When the Government of Pakistan announced that it would be filtering the internet, Bytes for All initiated a major campaign against what it called an unconstitutional decision. Supported by multiple national and international human rights organisations, news has been released that the plans to filter Pakistani internet have been cancelled.
Technology doesn’t change the world, how we use it does
Last night, at an award ceremony in London organised and hosted by Index on Censorship , Kubatana won the award for Innovation in media technology for our Freedom Fone project.
Our information officer Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa was there to receive the award.
Surprising as it may be, the internet in Iran started out as comparatively open in the region. However, censorship and internet clampdowns noticeably increased when conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005. The internet had until then given activists, journalists and political dissidents a way to get around Iran’s restrictive media laws and communicate with the outside world.
The government of Pakistan currently has plans to filter the internet, which will affect freedom of expression, speech and opinion in the country. Bytes for All fears the internet will be further restricted as the 2013 general elections approach. Read the public statement by Bytes for All.
A recent petition which calls on Pakistani internet service providers to filter the internet has sparked concern among internet rights advocates. APC criticises the proposal as inappropriate in a democratic society which values freedom of expression and the right to information.
Governments surveillance and filtration on the internet is increasing.
In March 2011, the Indian government blocked Savita Bhabhi, an immensely popular soft-core web comic, sparking popular outcry.
On 1 January 2011, a new law came into effect, which now enables the ruling party to gain control of the internet through the creation of a powerful censorship authority. To show our concern for fundamental rights and free speech we will black out our online presence on the 5 January 2011 for 24 hours. We ask that everyone concerned about fundamental rights and free speech to black out its online presence on the 5th January 2011 for 24 hours. To show your outrage and solidarity with the Hungarian media please include this HTML snippet into your site, which will automatically add a similar black splash screen as seen on this site.
After lifting the nationwide Facebook ban on May 31, the Lahore High Court directed authorities to devise methods to permanently block “blasphemous content” on the internet in Pakistan. “We believe that this order will be misused by the government to block citizens access to online activism and curb voices against corruption and corrupt practices by the government functionaries and that an open internet is essential in the fight for transparency,” says internet rights defender Bytes For All.