Don’t Block the Blog

Friends its time for action – For the past few days a number of Bloggers using the free blogspot service in Pakistan either as a publisher or a reader have been locked out of thousands of blogs hosted on the sub-domain blogspot.com by an apparent ban by the internet gateway authority in Pakistan. BBC has also just reported on the problems faced by the internet surfers in Pakistan.

It is time that we bloggers and our fellow blog readers should join hands, united and protest against this attack on freedom of speech. You can start by displaying on your site (ie if you have access to it) one of the banners hosted on the web page DONT BLOCK THE BLOG on Help-Pakistan.com

An idea for organizing a protest in front of Karachi Press Club has also been floated by Danial Ahmed who has also started the Action Group Against Blogspot Ban in Pakistan

STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT — DONT BLOCK THE BLOG —

UPDATE: A number of articles have been published promoting the cause in a few websites.

Desicritics.org
Digg.com
Shoutwire
Newsvine

Join the effort to promote this cause even further in other news agencies worldwide or host one of the following banner on your website.



28 Comments so far

  1. subsepehlepakistan (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 5:27 am

    We should also demonstrate against these bombings & killings of innocent people in Karachi because thats just not us.


  2. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    tsk tsk,we can just get out from home and protest nothing else.

    You should be thankful of GOd that you didnot open eyes in China.I dont support such protest at all,Its clear in papers that they are doing for sake of cartoons nothing else.

    How many people came out in china when their govt asked google to censor the material.We dont miss chance to act like a fool


  3. Illusionfs (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 9:47 am

    Adnan Sahab, dont talk about china here. They have 300,000 well trained net policemen who are sensible enough to know which materials to blog and which not to. They block stuff which threatens their national interest. I dont know what NATIONAL INTEREST government can gain by blocking my blog, when all I had there was pictures of me my friends, surroundings.


  4. danial (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

    I am not sure about other Pakistanis but you. China is not a democracy and they never claim to be so. While Pakistan is a democracy (at least our Military dictators claim so) and according to Pakistani Constitution Government of Pakistan has no right to block our blogs. Apparently it seems like Supreme Court backed a ban on internet sites containing cartoons. But I don’t think that the Judges were tech savy and they knew the difference between blogspot and jylland-posten. PTA on the other hand has mis used the orders issued by Supereme Court by providing a list that contains only 12 sites to ban. One of these sites is a blog hosted on blogspot. ISPs in Pakistan were unable to block a single blog because blogger.com doesn’t give unique IP addresses to individual blogs. So they were forced to ban the entire blogspot.

    We are not protesting over government’s decission to ban cartoons. We are protesting over PTA’s decission to ban blogspot which is an important service hosting thousands of blogs. Many of these blogs are on the Muslim world’s site and many of these blogs are promoting tolerance and non-violent ways to protest the same cartoons that PTA is trying to ban.


  5. turab (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    public (or atleast the violent and loud public) wants the government to take some action, and now the government is really taking some action even then public is not satisfied. this is just an observation. neways, i support free speech, but just to get an idea, how many people have actually saw these drawings. I ll be first one to admit that i have seen them in order to know what the whole commotion was about and to judge in my own personal view. Please post YES if u have seen em and NO if you haven’t


  6. turab (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    o btw, i did see them on a blog site of some person living in the west……….. :S


  7. mansoor (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

    I totally agree with the post ! Blogspot should not be banned in its entirety !!! whats the use of that ?!?!!?

    I just wanted to have a space to speak out ! howcome that has become an issue for national security enuff to block it ??

    This is not fair ! and someone needs to do something about it ! I’ll be part of every protest here !


  8. JonyBr (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 2:59 pm

    I totally support to block all the sites republishing such cartoons or articles. But there are hundreds of Blogs/Bloggers that speak against the Cartoon Issue & raise a sensible voice that is heard world wide.

    Blocking Blogspot is like just closing ur eyes. Also gov is imposing ban on ppl who r on their side & protesting not on the streets, but in their blogs about the cartoon issue. Now they cant.

    I hope they realize & block the specific blogs only.


  9. drpak (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

    Hi folks,

    It’s heartening to know I’m not alone in wishing to resist this and begin a proactive struggle to overturn the ban. I’m convinced that if we unite and speak with one voice, this ban will be overturned in no time.

    For all those who say this is about the cartoons, I refer you to my blog entry where I condemned the cartoons 12 days ago:

    http://drpak.blogspot.com/2006/02/spread-word.html

    I’ve started a google group to serve as a GHQ for all of us wishing to unite to this cause. The group is called the Action Group Against the Blogspot Ban in Pakistan and it is hosted here:

    http://groups.google.com/group/AGABBIP

    If you wish to help, please join up so we can get started ASAP. For once, let’s stand up to the government and make them see reason. My lastest entry in the AGABBIP group outlines what I believe our long-term and short-term goals must be. I’m reproducing it here below. Remember folks, the operative words are Unity and Organization.

