Karachi 26/04/14: As reported by the Express Tribune, the “Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) [has] announced bringing video-sharing website Dailymotion to Pakistan.” However, we take strong exception to the expressed intent with which it is being launched and the statement made by Dailymotion’s VP Distribution and Business Development, Vincent Martin: “Dailymotion would also make the objectionable content blocked for Pakistan.”
At a time when five petitions are challenging government censorship on the Internet in three High Courts of the country, Dailymotion’s stance deals a blow to the rights of Internet users in Pakistan.
It is no secret that personal and political interests drive blocking of content on the Internet in Pakistan. Dailymotion’s position suggests a willing compliance with the government, who is not authorized by any law to regulate content on the Internet. Will the Internet users of Pakistan be made to subscribe to definitions of ‘objectionable’ provided to us collectively by the government of Pakistan, PTCL and Dailymotion? Are they now going to tell us what we can or cannot watch instead of leaving the choice rightfully where it belongs – with the end user to regulate his/her access on the Internet?
While we encourage localization for the promotion of local content, however, this cannot be done at the cost of curbing citizens’ freedoms and rights. Corporates must respect that.