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Author Topic: Pakistan asks for help to build censorship firewall - WE WON!  (Read 1687 times)

Offline ⋆rockyanne⋆

Pakistan asks for help to build censorship firewall

Again from AccessNow.org:

In a shocking display of bravado, the Pakistani government has put an ad in their national papers asking for companies to help them build a national Chinese-style censorship firewall. This would censor 20 million internet users in one go!

Since the ad was published, we've worked with our friends in Pakistan calling on the Prime Minister to put an end to this madness. As part of a growing international coalition, we're going a step further by urging international and local corporations to publicly denounce the project and vow not to submit proposals to build this massive censorship system.

At least four western IT companies have already said they won't participate (Websense, Cisco, Verizon, and Sandvine). Now we need you to help persuade other firms to urgently follow suit before the bidding deadline this Friday. Add your name here calling upon Bluecoat, Huawei, McAfee, Netsweeper, ZTE, and all other local bidders to refuse to play a role in putting up the walls of censorship.

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We have already won a battle like this before, when you helped convince four Western companies to withdraw from building a new surveillance system in Syria. The people of Pakistan have a hard fight ahead of them and they are asking for our help, including stopping local groups from bidding.
As we acknowledge World Day Against Cyber-Censorship on March 12, and recognize that one-third of all internet users do not have access to an unrestricted internet, we need assurances from all of these companies that they won't participate in censorship. We need their word, so let's ask them for it. Sign the petition below and we'll target each corporation before the deadline:
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With determination,
The Access Team


Bytes for All: Locking up the Cyberspace in Pakistan
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Bolo Bhi: Filtering Content on the Internet
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Business Human Resource Centre
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The Express Tribune: The futility of censorship
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The Washington Post: Pakistan advertises for massive Web censor system, worrying free speech activists
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NY Times: Pakistan Builds Web Wall Out in the Open
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 01:45 PM by rockyanne »
Don't mind helping people.  Do mind being taken advantage of.


Offline ⋆rockyanne⋆

Re: Pakistan asks for help to build censorship firewall - WE WON!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 01:49 PM »
Today, from AccessNow.org newsletter:

Congratulations! We helped stop a firewall in Pakistan, a privacy-invading bill in Canada, and the dangerous international treaty ACTA.

What an amazing 2012 thus far! In just three months, on the heels of the defeat of PIPA and SOPA, the Access global movement for digital freedom has played a critical role in many successes in the fight to keep the internet free and open. From Canada to Europe to Pakistan, you have had a hand in some inspiring wins. Congratulations! Here is what we have done together so far this year:

1. Stopping the construction of a national firewall in Pakistan.

It seemed insurmountable when it was announced in national papers -- the Pakistani government was planning on building a massive firewall that would severely restrict open access to the internet. But we helped sound the alarm on their plans and the world began to take notice. As more and more companies who could have helped build this system announced they would not bid, we received word from Pakistani lawmakers that the government decided to drop their plans to create a centralized filtering system that would censor 20 million internet users.

    Partner organizations in Pakistan like Bytes for All and Bolo Bhi met with local officials and hand-delivered Access letters calling for them to not build the firewall.
    Websense, Cisco, Verizon, Sandvine, and McAfee (who received a deluge of messages on Twitter from thousands of our members) pledged not to build the system
    Your efforts to stop the Pakistani firewall received worldwide media attention, with coverage in Forbes, the Financial Times, Ars Technica, and the News International in Pakistan, among others.
    Armed with the signatures of close to 20,000 people, we delivered letters to other surveillance companies around the world calling on them to stand up for the rights of the Pakistani people and denounce this project.

2. Putting the brakes on the intrusive Bill C-30

In a survey of our members, you told us that two of top three threats to an open internet were intrusions to user privacy and online surveillance. Bill C-30 in Canada was the living embodiment of these concerns, as it could give authorities unlimited and warrantless access to user data. Faced with a growing opposition movement, the Canadian government hit the pause button and sent the bill back to committee for amendments.

    Vic Toews, the Canadian Public Safety Minister pushing C-30, faced immense pressure from our members through social media, with many directly messaging him and helping the hashtag #tellviceverything trend on Twitter
    Over 25,000 people from around the world called on the Canadian government to abandon their plans for C-30, and after weeks of heavy scrutiny from the media and civil society, lawmakers sent the bill to committee.
    Many commentators are saying that the bill’s supporters, in the face of the public backlash, will not act on C-30 for some time.

3. Millions online and offline take action against ACTA

Access in October raised the red flag on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a dangerous international trade agreement that threatened the openness of the internet and free speech online by forcing ISPs to track and watch our every move online. But in January, only days before many EU member states were slated to sign the agreement, protests in Poland against ACTA began to spread throughout Europe. Overwhelming public pressure over the next few weeks, including an international day of protest on Feb. 11, caused Parliamentarians to reconsider the treaty. ACTA, now losing steam, is expected to be voted on in early summer and could be dead by July.

    The Access’ global movement for digital freedom to exploded from 100,000 to 400,000 members worldwide in the matter of days -- all from one tweet against ACTA!
    Over 370,000 of us called on the European Parliament to vote NO on ACTA. Facing public criticism, scores of MEPs have backed away from supporting the treaty. Final vote is expected to come by July.
    Hundreds of thousands took to the streets across Europe on Feb. 11 to protest ACTA in an international day of action. Access, which became a central hub of information for protest organizers, was featured in MSNBC, the International Business Times, and the Next Web.
    The ACTA rapporteur, Kadir Arif, resigned his position in protest of the process, which he called a “masquerade.” Other countries have backed away from ratification, including Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovakia.
    Brett Solomon, Executive Director of Access, spoke at the European Parliament and met with the new ACTA rapporteur, Paul Martin.

What an amazing three months! Together, we are part of a growing movement across the world wielding the immense power of the internet to protect the internet.

As the only international movement dedicated solely to keeping the internet uncensored and your online privacy protected, our members are the fuel that keep us going. Thank you for all your hard work this year. We’re excited about the next upcoming months, and even more so to have you there with us.

Thanks for your support,
The Access Team

Access is an international NGO that promotes open access to the internet as a means to free, full and safe participation in society and the realization of human rights. To help protect the internet around the world, you can donate to Access. To reply, please email info@accessnow.org.
Don't mind helping people.  Do mind being taken advantage of.