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Pakistan To Scour Google, Yahoo For Blasphemy 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-you've-got-a-lot-of-free-time dept.
sv_libertarian sends in this excerpt from an AP report: "Pakistan will start monitoring seven major websites, including Google, Yahoo, and Amazon, for sacrilegious content, while blocking 17 other, lesser-known sites it deems offensive to Muslims, an official said Friday. The moves follow Pakistan's temporary ban imposed on Facebook in May that drew both praise and condemnation in a country that has long struggled to figure out how strict a version of Islam it should follow. ... 'If any particular link with offensive content appears on these websites, the (link) shall be blocked immediately without disturbing the main website,' [said Pakistan Telecommunication Authority spokesman Khurram Mehran]."
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Pakistan To Scour Google, Yahoo For Blasphemy

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  • Fulltime Job (Score:5, Insightful)

    by orsty3001 (1377575) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:17PM (#32694770)
    The department that will handle that will one day become larger than the IRS.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kepesk (1093871)
      No it won't. All you have to do to find blasphemy on the internet is to type anything into Google. Found it!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Koby77 (992785)

      The department that will handle that will one day become larger than the IRS.

      I was of the understanding that the Pakistan has good relations with China, so maybe they could get some firewall installed with a little help. If China can sensor the whole internet to the extent that it does, I have little doubt that that Pakistan could at least attempt to modify it for anti-Islamic comments instead of (or maybe in addition to) political dissent.

      So I guess that's the danger of censorship and anti-net neutrality. Once they get the ball rolling, it will probably become more efficient an

    • Re:Fulltime Job (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rwa2 (4391) * on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:36PM (#32695074) Homepage Journal

      Yeah, really, what a job description!

      "Actively go out and find stuff that offends and appalls you"

      I hope they get paid well to have to essentially work with insults all day long.
      What metrics will they use to track their job performance? If they don't find enough offensive content, will they have to create their own to justify their existence?

    • by rainmouse (1784278) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:50PM (#32695298)
      So if we can introduce Muhammad shaped icons into call centre systems they would have no choice but to move all the previously outsourced British tech support back into the UK and generate thousands of jobs.
    • by Loopy (41728)

      Have you SEEN how many of them stand around in the streets chanting Death To XXXXXX during work hours? I'm sure they can find plenty of 'em who would love to do the job of fundamentalist censor.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ragefan (267937)

      Just wait until they learn about Rule 34.

  • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewkNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:17PM (#32694780)

    So does that mean they are only block my comment from being viewed, but not all of slashdot? I'd like to see how they plan on doing that.

    • They would likely block any page that showed your comment, including the main article page. That's how I interpreted their comment (they probably were thinking of Web 1.0 when they wrote it, and not the modern web of visitor-created content mixing with site content).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Best hack in the world would be to change whatever error message pops up when someone hits something blasphemous so that it redirects to Encyclopedia Dramatica. [encycloped...matica.com] I like this one. [encycloped...matica.com]

  • by 0racle (667029) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:18PM (#32694792)
    Hilariously.

    Allah Akbar.
  • by syousef (465911) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:20PM (#32694812) Journal

    Imagine if these companies sought to block Pakistan or any other Islamic country. There would be uproar and claims of racism, anti-religious behaviour etc. etc. Yet when these same governments block sites for religious purposes it's considered some sort of right to choose (nevermind that it's on behalf of so many whose rights are stomped). I don't have an issue with people blocking their own access out of stupidity, but this idea that they can choose on behalf of others is a reminder of why religious rather than rational reasoning is so dangerous and has no place in politics.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Peach Rings (1782482)

      That would be hilarious, not offensive. I'd buy swag from whatever company vengefully blocked them back.

    • Yet when these same governments block sites for religious purposes it's considered some sort of right to choose

      Bullshit. The entire reason it is a big news story is because it is so bogus.

