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Posts tagged with: Censorship

Discussion with one of the UniLever’s Reality Show particpants, an eye witness to Saad Khan’s tragic death

This report was posted by Fahad Siddiqui the admin from the Facebook Group Say NO to Reality Shows

Saad Khan with friendsAs promised, we are now publishing a conversation with one of the contestants / eyewitness of the Clear Man show. For confidentiality purpose we can not disclose the names of the people who were involved in this conversation; however, we can assure you that the content of the entire discussion has not been exaggerated nor over-hyped while we are sharing it with all of you.

Read, digest & share your thoughts on this tragic incident which could surely have been avoided if basic precautionary measures could have have been taken while organizing the deadly stunt which took Saad Khan away from us.

Q: How was your relation with Saad Khan during the time you were together?

Participant: We were good friends since the time we met each other. Saad bhai was a great person; we got close in a very short time. He even told me his life story from his struggle to the upward trajectory of his career. We used to hang out together and have fun and play pranks with other fellows. In short it was a very joyful experience spending time with him.
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Presdient Zardari orders GEO shutdown: Letter by MIR

Geo News, Pakistan’s highest viewership TV channel, is not being seen by most of the country due to orders by President Zardari.

Orders have been given to all cable operators to shut down GEO News transmission and or to place the channel towards the end of the cable frequency where most of the TV sets don’t have access to the channel.

During the Musharraf Emergency, Geo Network lost more than 25 million dollars when all its channels were shut down for almost 3 months.

President Zardari had sent messages to Geo Management that if the Network wanted to r ec over its past losses through its pending court case, and avoid future loss, then it should stop supporting the movement for the restoration of an independent judiciary.
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PTA Blocks websites with Salman Taseer’s pictures ‘Harmful for the integrity of the Country’

Its being reported that PTA has recently blocked six specific URL’s in Pakistan deeming them “harmful for the integrity of the country“. These websites are blocked for carrying a certain set of pictures containing Salman Taseer, The Governor of Punjab & his family.  The PTA is said to have complied upon the request from the Inter Ministerial Committee which has prefered to monitor and block anti-Pakistan, blasphemous, and pornographic web sites.

The alleged pictures had started making rounds on the Internet in early November and consequentially did find its way on a few specific websites, we too did share a couple but preferred to ignore the remaining as they were definitely too personal for public consumption.

Though on a personal level we exercised self-restraint in choosing not to publish the private pictures of his daughter, but I am shocked to see the official bureaucracy go begging at his mercy deeming these websites as harming the national integrity of Pakistan, quite definitely a far fetched lame excuse at best. I am sure there could have been other effective legal measures to bring down these pictures, which would then have been a better representative of a democratically elected government but it seems they still choose to rule by the dictatorial stick. All said, I am definitely shocked to see how easily PTA was eager to comply to this lame excuse on the whims of certain individuals and hope that they quickly revert their decision to block these websites
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Geo News Blocked in Sindh

Its just being reported that Geo News transmission has been blocked in certain areas of Karachi – I personally can verify that the Geo News feed on Worldcall is dead, while the GeoTv website has this to report

KARACHI: Geo Network’s transmission has been stopped in most parts of Karachi. Cable operators blocked the transmission of Geo Network in a number of areas across the city on Monday, without assigning any reason for the stoppage.

People are making phone calls to the Geo’s Headquarter, asking for the reason as to why Geo News and other channels of Geo Network have been blocked.

If this blockage is limited to Karachi then might we suspect a fumbled catch between Shakil ur Rehman and MQM PPP? Deja Vu anyone?

UPDATE @1327: Geo TV website reports that this blockage is spread across the entire province of Sindh – and PEMRA has no knowledge of this blockage – Geo.tv story

Reporters Without Borders question GEO blockage in UAE

RSF issues an immediate press release questioning the blockage of Capital Talk and Meray Mutabiq on GEO tv

Dubai-based satellite TV station GEO News censored again

Reporters Without Borders calls on the governments of Pakistan and United Arab Emirates to explain how GEO News, a Pakistani privately-owned TV station that broadcasts by satellite from Dubai, was forced to drop two very popular talk shows under threat of losing its licence to operate in Dubai.
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Capital Talk & Meray Mutabiq blocked in UAE

Reports are coming in that Hamid Mir’s Capital Talk and Dr. Shahid Masood’s Merey Mutabiq on GEO both programs have been banned by UAE govt. 

