IT ministry, PTA served notices on URL blocking system

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STAFF REPORT IBD: The Sindh High Court has issued notices to the Ministry of Information Technology and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on a petition challenging the censorship and blockade of websites and online forums containing political views.
The petition has been filed by Ayesha Tammy Haq and others, with a plea that the respondents were illegally blocking and censoring access to various websites and online forums that criticized the workings of state institutions.
The online portals criticized government policies, hefty expenditures and the budgetary allocations to the Armed Forces.
The petitioners urged the court to direct the respondents to ensure that no website, online publication, forum or any other content be blocked without prior notice. They also submitted that public objections should be invited before any such action is taken.
After the preliminary hearing of the petition, an SHC division bench, issued notices to the Ministry of IT and the PTA, seeking their comments on May 7.
It is to be mentioned here that the government is seeking to implement national URL filtering system in order to block inappropriate content available online. While activists believe that this national URL filtering system will be used to curb voices arising against the government on political grounds.


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