  • Ah My (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:20PM (#32694816) Journal

    It must be sad to so terrified that your religion will collapse if you don't control what the adherents read. Any religion that can only survive by censorship is a religion deserving of nothing but absolute scorn and the sincerest wish that it end up in the trash heap of worthless ideas.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bonch (38532)

      This is basically the Pakistani version of the Fairness Doctrine--a government deciding what is fair and what should be read by its citizens. Situations like this are exactly why people oppose this stuff.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flitty (981864)
        Comparing the Fairness Doctrine to the government blocking access to blasphemous websites shows me how much the Fairness Doctrine has become a catch-all boogeyman term for "censorship".
    • by e2d2 (115622)

      I think it's more about the Pakistani government trying to appease the hardliners. They tend to kowtow to the religious factions in the country, because without them they cannot maintain power.

      I agree about the aspect though - if your beliefs require faith, how can you ever force it on someone? Faith by nature comes from within. No external force can change that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cyber0ne (640846)
      My thoughts exactly. If Facebook is stronger than your religion, then your religion could use a little strengthening. It reminds me of when a guy at a church I used to attend said that he saw The Da Vinci Code in the theater and it "challenged his faith." I suggested that he challenge his faith more often, it could really use the exercise.
      • Re:Ah My (Score:4, Funny)

        by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:41PM (#32695140) Journal

        The only thing the Da Vinci Code and that awful sequel challenged in me was my ability to suspend disbelief. What gawdawful dreck.

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Angels and Demons is also notable for the nastiest "don't try this at home" moment ever. Now boys and girls, if you ever stumble across an antimatter bomb that's about to go off, do not rush it to the nearest helicopter.

    • Re:Ah My (Score:5, Insightful)

      by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy@tpno-c[ ]rg ['o.o' in gap]> on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:37PM (#32695100) Homepage

      There's a comparison in here somewhere between what Pakistan is doing and the Texas school book stuff.

      In both cases, we have religion so terrified of concepts that they actively seek to block the dissemination of said concepts.

      • Terrified? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fm6 (162816)

        If refusing to consider ideas or facts that conflict with your preconceptions means you're terrified, than most people on Slashdot must be constantly wetting their pants!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by H0p313ss (811249)

        There's a comparison in here somewhere between what Pakistan is doing and the Texas school book stuff.

        In both cases, we have religion so terrified of concepts that they actively seek to block the dissemination of said concepts.

        Yup, you know your ideology is in trouble when you have to censor the ENTIRE world to defend it.

    • Any religion that can only survive by censorship is a religion deserving of nothing but absolute scorn and the sincerest wish that it end up in the trash heap of worthless ideas.

      Any religion <snip> is a religion deserving of nothing but absolute scorn and the sincerest wish that it end up in the trash heap of worthless ideas.

      FTFY

    • Re:Ah My (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:48PM (#32695262)

      It's not about Islam. It's just their version of "Think of the Children!". It's about politicians trying to distract the general public from failings in their government. Trying to pretend that they are actually doing something about something. "We are seriously concerned about family and religious values in our country . . . blah, blah, blah . . . "

      Pakistani Press Conference Reporter: "What is the government doing about youth unemployment?"

      Government Spokesman: "By the way, have you taken a look at our new Internet Sacrilegious Content Campaign?"

      Pakistani Press Conference Reporter: "Um, eh . . I was asking about unemployment . . ."

      So it is nothing more than a "Think of the sacrilegious content!" cry.

    • by mea37 (1201159)

      Similarly, arguments that project motives onto those you wish to disagree with (such as stating that Muslm laws are based on fear) are worthy of nothing but absolute scorn.

      The most serious failures in western relations with the Muslim world are based on failure of each to understand the motives of the other, typically because one side is trying to figure out what would drive itself to act the way the other is acting. You may think that people are all the same, but cultures are not.

  • by DnemoniX (31461) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:20PM (#32694818)

    I wonder if they will ship this out to a call center in Mumbai. Now that would be funny.

