Civil Society request the Ministry of IT and the National ICT R&D Fund to reconsider their decision of pursuing such a rigorous filtering and blocking system, for the state of the internet, for businesses, academia, research and the innumerable platforms that will inevitably be affected by this initiative.
We don’t believe the internet should be a free for all; there are limits to content but a blanket filtering of up to ’50 million URLs’ with no transparency is not the answer. We are a functional democracy and in the presence of stakeholders and experts we demand the ICT R&D Fund and the Ministry of IT consult every sector before moving forward with such an initiative, Sana Saleem, spokesperson said.
ICT R&D sought a proposal for national “URL filtering and blocking system”. As an organization with core focus on policy, we at Bolo Bhi, feel this is worrisome.
At a time when political parties, media, civil society and business have been engaging to promote the use of ICT, a national filtering and blocking system will have repercussions.
We have sent a letter to the Ministry of IT and the CEO of the National ICT R&D fund, to ensure transparency in the process and answer some crucial questions.
The internet has increasingly become a tool for diplomacy. Countries have used it as a strong tool for PR and others have made use of it to advance tourism, business & economic growth, governance and entrepreneurship. At a time when we as a country are struggling to counter a popular narrative about us, further limiting the sphere would portray us as a grim totalitarian state, which is simply untrue.