Hamid Mir on Aaj says it is because of Rehman Malik

What’s the latest gossip? And why? It truly irks me to see Rehman Malik interfering with Pakistans affairs

Geo News blocked in Karachi – MQM election rigging allegations

It is being reported throughout the city of Karachi that Geo News was suddenly taken off-air during the Capital Talk show where Ansar Abbasi stated that MQM won the election due to massive rigging. This statement apparently aggravated the leadership in Karachi forcing the channel off-air in Karachi. More updates to follow

First updated on PkPolitics
Updates on BBC Urdu Three Channels blocked for Three Hours

YouTube Blocked again in Pakistan

It is being reported on the mailing list for the Society Against Internet Censorship in Pakistan that YouTube is yet again being blocked here in Pakistan. Though no notification has yet surfaced from the the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority but most users are reporting a total blackout showing error pages while accessing youtube.com

A little investigation shows that it could be a new system employed by the censorship body as when we try to access the URL youtube.com it leads us to a blocked page but when you enter the IP address of the youtube website

It could easily be speculated that this block has yet again to do with the Geert Wilders movies Fitna which was released a few days earlier, but surprisingly it is not being hosted on youtube, in fact Google/Youtube had taken all instances of this movie due to a violation in its Terms of Service. The domain of the domain Fitnathemovie.com movie was also slashed by the host and later when Geert Wilders released the video, via LiveLeak it too suffered the cut since a number of employees were harassed forcing the management to remove the video for their own safety was.

Internet Service Provider shuts down Anti-Islamic Dutch Film website

Network Solutions, the host of Geert Wilders website for hosting his Anti-Islamic Video has shut down the website after receiving numerous complaints against it. The following text appeared on the offending website

This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site’s content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy. Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation

Wilders’ film has triggered fury in the Muslim world. The Dutch government has distanced itself from Wilders’ views, fearing a backlash against the country in the Muslim world, similar to that against Denmark in 2006 after newspapers there published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. while on Saturday, about a thousand Dutch gathered in the Dam to protest against Wilders and his film. The film is not so much about Muslims as about the Koran, Wilders wrote in a commentary in Dutch daily De Volkskrant on Saturday. He said Fitna was a last warning for the West. Wilders had previously warned of a “tsunami of Islamisation” in a country home to almost one million Muslims.

It must also be recalled that his Youtube trailer sparked a huge outcry amongst the Muslim community that even resulted in a censorship of the entire youtube.com website in Pakistan which also inadvertently blocked the youtube website on a global scale website for a few hours

Pakistan-wide censorship results in 2-hour YouTube Global Shutdown

Yesterday in a funny yet serious incident youtube was knocked off-line for over two hours and in a comedy of events the blame goes squarely on our beloved Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and their attempt to censor the offending video of the Dutch (Right-Wing) Politician Geert Wilders. Yesterday we had reported that the offending video has been removed from YouTube but somehow PTCL contributed to a hijack of the IP of YouTube, and published it – via PCCW – leading to whole YouTube collapse

On Pakistan end, YouTube is still blocked.

David Ulevitch of OpenDNS believes that “Pakistan Telecom has decided to (accidentally probably) hijack their IP address space”. By blocking YouTube IP addresses internally led to ISPs blocking the site globally.
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Blasphemous YouTube video removed due to TOS violation

We have just been informed that the blasphemous youtube video has been removed from the youtube servers for violating the Terms and conditions of Youtube, this video had been the cause of censorship of the entire youtube domain in Pakistan as enforced by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

I hope this development can convince the PTA to unblock the domain on an urgent basis while at the same time I hope it also does not serve as an example for PTA to not use this drastic domain-wide censorship in an attempt to block offending content hoping that resultant outcry from the citizens of Pakistan will help force a solution on a global lever – we consider ourselves lucky this time around but might not so fortunate if such a situation were to come again