    "Thank you for calling the blasphemy hotline, this is Steve, how may I direct your call?"

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:27PM (#32694922) Journal

      "Thank you for calling the blasphemy hotline, this is Steve, how may I direct your call?"

      Caller: I would like to report a picture of Mohammed with a man's penis in his mouth.

      Steve: I see from your caller id that you are calling from the United States.

      Caller: Yes, what does that have to do with it?

      Steve: I'm afraid kind sir that it is not illegal to show pictures of your prophet performing fellatio on another man.

      Caller: This is an outrage! If I was in Pakistan, already six suicide bombers would be dispatched to deal with this blasphemy.

      Steve: If you like, I could transfer you to our Public Relations department. Just last week it forced the retirement of a cartoonist and the editing of a South Park cartoon.

      Caller: Will there be a fatwah? Or at least the severing of some body part?

      Steve: No, I am afraid that is illegal in the United States. But you can be assured the headline on tomorrow's New York Times.

      Caller: So this is what has become of jihad. Very well, but want at least one simpering liberal to defend my outrage, and perhaps an Evangelical Christian to call for the banning of homosexuality.

      Steve: That will be no problem, sir. Transferring you now...

  • Like this? [google.com]

  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:21PM (#32694832) Homepage

      0     <- Mohammed
    -|-
    / \

    Come censor slashdot!

    P.S.  I secretly rub bacon in all the other ingredients at Subway.
    • by rwa2 (4391) *

          _
        \Q/
          |
        / \

      Jesus Christ!
      This is an OUTRAGE!

    • by godrik (1287354)

      hats off !

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      Wait, for free!?! Free bacon flavor, that is so excellent. Seems I'll have to try out subway again.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      P.S. I secretly rub bacon in all the other ingredients at Subway.

      Pro tip: No self respecting Jew or Muslim who gave a damn about bacon would eat at Subway.

      Anyone know what the arabic phrase for "epic fail" is?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by copponex (13876)

        Anyone know what the arabic phrase for "epic fail" is?

        I believe it goes something like, "Welcome to college, miss. I hope you continue to receive a good education."

        PS: This was also considered failure in the Old South.

  • To paraphrase xkcd (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c0d3g33k (102699) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:22PM (#32694834)

    Somewhere, someone on the internet is blaspheming. Duty calls.

  • Muhammad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by andymadigan (792996) <amadigan@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:28PM (#32694926)
    Muhammad was just another drugged out nut in the desert. God (or Allah) is just fantasy. There is no God. The entire Islamic faith is based on fantasy.

    Come block Slashdot!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Evildonald (983517)
      The faith may be entire fantasy, but there are some good hygiene and food preparation tips in there if you don't have refrigeration!
    • Muhammad was just another drugged out nut in the desert.

      While I'm not a Muslim and I'm rather hostile towards Islam, the guy - with but a tiny band of devout followers - managed to conquer huge swaths of land in his lifetime, and forge an empire out of the quarreling tribes of those lands that rapidly expanded further under the following rulers, and its legacy is still extremely prominent in this world today, 14 centuries after his death.

      "Just another drugged out nut" doesn't do him justice. Like him or not, he was definitely not your average man.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:28PM (#32694932)

    When you bend over backwards to accommodate radicals. Facebook caved in so easily, now Islam wants to police the entire internet...

    There's an old saying: Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

    I feel sorry for non radical muslims living in Pakistan because you will soon lose access to slashdot? Why? Because of the following comment:

    Mohammed was not the prophet of god, he was a homosexual violence crazed pedophile who enjoyed sneaking pork sandwiches between cock-sucking sessions.

    To Pakistan, with love from yours truly and probably quite few of us here on slashdot.

