Filtering Violates Human Rights

A growing number of countries in
global south including Pakistan are joining hands to become what some term as
the “enemies of the Internet” that employ restrictive technologies for
filtering and censoring access on the Internet. What is more worrying is that
profit hungry organizations are also collaborating with governments and
proposing massive filtering and censorship solutions to authoritarian regimes
to limit people’s access to the Internet.

Pakistan has already employed filtering
technologies to silence dissent, curtail freedom of expression and information
under the pretext of national security and protection of society. The process
and procedures adopted for blocking access to websites remains a mystery for
the general public whose freedom to access information guaranteed under the
constitution of Pakistan and International Human Rights is violated on daily
basis by the very custodians of its protection.

The access to free flow of
information and ideas is as important as freedom of expression. Internet
censorship creates obstacles in advancement of society both economically and
socially. As unavailability of Internet access creates isolated societies
similarly, internet censorship in the guise of protecting the state, society
and religion creates seclusion and further deepens the digital divide. It is
important for regulators, politicians and people in authority to understand
that filtering the internet in Pakistan will not filter’s people mind and
desire for information and freedom of speech. Instead, will advance isolation
of society and deter progress of the social order. By limiting education to the
underserved and impoverished in Pakistan we helped in creating the religious
demons in the country and creations of curtailed freedom of access to
information on the Internet remains to be seen.