PTA warns to block Wikipedia

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday “degraded” the services of the expansive online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, in the country claiming that the censorship was on “account of not blocking/removing sacrilegious contents”, and warned of blocking the site if it fails to comply with the directions.
In a statement, the telecommunication authority said that it had approached and urged Wikipedia to block or remove “sacrilegious” contents by issu-ing a notice under applicable law and court order(s). “An opportunity of hearing was also provided,” the statement added, “however, the platform neither complied by removing the blasphemous content nor appeared before the Authority.” As a result of the “intentional failure” on part of the platform to comply with PTA directions or to appear before it, its services were “degraded” throughout the country for 48 hours.

Moreover, directions to block/remove the reported contents had also been given.

The statement further stated that in the case of non-compliance by Wikipedia to remove the objectionable content, the platform will be blocked within Pakistan for a longer time.

“Restoration of the services of Wikipedia will be reconsidered subject to blocking/removal of the reported unlawful contents. PTA is committed to ensuring a safe online experience for all Pakistani citizens according to local laws,” the statement asserted.

Taking to Twitter, the PTA wrote: “Press Release: PTA has degraded Wikipedia services in the country on account of not blocking/removing sacri-legious contents.” –Agencies