Friday, November 18, 2011

PTA Imposes SMS Filtration- Practical or Impractical?

After hue and cry of bloggers, social activists and hackers against porn sites PTA has finally taken steps to ban sites promoting obscene and explicit stuff in any form of graphics, images, illustrations or text. According to the officials PTA has already sent a list of 150,000 websites to ISPs, mobile phone service providers and international bandwidth providers to bring this ban into practice. However, ISPs and the other mentioned service providers have shown reluctance to help PTA in this regard, as it may enforce a lot of unwanted-load on the service providers in the form of excessive filtration.

After taking this really solid step, PTA has made one another strong decision of imposing SMS filtration to ensure the safety of the subscribers. The words to be abolished are both Urdu and English Origin. According to the list complied by PTA, English  list contains over 1000 words whereas the list of Urdu has some 550 words. I must say if this is implied in its true sense it can help in raising the social and moral standards of our society that is day by day coming towards its downfall. When every institution plays its role sensibly, only then can a society achieve highest degree of standards in the required fields. Earlier PTA banned bulk marketing messages,unsolicited calls and messages. However, PTA should accept that neither the imposed bans work, nor the ever-evolving laws and regulations formed by PTA are ever followed. May be they are too impractical to be followed? Probably PTA responds to all orders and pressures from government , and social activists" firmly" with no homework or planning. If we look few months back, we will find out that Rehman Malik ordered PTA to block unregistered SIMs overnight. Though PTA welcomed the orders (as it had no other option) mobile operators protested against this impractical decision due to several reasons.
There are still a number of unregistered & unverified SIMs working in Pakistan. Still mobile users are getting bulk and spam messages daily in their inboxes.

It is also a surprise for us to know that PTA has got its hands on filtering devices which could filter thousands of bulk SMS' content released the every other hour. Few years back, a ban was imposed on anti-government sms messages including a special ban on sms containing disgracing and degrading words for Mr.President and Prime Minister. We all are well aware of the fact that PTA could not come up with any device or way to control such messages.

At the end, I am of the opinion that if PTA is really determined to place a ban on these over 1,500 words from being broadcasted via text messaging then PTA has a golden chance to collect applaud and appreciation from the mature and educated sector of the society. However, I do wonder that why on earth has PTA thought of banning words like deposit, lotion, kill, killer, taxi, tongue, fairy etc? I also oppose ban on religious terms including JESUS CHRIST. Also ban placed on medical terms may be a big hurdle for medical students. SMS being the most cheapest way of communication, helps all the student in their discussions with each other. However the words that are purely abusive and dirty are good to be banned. 

I wish and hope that PTA may really brings good with this step, otherwise PTA has really added to the "Treasure of Mughalizat" as expressed by Faisal Sabzwari on twitter. Moreover, if PTA is really concerned about society upto this extent then why PTA hasn't formed any legislation to stop the vulgarity being promoted due to the circulation of their own-complied lists of banned words at blogs, personal pages and at social networking websites?

P.S: Banning explicit SMS content isn't something new in the history of world telecommunications. China revealed a similar blacklist this year.


R. Ramesh said...

good post ya:)

Jenny said...

Good insight and nicely written dear friend!

Safee said...

LAMO.. The list of banned words are soo Hilarious.. It made me laugh a great deal!!

PTA just want to remain in news by imposing these stupid ban's!! Otherwise they can never stop these things unless they modify there system!!

Pandora`s Box said...

So I cant type something like: Jesus Christ!Put down that lotion and look! There is a killer in that taxi with no headlights dressed up as a fairy.What happened? cat got your tongue?

Ibn Hanif said...

When PTA banned "Facebook"; westernized objected why don't they first ban these and those sites.

Now when PTA has started to block the required sites the so called liberals are bringing up more and more objections.

I appreciate the actions taken by the authorities.

ReeBz said...

I agree, i m not against this rule but i do raise my voice that PTA should modify their operating systems and over all mechanism to help achieve such goals!

ReeBz said...

R.Ramesh and Jenny:
Thanks for coming =)

ReeBz said...

Pandora's box:
whoa you made the whole story in the given words =D creative! btw i donot think that PTA will ever manage to install such a system!

ReeBz said...

Ibn Hanif:

I have same opinions about blocking the fishy sites, however we should accept that Pakistan lack modern tools. We have some brains but we donot have bodies to bring any plan into practice!

smarty said...

hmm i came here in the search of those banned words =D but good that you opt to not to be the part of promoting this vulgarictionary :P

Ibn Hanif said...

I think the banned sites are a part of the current media war and the enemy is using them as weapons to spoil the character of Muslim Ummah.

If in the conventional wars Muslims have always been defending their faith, their land and their lives even without adequate means. Why should we not try our best to safeguard the character of our folks by using all the available resources to stand fast in these modern battles.

Scott said...

I cannot understand that what Pakistan's government is upto? I often hear in news that Pakistan is the country of extremists. I think it really is.
Sorry I mean no offense but we people believe on freedom of expression and speech. PTA cannot ban me haha!

ReeBz said...

Ibn Hanif:


ReeBz said...

Dear don't compare Pakistan and west. Also, it doesnot look better if you talk about freedom of speech here. O have already written alot on freedom of speech-eastern and western perspective. Freedom of speech doesnot demand you in anyway to fall below the border line of decency.

Anyhow, thanks for commenting and sharing your views. I actually donot want any bad argument here.

rIZ said...

"Freedom of speech".... buahhahah!
... i mean yeah... one can say just "anything" to you :D and in return, you'll can say just "anything" to him. Him > You > Him > You

Just sit back and relaaaaxx... you've got loads of time to practise "freedom of speech"

no no no, don't work on the issue, it's harmful for you, your government(if there's any) will handle that :D :D :D

ReeBz said...


You really give me a good laugh specially you>him you> him thingy :P

Ibn Hanif said...

rIZ, nice reply !

Sister ReeBz,

Thank for your latest comments as well.

Scott said...


ha-ha-ha seems you are still a kidooo:P See, we practice freedom of speech and you have no comparison with us! you people just don't have the guts to accept that we are SUCCESSFUL. you silly brats! :P

ReeBz said...

Debates are most welcomes, but better if you donot take it personally. Donot, ever again poke your nose like this, otherwise i know how to deal with such trolls!

Ibn Hanif said...

Scott, We know there is freedom of "expression" in your culture that's why most kids in your societies don't even know whose "expression" they are.

ReeBz said...

I think none could be a better comment than Ibne Hanif has left above!

its very candid!

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