PTA approved: Over 1,000 porn sites blocked in Pakistan

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KARACHI: Over 1,000 pornographic websites are in the process of being blocked by internet service providers (ISP), following directives issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). 

While by no means a blanket ban given the vast amount of sites containing explicit content online, an official in a local ISP has confirmed that the PTA has provided a list of 1,000 most frequented porn sites in Pakistan that are to be blocked.

“They are adding to the list on a daily basis” confirmed the source.

The Express Tribune has received a list of over 170,000 websites the PTA purportedly may ban in Pakistan, however, an official from a local ISP provider states that such a blanket ban is unlikely.

“Blocking 170,000 sites is not feasible for any operator. The screening time on a per request basis will essentially slow the internet down to make it unusable.”

Websites currently blocked by ISPs redirect users to a page with a message that reads: “This page is blocked due to restrictions enforced by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).”

Earlier this year, a hacker had managed to bypass security on the Supreme Court’s website, posting a message that called on the PTA to ban pornographic websites or face further online attacks. A similar attack was carried out on the PTA’s own website.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2011.

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