Welcome to 1984
By Irfan Husain
OVER the years, despite repeated bouts of military dictatorship, Pakistan has remained a relatively open society. Even with spooks running around unchecked, people have expressed themselves pretty openly, both privately and publicly.
In large measure, this has been due to the incompetence of our bureaucracy. Few cops and spies are very enthusiastic about surveillance duties. More often than not, they file their poorly written reports that go unread, and pile up in some dusty government archives, never to see the light of day.
But all this is about to change. According to an international tender floated by this government, it is aiming to acquire technology that will enable it not just to block websites at will, but to read our emails and monitor all Internet traffic.