    I believe the most effective way to pressurize the PTA is to write to the print media complaining about the band and shame them into revoking
    the ban. To this end, we need to make a few things clear from the onset:

    Firstly: the more people we have writing to The News, Dawn, et al, the more likely we are to have an impact. Therefore I urge everyone who has
    already joined to recruit more people and have them join this group. We need to have hundreds of actively participating members. Since this is
    a gathering of generally active people, ie, writers, I’m sure we will soon have a large number of fellow bloggers here.

    Secondly: No flaming, No trolling, No stupid comments. Treat everyone’s ideas with respect and if you don’t agree with them say so politely.
    This is, after all, a movement to promote our freedoms of speech. What sort of effect can we expect to have if we can’t respect one another?

    Thirdly: Can someone conclusively say who it was that decided to ban all of blogspot? Who’s decision was it exactly? We now know that it was in response to a ruling by the supreme court of Pakistan, but the ruling did not specifically order blogspot.com to be blocked en masse. Some idiot in charge decided to interpret the order in this way. If we
    find out who this was, either a person, or a committee, it will enable us to pinpoint our criticism in the print media and hence allow us to
    exert more pressure.

    Fourthly: Very soon, we’ll start putting up addresses of newspaper columnist, of Letters to the Editors email addresses, of talk show hosts, of news shows, etc… when we put up the addresses over here, I expect each and every one of the readers of this blog to write to the addresses. Remember, the more people we have the better. Remember also that we must appear to be respectful, professional, well-educated and tolerant. DO NOT start sending hate-filled email filled with angry
    rhetoric. This will NEVER have an effect. A well-constructed, logical argument will do the trick. We cannot under any circumstances start to
    appear like irrational thugs, baying for blood.

    The initial step is to get recruits. I want more people here on this group. Please make the effort to spread the word to everyone that you know, that a disciplined, well-thought-out plan of action is soon going to be launched by the members of this group and that fellow bloggers are welcome to join. Once we have the numbers, I’ll propose a generic
    letter of protest that we can send to the members of the print and perhaps the television media. We’ll discuss the theme of such letters and their tone, but first I want recruits. Please help spread the word.


  10. Original-anon (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

    Nice to see some voices raised to protect the Pakistani freedom of expression. I just wonder why there cannot be such an organized effort to protest the human rights of thousands of people violated everyday? Where is the outrage when women are raped? Where is the anger when innocent people are killed in sectarian violence? Blocking the blog pales in comaprison to the real issues facing the common Pakistani.


  11. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

    Well i am not sounding to ban WHOLE blogspot(i am one of the member so I am suffering too)

    Speaking of Chinese know what to ban or not,its not about how well trained they are,they re million times ahead than us in IT but still they forced Google to get a seprate server for China only which doesnt TALK ABOUT things against govt intrest,so how pakistanis and chinese are different in this case?Its not easy to track one by one site for filtering content,if they just put filter,believe me ,someone here would come up with a post of slow network,thatswhy they blocked the IP,you are stil free to make posts,you hands are not cutt off anyway.People outer pakistan can still hear you.Its not so sensible to make noise for everything,there are many other things happening in pakistan agaisnt freedom of expression.Why one dont comeup against honour killings and other issues?

    and its not with Blogspot only,read recent papers,they are gonna block all sites,whether they are blogspot one or some else


  12. Zainub (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    I’m appauled by this. It’s like some one walking up to me in the morning and snatching away my morning newspaper, my pen, and every other bit of paper in my house. I’ve joined in all the efforts, and desperately hope this is fixed soon. Good luck to all of us.


  13. dataghost (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 2:56 am

    I appreciate each and every one of my blog readers…many of whom are from Pakistan. I’m linking this story as well as placing a support link for not blocking the blog…we are the last vestige of free speech anywhere in the world…let’s keep free speech alive!


  14. naveed (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 2:59 am

    Do we deserve the freedom of expression if we are not willing to give the same freedom to others? Lets face it. The decision of the supreme court to ban any web site is wrong and stupid (you can still access them by using proxies!!!). The court was asked to do this folly by some mullah who obviously doesn’t understand the pervasiveness of internet. The govt / PTA has to obey the supreme court. They had to ban the entire blogspot because of the technical reason mentioned by DANIAL. So while protesting beware that you will not have to condemn the govt. but will have to stand for the freedom of expression for all those websites banned by the supreme court.


  15. kirbie (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 7:30 am

    Although i’m in the UK I was very disappointed to hear that blogspot has been blocked in Pakistan. I totally support you in getting your freedom of expression back.

    I’d like to say I don’t think you can compare this to China where their internet censorship is absolutely atrocious, people should be free to decide what they want to read and make sensible decisions for themselves. If you don’t have access to the information how can you know what can you make an informed decision.


