Twitter however said it had not done a deal with the Pakistanigovernment which in the past has threatened to put curbs on theInternet over content considered blasphemous or pornographic.”There have been no changes by us,” said spokesman GabrielStricker. The microblogging site was unblocked at the orders of the country’sprime minister, interior minister Rehman Malik said in Twitter messages on Sunday, but he requested that anti-Islam material that hurtsthe feeling of people should be stopped on Twitter. The government may have backed down in the face of protests fromcivil groups, but the dispute may be far from over. In a message later, Malik said the issue was taken up with the management of Twitter, but wasdeclined. “Notice is now being served to twitter through Interpolto block such material,” he added. Custom Cell Phone Hard Cases
On Saturday, the country’s newly appointed minister for informationtechnology, Raja Parvez Ashraf told reporters about his concernabout blasphemous content on different websites and threatened thatTwitter would be banned soon if the company did not comply with thegovernment’s orders, according to activist group, Bytes for All,Pakistan. Within half an hour of this statement, past midnight, an officialdirective was issued to all Internet service providers in thecountry and Twitter “started disappearing from Pakistani Cyberspacestarting 10 a.m.” on Sunday, according to a statement on Sunday by Bytes for All. The IT ministry was not immediately available for comment on theblock on Twitter. “We feel that probably it was a test run for lot more to come inthe future,” said Shahzad Ahmad, country coordinator for Bytes forAll, Pakistan about the government reversal of the block onTwitter. “We feel that it was an exercise to test the capacity ashow they can implement such bans when needed.” Pakistan’s bid to place curbs on the Internet is not new. Cell Phone Hard Covers
It floated in February a request for proposal (RFP) for a system to filter and blockwebsites. The RFP was put out by the National ICT R&D Fund ofthe country’s ministry of information technology. A court in Pakistan issued notices to the government last month after seven persons moved the court against alleged arbitrary actsof online censorship and website blocking by Pakistani authorities. “We are already living in a security state with highest possiblesurveillance upon its citizens,” Ahmad said. Cell Phone Silicone Covers Manufacturer
In 2010, Facebook was blocked for about two weeks by a court because of a group page called”Everybody Draw Mohammed Day !”, that allegedly invited users todraw cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, which are prohibited in someMuslim traditions. The page was later blocked in Pakistan byFacebook which cited “respect for local rules.” The Twittermessages that provoked the government this time also referred to asimilar contest, according to some reports. John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breakingnews from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro.
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