Ms. Anusha Rahman
Minister of State For Information Technology & Telecom
Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom,
4th Floor, Evacuee Trust Complex, Aga Khan Road,F-5/1,
Phone #: 051-9201990
Fax #: 051-9205233
As an organization that engages with multiple stakeholders, we feel it is our job to keep you informed and up-to-date with what they want from you. Since you have not been able to attend court hearings to take part in the discourse on the YouTube ban and blocking of websites in general, we would like to convey what has been said so far – especially the view of ordinary citizens and Internet users in Pakistan.
We vow to take our job very seriously and keep you informed. In the coming days, we will be mailing you letters from citizens that have been submitted to court, discussing how the ban on YouTube ban has impacted them.
Today’s letter is by Muhammad Ismail. Ismail is an average citizen, working hard to make ends meet. He works as a driver in Karachi. Working nearly 10 hours a day, watching television is a luxury for him. However, he has access to a laptop that belongs to his employers, and he uses it to keep himself updated with news and current affairs via YouTube. Used to, that is, before the ban of YouTube of course.
Ismail cannot read or write English, nor understand it. But that does not prevent him from understanding icons on a computer. Visual technology enables him to navigate his way to the relevant website and video, and obtain the information he wishes to acquire. He’s not the only one who does that, there are others like him who do the same. However, while Ismail was able to navigate his way to YouTube prior to the ban, his limited literacy bars them from making swift use of proxies to access the website – which other, more literate and tech-savvy citizens have been doing.
Just because he does not have the means or skills others do, keep him ill-informed and maintain the status quo. Limiting access to information for Ismail and those like him specifically is not quite just is it?
His letter is attached. Do have a look, it would be much appreciated.
Until the next letter.