer. That's really confusing. Can someone put the entire episode into a non-techie jargon and provide a link here?

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Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

Wishing for a quick end to all forms of internet censorship!

25 February, 2008 23:05


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