Tag Archives: web

New York Times – Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open

By ERIC PFANNER

PARIS — Many countries censor the Internet, but few spell out their intentions as explicitly as Pakistan.

In an effort to tighten its control over the Internet, the government recently published a public tender for the “development, deployment and operation of a national-level URL filtering and blocking system.”

Technology companies, academic institutions and other interested parties have until March 16 to submit proposals for the $10 million project, but anger about it has been growing both inside and outside Pakistan.

Censorship of the Web is nothing new in Pakistan, which, like other countries in the region, says it wants to uphold public morality, protect national security or prevent blasphemy. The government has blocked access to pornographic sites, as well as, from time to time, mainstream services like Facebook and YouTube.

Until now, however, Pakistan has done so in a makeshift way, demanding that Internet service providers cut off access to specific sites upon request. With Internet use growing rapidly, the censors are struggling to keep up, so the government wants to build an automatic blocking and filtering system, like the so-called Great Firewall of China.

While China and other governments that sanitize the Internet generally do so with little public disclosure, Pakistan is being surprisingly forthcoming about its censorship needs. It published its request for proposals on the Web site of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry’s Research and Development Fund and even took out newspaper advertisements to publicize the project.

“The system would have a central database of undesirable URL’s that would be loaded on the distributed hardware boxes at each POP and updated on daily basis,” the request for proposals says, referring to uniform resource locators, the unique addresses for specific Web pages, and points of presence, or access points.

“The database would be regularly updated through subscription to an international reputed company maintaining and updating such databases,” according to the request, which was published last month.

The tender details a number of technical specifications, including the fact that the technology “should be able to handle a block list of up to 50 million URL’s (concurrent unidirectional filtering capacity) with processing delay of not more than 1 milliseconds.”

Following the Arab Spring, which demonstrated the power of the Internet to help spread political and social change, Pakistan’s move to clamp down has set off a storm of protest among free-speech groups in the country and beyond.

Opponents of censorship say they are doubly appalled because they associated this kind of heavy-handed approach more with the previous regime of Gen. Pervez Musharraf than with the current government of President Asif Ali Zardari.

“The authorities here are big fans of China and how it filters the Internet,” said Sana Saleem, chief executive of Bolo Bhi, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the Internet. “They overlook the fact that China is an autocratic regime and we are a democracy.”

Continue reading New York Times – Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open

A Breakthrough in use of Sindhi on Internet

M.B. Sindhi

Sindhi Web Keyboard: A Breakthrough in use of Sindhi on Internet/ Web

by Abdul-Majid Bhurgri

I am really excited to share this breakthrough in use of Sindhi on Internet. In collaboration with KeyManWeb, I have got developed this virtual Sindhi Web Keyboard, using which you can instantly write in Sindhi on any webpage, without the need to install Sindhi support, fonts or keyboards.

All you have to do is simply drag a link to your browsers Bookmarks toolbar or right-click it and select “Bookmark This Link”. That is it. Now, when you want to write in Sindhi, all you have to do is click on this Bookmark as soon as the webpage has loaded in your browser and start writing in Sindhi. It really is as simple as that.

Using it, you can write Sindhi in any email (like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), or search the web for Sindhi words and phrases using Google, Bing or any other search engine, and write your comments on any forums (like Facebook etc.) or blogs in your own sweet mother tongue Sindhi. You can also view the keyboard onscreen.

The Bookmark is available from my web page www.bhurgri.com. Alternatively, you can also go to Keyman Web page here, type Sindhi in search box or scroll to Sindhi keyboard in the list.

After this, there is no excuse at all for not using Sindhi on internet/web. Please convey this message to as many friends and mailing lists as possible to promote extensive use of Sindhi.

http://www.bhurgri.com