by Scott Creighton
Advocates of an open free internet take notice…
In the world of investigative alternative news, you’re no one till someone fears you. Our “democratic” partner in the Greater Middle East, Pakistan, has blocked their citizens access to American Everyman along with another 20,000 or so other websites for hosting what they call “questionable material”. In my case the material in question is my work exposing of the rapidly collapsing Malala Psyop.
Pakistan’s civilian population is being blocked from these “questionable” websites in a move that was obviously timed to curb dissent and discussion of the Malala shooting.
The battle to protect the freedom of the internet has shifted today. Leon Panetta is making noise about internet 9/11s and Pakistan is closing it’s doors and resorting to their old totalitarian ways.
Early this morning as I was writing an article about Malala’s father, a reader posted a comment claiming that American Everyman was being blocked by Pakistani authorities and that he was using some kind of software to get around the block. I registered how many page views had come in from Pakistan at that time and continued to write the article. Later another reader confirmed the block and I checked the page view count from Pakistan and found that indeed, the large volume of hits I have been receiving from Pakistan over the past few days had stopped rather suddenly and almost completely.
Then I received this email:
HELPPP PAKISTAN >…. NO ACCESS TO YOUR WEBSITE RAISE THE ISSUE
YOUR PAGE IS BEING BLOCKED IN PAKISTAN… ITS CONFIRMED YOU NEED TO RAISE YOUR VOICE REGARDING THIS .
PLEASE RAISE THIS ISSUE ON FACEBOOK AND ANYWHERE ELSE YOU CAN PLEASE . WE BELIEVE YOU
Troubled by this action taken by a democratic partner of the United States, I decided to do a little search to see if others were being blocked as well. What I found was immensely disturbing.
Not only were some 20,000 websites being blocked by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority because they didn’t like what they had to say, but it would appear that they instituted the vast majority of these blocks only a few days prior to the attack on Malala.
It’s as if they were looking to lock down the story before the story even happened.
“We have blocked 20,000 objectionable websites and blogs since the blasphemous film surfaced on the Internet,” an official of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said…
… “The PTA has not only blocked websites featuring the anti-Islam film but thousands of others with objectionable material,” the official said.” Zee News Oct. 8th 2012
According to reports, this all started with the FBI honeypot video, the “Innocence of the Muslims”. Some seven days after the staged Benghazi attack, on Sept. 17th, Pakistan decided to block Youtube because they refused to pull the video down. But at that time, apparently, there was no mention of blocking some 19,000+ other sites. That would happen just prior to the Malala shooting.
The Pakistani people have been denied access to literally tens of thousands of websites because their corrupt government finds the information on those sites to be objectionable.
This is not the first time this has taken place in Pakistan. Just a few months ago in May, the Pakistani government blocked access to Twitter because they didn’t like the information being shared, peer to peer on the social media site. A Pakistani group “Don’t Block the Blog” put out a call to stop internet censorship.
In April of this year, a small group of 7 activists petitioned to keep the PTA from arbitrarily blocking various websites.
The timing of the expansion of the internet censorship cannot be ignored.
It is true that Imran Khan was taking his anti-drone protest to the Tribal regions of Pakistan around the same time and that the authorities knew they were going to keep Khan and the international activists out of the area by force. But that decision was announced on Oct. 6th, a few days prior to the announcement of the blocking of the sites.
Malala was attacked on Oct. 9th.
Please take the time to link this article to other sites across the internet. The people of Pakistan are under a systemic attack. Their right to a free and open exchange of information is being seriously undermined as we speak.
Al those people who demand accountability for Malala, demand she has a right to an education, those people MUST ALSO accept the fact that Malala and EVERY OTHER PAKISTANI has a RIGHT to free speech… has a RIGHT to an open internet.
How can anyone claim the government and the military of Pakistan are interested in helping children like Malala learn when they are actively working to censor the internet… effectively keeping them from learning?
This act makes a mockery of what Malala stood for just as it’s timing makes one suspicious of the government’s intent.
Please stand with the PEOPLE of Pakistan. Help spread the word that they are under siege from their own representatives.
I personally do not know enough about combating international web blocking but if there are sites that do, like 4chan, Reddit , the Internet Freedom Coalition, or others, please get the word out to them to look into what is happening in Pakistan.
We can’t sit back savagely protecting our internet freedoms while our fellow netizens in Pakistan lose theirs.