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.
Pakistanis woke up on Thursday 20 May to find sites like Facebook and YouTube blocked after a government crackdown on “blasphemous” websites. “We consider this ban unnecessary, based on wrongful accusations against civil liberties and it will further instigate hatred among international Muslim and non-Muslim communities,” APC member Bytes For All tells APCNews. In an update, we are told that more than 1000 sites are now being blocked. “We are in the midst of a major crisis,” says Bytes For All.
The proliferation of sexual content on the internet and the considerable size of the pornography market online is a concern to lots of different groups. However while the online adult sex industry accounts for 12% of web pages, the internet has also been used to express and explore a range of sexual experiences, relationships and content that cannot be considered “harmful”. This kind content is very important to people’s right to freedom of expression and right to information. Especially for people who have little access to resources, rights and spaces in the “off-line” world. Learn more about these issues and the research that APC is doing to understand them better.