    • by Orleron (835910)
      What are these "non-radical" muslims you speak of? I cannot hear them complaining anywhere.
      • by phorm (591458)

        You think that the radicals have it in for Americans/Europeans who "insult islam?" That's nothing. Find somebody who is of an islamic background and opposes the idiocy of the radicals, and they might as well have a target on their head. At least the others have the excuse of being ignorant infidels... so only doing something fairly big/obvious gets them targeted.

        • Even if they're not hiding, the voices of moderates usually get drowned out by the voices of extremists.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      Bending over backwards to "accommodate" someone will get you killed in Pakistan. You can only "accommodate" in the missionary position.
  • Curious... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Derosian (943622) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:28PM (#32694934) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if this will spark Anonymous into trolling them? I mean more than they are already.
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      I wonder if this will spark Anonymous into trolling them? I mean more than they are already.

      An dhow long before some poor confused old mullah declares a fatwah agains the ENTIRE western world?

  • why bother (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slick7 (1703596) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:33PM (#32695032)
    An intolerant, closed minded, excuse of a religion deserves true excommunication. Cut off all web contact with Pakistan so that no slight, accidental or deliberate, could occur.
    People who insist on living in the past will be buried with it.
    • by PRMan (959735)

      Isn't that the same as they are doing?

      I, for one, am not threatened by their speech or ideals, even though I don't agree with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:34PM (#32695048)

    To make sure Slashdot is banned from Pakistan, it isn't enough to point out that Mohammed was a pedophile, although he was. It will be necessary to also insult the terrorist loving spokesman for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Khurram Mehran, and secretly homosexual Ministry of Information Technology Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa.

    From the Koran: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old"

    • From the Koran: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old"

      Or, possibly 16 and 19, depending on the translation. Just sayin.

  • The more you tighten your grip, Pakistan, the more web sites will slip through your fingers.

    Necron69

    ps. Apologies to Princess Leia

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:43PM (#32695158) Journal

    If you're running a website, is there a way to detect visitors who are (probably) in Pakistan (like, is there a specific block of IPs that is assigned to Pakistan), to redirect them to a page explaining that you'd rather not risk getting a death sentence from Pakistan, so you are not willing to serve content in that jurisdiction?

    I say everyone should just create an Internet Embargo against Pakistan if they're going to be like that. Cut em off.

  • Google's page is pretty simple, a text box and a button, not a ton of content.
  • Great Firewall of China.
    Great Fatwahl of Pakistan?

  • because i can guarantee they will find offensive material on the internet and you can find a link from one website to another and basically "leapfrog" from one website to another where the offensive material is located, so why spend the time and money searching for it, i can tell you it is already there so do yourself a favor and pull the plug pakistan and any other muslim & islamic nation that is worried about being offended. it is out there already just a click away.
  • by SlappyBastard (961143) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:54PM (#32695362) Homepage

    0-|-=

    Shhhh . . .Stick Muhammad is sleeping. Don't wake him up with your freaky religious intolerance. He'd be disappointed by your unwillingness to be happy to just conquer and tax people you don't agree with.

  • by TrumpetPower! (190615) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:55PM (#32695366) Homepage

    So, this should be equally offensive to Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Those of y’all who consider yourselves believers in a variation of one of those themes, pay attention:

    If I were to tell you a story about a talking unicorn who gave a pep talk to the reluctant hero before instructing the hero in how to wield his magic wand, you’d know instantly that I was telling you a make-believe faery tale that has no bearing on reality whatsoever.

    If I were to swap out the unicorn with talking shrubbery, you’d still come to the same conclusion, but you’d think it’s a particularly weird story taking even stranger liberties with reality.

    But if I were to light the shrubbery on fire, name the hero, “Moses,” and call the wand “The Staff of Aaron,” you’d know that this is the absolute truth, the Word of YHWH, to be accepted uncritically as historical fact. (Exodus chapters 3 and 4, to be specific.) Or, at the very least, it’s some sort of utterly profound morality play from which deep meaning can and should be drawn.

