On Wednesday, the 22nd of February, the ICT R&D fund under the Ministry of Information Technology, announced through newspapers and on their website, a request for proposal for a national “URL filtering and blocking system”. As an organization with core focus on policy, we at Bolo Bhi, wrote a letter to IT Ministry on behalf of the civil society calling for transparency and raised questions regarding the proposal.
Our demand for transparency and reconsideration of the blanket ban was met with silence from the government.
This is not about pornography or not, this is about censorship in Pakistan or not. We believe it is important that democracy survives in the internet age. We strongly believe that a blanket ban such as the one proposed by the IT ministry and ICT R&D Fund will render the internet effectively useless: hampering businesses, academics, researchers, students and innumerable other sectors. We consider it an infringement of our democratic rights and a grave threat to civil society in Pakistan.
We call on the National Assembly, the Ministry of Finance, Foreign Ministry and most of all the Prime Minister to uphold and deliver their pledge for democracy and to instruct the Ministry of IT to respect our call not to spend millions of dollars on this technology.
Please sign this petition and write to the your local member of the National Assembly asking them to speak out against this.