Pakistan pulling plug on controversial Internet filter–report

Posted: March 20, 2012 in Break News, Tech
Tags: ,

 

by March 19, 2012 2:04 PM PDT Follow @coopeydoop

A member of Pakistan’s National Assembly told the internationally affiliated newspaper Express Tribune that the Ministry of Information Technology had decided to withdraw the plan.The legislator–Bushra Goha, who represents the country’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region–said she was informed by a senior ministry official that the plan is being withdrawn “due to the concern shown by various stakeholders.”

Officially, the MoIT has neither confirmed nor denied the report, according to the paper. A spokesperson said to expect a statement on the project’s future Tuesday.

The original idea was to build a national-level URL filtering and blocking system (PDF) that could better block Web sites found featuring what the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority described as “blasphemous, un-Islamic, offensive, objectionable, unethical, and immoral material.” Bidding closed on Friday.

It’s unclear how many American companies actually competed for the contract. The potential involvement of foreign–in particular, U.S.-based–firms had stirred considerable online opposition in the last month.

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