Wednesday, 23 November 2011 19:16

Anti-Gay SMS Filters In Pakistan

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After anti-gay filters on Internet in United States, here anti-gay filters for sms in Pakistan. The government wanted indeed to set up a filter on cellphones which would ban around 1,700 words considered to be "obscene" as 'gay' and even if the government decided to reduce the number of words to a dozen, nothing indicates that the project will not be developed in a near future.

A few days ago, the Telecommunication Authority of Pakistan (PTA) ordered to all the operators to install in their system a filtering software for sms.

The words which can be blocked are 'gay', but also, and that is surprising, 'Jesus Christ' is regarded as "obscene". Pakistan is an Islamic country which can be an explanation.

Operators opposed this decision, refusing to set up such filters saying that will be "a censure" which even opposed to the freedom written in the Constitution threatening to file a lawsuit.

"We are obviously worried and we issued reserves", said Omar Manzur, spokesperson of Mobilink, the first mobile operator in the country.

"This decision will be applied only after an agreement between us and the PTA, we must expect the end of the discussions", he explained.

"If it is the law we must apply it, but currently we are always under discussion", the spokesperson of another mobile operator, Telenor, added.

"We do not envisage to block any word as long as the commission, composed by representatives of the civil society and operators, will not have approved the new list. And if it approves it, and that will take time," said the Telecommunication Authority.

The words don't matter, the number of words blocked does not matter, it is censure. Each person must be free to use the words that he/she wants!