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GNI Learning Forum 2012: Rights, practices and expression on the Internet

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The Global Network Initiative hosted its first Learning Forum in Washington DC on June 14, 2012. The discussion centred on safeguarding human rights, privacy and freedom of expression on the Internet. The other very interesting focus of discussion was on practices by businesses and Internet companies, and the engagement between them and governments where user data is [...]

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Twitter Banned in Pakistan

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Once again, Internet users in Pakistan have been slapped with a ban. Early in the day on May 20, 2012, Twitter users in Pakistan started encountering problems logging into their Twitter accounts. At first, Twitter was mostly inaccessible through browsers but accessible through applications on phones. It varied from one ISP to another as well as mobile [...]

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The Dangers of a Content Filtration System

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What would happen if a content filtration system such as the one The National ICT R&D Fund has advertised seeking proposals for were put in place? How would it affect the privacy of Internet users in Pakistan and what kinds of abuses would it invite? A discussion by a member on a social networking site sheds light [...]

URL Filtering System Ad (Feb 22)

Filtering Content on the Internet

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Block, ban, censor. These seem to be the only options ever considered by the Pakistan government when it comes to the Internet. Ever since the 2010 ban on Facebook was imposed and subsequently lifted, there were whispers about the government investing in filtration software. In 2010, a blanket ban was the only option since blocking [...]

Youth participants pose with their mentors at the December 2010 launch of Through the Gender Lens, a handbook to help combat violence against women.

Agents of Change: Youth Tackle Gender-based Violence

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This article was originally published on the Newsline blog on January 6, 2011 Youth participants pose with their mentors at the December 2010 launch of Through the Gender Lens, a handbook to help combat violence against women.   Through the Gender Lens, a handbook – and also the culmination of a yearlong collaborative effort between [...]

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Woman on a Mission

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This article was originally published in Newsline’s March 2011 issue Mai Jori’s name was first heard in March 2010 when, after the assassination of Sardar Rustum Khan Jamali, by-elections for his seat PB-25 were announced. Mai Jori was one of the contenders. An illiterate hari woman, she was offered an Awami Party ticket, and was [...]

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LHC to Consider Permanent Ban on Facebook

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This article was originally published on Newsline’s blog on May 8, 2011 Mass censorship? As the LHC considers to place a ban on Facebook (again), people wonder where the censorship will stop.   In Pakistan, blanket bans and censorship have been a regular feature. Since 2006, there have been instances where YouTube has been blocked, [...]

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Protecting Your Privacy Online

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This article was originally published on Newsline’s blog on June 5, 2011 Every now and then there’s an uproar about Facebook’s ever-changing privacy policy and how users’ privacy settings automatically change as a result. Facebook started off with making sure others had restricted access to you. People couldn’t search you if you didn’t want them to. They [...]

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Prejudice and Stupidity on Full Display After Rape Verdict

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This article was originally published on Newsline’s blog on April 21, 2011 Everyone knows of the Mukhtaran Mai rape case. Not just in Pakistan but around the world too people have discussed the infamous case and been appalled at the treatment of the victim at home. Remember former President-General Musharraf’s comments on rape? Many believe those comments [...]