  16. suzanne (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 1:58 pm

    Hey Karachi- Philadelphia, PA, USA is behind you! I’m writing a post for our blog right now, and I’ll start spreading the word.

    If there is anything else we can do, we’ll be on it. I wish we could help more!


  17. zain (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

    what the fuck you gora’s. open the blogs!!!


  18. Jadi (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 4:31 pm

    Censorship in anyway and any reason is wrong.


  19. Original-anon (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

    Zain, what are you trying to say? I got the impression you were spewing expletives at some person who was sympathetic to you. Please tell me I am wrong and you meant something else.


  20. cider (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    Blocking blogspot only? Thats one of the most insane things ever. There are tons of other sites which can be equally harmful. Blogspot is one of the biggest, but still those who want to spread anti-pakistan propaganda can always post it on other blogs and email links. Its that simple. If the authorities want to have an effective ban, they could use content filtering, like blocking pages or links that contain certain phrases. And finally, there are always ways to get around such policing – its internet.


  21. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 9:20 pm

    @Cider:they are gonna block everysite which display cartoons thats it

    from zainab:

    I’m appauled by this. It’s like some one walking up to me in the morning and snatching away my morning newspaper, my pen, and every other bit of paper in my house. I’ve joined in all the efforts, and desperately hope this is fixed soon. Good luck to all of us.

    Nobody taken away anything from you,can you guys stop whining?they blocked IP for right reason,you dont know its not EASY to filter one by one website,be realistic,if they start doing this,our already f**ked up Internet will go further slow. Zainab you can stil login to blogger.com and make post,my reader still visit my blogs(i dont know why though ;) )and i had made post to my pakistani readers to use proxy.Dont make this an Issue please,right now ppl here sounding like pathetic MMA psuedo mullahs who are using cartoon issue for their own sake.If you guys know some damn cool solution to resolve this issue then come up rather cry like a baby.


  22. Technocat (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 9:46 pm
  23. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 10:05 pm

    chalo,atleast you guys are on BBC now,I saw MMA mullahs on bbc too


  24. Zainub (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    Adnan,

    So you’re basically saying, that just because a few blogger on blog spot had reproduced the cartoons it gives the PTI the right to go ahead and ban blog spot as whole? Sure I can still use some proxy server (although they’re starting to ban some of these two) but in principle this is wrong. Let us not forget that there are Pakistani bloggers out there who were actually doing a good job via their blogs in condemning the blog, this even blocks them!

    Plus, where do you draw the line? Today the government has banned blogger because of the cartoons, tomorrow they’ll ban something that criticises them, and they day after they might as well decide to wrap up Internet for good from Pakistan and ban everything.


  25. Saadie (unregistered) on March 6th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    Hey Adnan ok I atleast agree with you there that it is definitely not feasible to ban specific sites, we ban one blog they can create 10 more. And it is not just a blogspot, there are far many sites which have far more worse material on Islam than these cartoons. Then there are forums and all. So how many domains will PTA block? Today its blogspot, tomorrow it will be diaryland for that matter there is enough matter on orkut which might make it eligible to be banned under the criteria being employed.

    But atleast don’t mix these people up with MMA, they have condemned loads of wrong doings and I am sure they are never in favor of any violent protest. Oh by the way are you against any kind of protest? I mean even expressing an opinion about something one feels is wrong is not acceptable for you? ok atleast these people can post on their blogs still but it is not just about posting many of them are regular readers of other blogs plus they monitor comments on their own sites.


  26. fariha (unregistered) on March 7th, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

    Making fun of any individual or community’s religious beliefs is wrong. It should be condemned. Intellectually. Not the through destruction, mobs, carnage and killing. Especially not through repression which is what blocking sites leads to.

    More than 90% of the people who set Lahore on fire on the first protest had probably never even laid eyes on the cartoons. There’s no point to protesting material you have never been exposed to.

    Blocking the cartoons and related media is not only late in coming but by now also useless. everyone who had the access has already seen the cartoons. Its shortsighted of our courts to block entire servers just to shut the protesters up.

    Its a bad precedent for the future and it can lead us to the dark ages faster than a nuclear explosion wiping out all of humanity.

    This blockage should be reversed. Immediately. Before any of us become complascent and quietly start accepting every infringement on our lives and expression.


  27. Munib (unregistered) on March 7th, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    Dear friends

    you can see the block site here….
    Following is the link to the blocked site by ILLUSIONFS

    https://proxify.com/p/011010A1000110/687474703a2f2f696c6c7573696f6e66732e626c6f6773706f742e636f6d2f


  28. Zeeshan (unregistered) on March 11th, 2006 @ 3:07 am

    OH MY GOD! What the hell are these guys doing!? BLOGS are a VERY important part of SEO! Stupid, really really stupid!



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