Ethan Casey is a Seattle-based international journalist, frequent public speaker, and author of Alive and Well in Pakistan: A Human Journey in a Dangerous Time (2004).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"Don't Block the Blog" movement in Pakistan

My column for the Pakistani paper The News this week is, surprisingly, not about George Bush's visit to Pakistan (though I hope to touch on that belatedly next week), but rather on the protest launched late last week by two enterprising Pakistani bloggers when they learned the country's authorities were blocking accessing to blogs. In the words of one of them, Karachi dentist Dr Awab Alvi:

"On the 27th of February the [Pakistan Telecommunication Authority] decided to block all sites displaying the controversial cartoons of which a few sites were being hosted on the blogspot domain. The network administrator simply blocked off the entire domain. [It was] either a deliberate attempt or a simple mistake, but it's been five days with no solution. I continue to browse blogspot sites using a number of freely available proxies. ... I, along with all the blog publishers and blog readers, protest this censorship on freedom of expression."

More on this in my full 800-word column, headlined "Free speech is a global issue" and online here.

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