This website censored and blocked by the Pakistan Govt

Posted February 4, 2008 to Censorship , Pakistan category.

Once again, Murphy the govt. of Pakistan strikes.

I had written earlier on how internet censorship works in Pakistan, and it's useful as a reference.

Keeping this eventuality in mind (this is the second time it's happened now), all my websites are hosted outside Pakistan, so it's only within Pakistan is there a problem accessing them.

There's a discussion at the Wiredpakistan.com forums about the censorship.

Under the recently passed Cyber Crime ordinance, any website, computer, telephone, or just about anything else invented after the Stone Age can be seized without any warrant, and no questions can be asked.

For example, I've heard from PTA that this website is now blocked - one of their emails is quoted below - and legally speaking I can't even ask them why and what for they took this step. Though, of course, I've shot them off an email asking them to explain.

Elections are coming, and as the day approaches, Govt. preparation is getting frantic.

Subject: Re: Blocked IP
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 15:06:47 +0500
From: NOC ITI
To: #########
CC: NOC ITI

Assalam-o-Alaikum

Dear Customer,

It is to apprise you that the following website has been blocked as per
directive of PTA.

Best Regards,

[name removed]
Network Operations Center
Pakistan Internet Exchange
Voice : +92 21 2760066/2774258
Fax : +92 21 2751777
Email: noc@ptcl.net.pk
IP Services, 5th Floor Technical Block
Gateway Exchange Building, Marston Road
Karachi South, Pakistan
Web : http://www.pie.net.pk

IP Services, Karachi Region
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited
Web: www.ptcl.com.pk

?This e-mail may contain confidential information and may also be
legally privileged. If you are not an intended recipient, as indicated
above, please notify us immediately. In such event, you should not copy
or use this e-mail for any purpose nor disclose its contents to anyone.
Enclosed information and attachments remain the property of PTCL.
Opinions and conclusions expressed in this mail are the personal views
of the sender and may not correspond to PTCL official policy.?

Update: Still blocked, as of Feb 11, 2008. A traceroute reveals:

Target: offroadpakistan.com, IP: 66.29.53.154, FQDN: 66-29-53-154.site5.com

traceroute to offroadpakistan.com (66.29.53.154), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 FE-3-0-100M-CORE.nexlinx.net.pk (202.59.80.2) 0.721 ms 0.000 ms 0.530 ms
2 10.10.80.1 (10.10.80.1) 1.182 ms 2.342 ms 1.718 ms
3 lhr63.pie.net.pk (202.125.147.5) 2.264 ms 2.209 ms 2.179 ms
4 lhr63.pie.net.pk (202.125.138.165) 2.716 ms lhr63.pie.net.pk (202.125.138.167) 2.199 ms 1.673 ms
5 * lhr63.pie.net.pk (202.125.138.134) 2.965 ms *
6 * lhr63.pie.net.pk (202.125.138.136) 19.486 ms *
7 * * *
8 * * *

Of course, as my posting here shows, like much else the government of Pakistan does, this block is completely ineffectual, though annoying for the regular user.

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