Note: As of filing of this post and the next update late Sunday evening (2300 PST) the block still exists and it has not be removed, we that the start of the week can bring us some good news

TWA Internet backbone blocks only Blasphemous video URL

youtube unblocked in Pakistan on TWAYesterday all Internet users in Pakistan were up in arms protesting the sudden censorship of the entire Youtube.com domain. A number of theories circulated which ranged from vote rigging videos to the cartoon video containing the blasphemous images disgracing our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the appointed monitoring agency had issued a notification blocking a specific URL and a bunch of IP addresses, which belonged to the youtube.com domain. Since yesterday we all witnessed a domain wide blockade of all content from youtube.com and we generally had confirmed reports that this existed throughout out the country, only today did a kind gentleman shared with us screen captures of his computer showing the unblocked youtube website but the specific offending URL is censored from all TWA users. A bit of history all ISP’s in Pakistan connect through the FLAG backbone via the PTCL/PIE link but some ISP’s choose to go via the other bandwidth hub coming via TransWorld.
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Media Restrictions Undermine Election: Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch issues a statement on the restriction on the media, similarly Hamid Mir also shared his concerns just a day earlier in a letter to journalists of PFUJ.

Threats and censorship against the independent media, bias in state television, and a widespread ban on live broadcasting are limiting the public’s right to information as Pakistan goes to the polls, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent curbs on the media prohibit coverage of election rallies, live call-ins, live talk shows, live coverage of protests, or any live broadcasts that could show the government in a negative light, severely restricting the right to free expression ahead of Pakistan’s election on February 18, 2008.

On November 3, 2007, President Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan’s constitution and declared emergency rule, curbing the media through two decrees that bar the publishing or broadcasting of “anything which defames or brings into ridicule the head of state, or members of the armed forces, or executive, legislative or judicial organ of the state.” The print and electronic media were also restrained from publishing any material likely to “jeopardize or be prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or any material that is likely to incite violence or hatred or create inter-faith disorder or be prejudicial to maintenance of law and order.” Television discussions of anything deemed “false or baseless” by the regulatory authorities were also banned. All those provisions remain in force, even though the state of emergency was lifted on December 15.
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Hamid Mir shares his concerns about the restricted media

Mr. Hamid Mir, a very prominent anchor of Geo TV who was banned from appearing on any TV show after the emergency shares his feelings in this letter submitted after the press conference he had on the invitation of Pakistan Federal Union Journalists . Its a must read specially if you want to understand whats going on behind the covers of the new form of Media Censorship

Dear Journalist Colleagues,

Thanks for coming to this press conference on the invitation of Pakistan Federal Union Journalists.

As you know that Musharraf regime have banned many TV anchors including me without any written charge against us. The main objective of banning us was to pressurize Pakistani media to accept a new code of conduct for print and electronic journalism. This new code was drafted just to manipulate elections. Musharraf regime started pressurizing us to accept new media laws in 2006.I was served with a notice from the government in October 2006 when I hosted a talk show on the role of intelligence agencies in politics. I responded that notice through my lawyer and took a stand that I never violated any law. Government never issued any notice to me after my response.
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Wiredpakistan.com blocked in Pakistan

WiredPakistan.com a technology blog and the forum run by KO for the past year has in a very astonishing development come under the censorship umbrella as per the directive issued by Network Operations Center at the Pakistan Internet Exchange.

A careful watch has been setup to monitor which ISP’s comply with this directive and as of the writing of this report only PTCL DSL subscribers are facing the block while others remain in the clear. We all remain astonished as to why an Innocent technology website has been a target of such censorship by the government of Pakistan

An email sent to various ISP identified the website as a blocked website

Subject: Re: Blocked IP
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 15:06:47 +0500
To: #########


Dear Customer,

It is to apprise you that the following website has been blocked as per directive of PTA.

Best Regards,

[name removed]
Network Operations Center
Pakistan Internet Exchange

Voice : +92 21 2760066/2774258
Fax : +92 21 2751777
Email: noc@ptcl.net.pk
IP Services, 5th Floor Technical Block
Gateway Exchange Building, Marston Road
Karachi South, Pakistan
Web : http://www.pie.net.pk

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