    And you’d be a complete and total blithering fucking idiot for doing so.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • "The only real question is whether you believe in the legend of Davy Crockett or not. If you do, then there should be no doubt in your mind that he died a hero's death. If you do not believe in the legend, then he was just a man, and it does not matter how he died."--Lt Worf

  • by swb (14022) on Friday June 25, 2010 @03:55PM (#32695370)

    Intense concern over matters of religious adherence, blasphemy or other measures of religious adherence, practice or devotion. Focusing this concern on people outside your nation with substantial cultural and/or religious differences from you and/or the Internet intensifies this effect.

    The overall impact of this is to make your nation appear filled with superstitious, power-hungry and intolerant zealots. People will not fear or respect you, they will dislike you for this and believe you are petty, small-minded and foolish.

    You will be mocked and laughed at and your nation will remain an ignorant backwater, its people suffering from disease and maladies long since cured by more flexible and rational thinking.

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      Intense concern over matters of religious adherence, blasphemy or other measures of religious adherence, practice or devotion.

      Like Texas?

  • http://www.artadox.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/jackson-pollock-mural.jpg [artadox.com]

    Proof positive that Jackson Pollock was killed by Muslim extremists.

  • by Teun (17872) on Friday June 25, 2010 @04:08PM (#32695562) Homepage
    It doesn't matter which religion is mentioned, the moment the (self proclaimed!) righteous come into view the rest of humanity needs to follow their 'superior' beliefs.

    I really wonder how they console the idea there are different gods and theirs' the best yet he needs their feeble human help to save his face.

    Basically they are ass-wipes and now they have a government working for them.

  • I wish religious people would just knock it off. I'm sick of the whole silly thing. Yes I know that the majority of relgiious people are private about it and don't try to force it on everyone else, but they're still part of the problem because they allow the nutters/leaders to get away with all the crazy things that they do.

    If parents/schools stopped teaching religion to children, religious beliefs would die out within three generations. They're just hand-me-down myths and superstitions, orginally concocted

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday June 25, 2010 @04:29PM (#32695884)

    Here is a list of inoffensive websites. This is a comprehensive list which will encompass every single website that is not insulting to Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Shintoism, Republicans, Democrats, Randroids, Scientists, Fantasy Writers, Raisin Smugglers, Budgie Smugglers, and Serial Murderers:

    http://127.0.0.1/ [127.0.0.1]

    There. You will never be offended.

    Pakistan: We are laughing at you.

    --
    BMO

  • by TruthSeeker (461299) on Friday June 25, 2010 @05:00PM (#32696320) Homepage

    It makes me despair that so many people here somehow find a means to feel sympathetic to these guys' opinion (either explicitly or, which is more common, by taking it from their own religious point of view). As soon as you start walking down that path, you're bound to obey every randomly idiotic law some religious nut, somewhere, at some point in time, had the good idea to utter... and at this point, you know where to stick your freedom of speech. And sadly, that holds true for *all* religions.

  • So... (Score:3, Informative)

    by AnAdventurer (1548515) on Friday June 25, 2010 @05:00PM (#32696326)
    Let me get this straight, you are going to score aggregate search companies for finding stuff on the web. Their inherent job is to find everything, which was first based on all things being equal and the better stuff would be scored higher. So you (Pak) are going to go out looking for stuff you don't like using a services that ups a pages visibility based on people viewing it.

    There is a fundamental flaw with your operations sir.

  • Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Haxzaw (1502841) on Friday June 25, 2010 @05:01PM (#32696336)
    Another giant step backwards for mankind. If these people want to be taken seriously, they need to join the 21st century. If you want to live and work alongside the rest of the world, you'll need to toughen up a bit, and not get offended every time someone draws a caricature of Muhammad, or calls him a clown.
  • by assertation (1255714) on Friday June 25, 2010 @05:26PM (#32696664)

    Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing - with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place.

    - Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long

  • "Scour"? (Score:3, Funny)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Friday June 25, 2010 @05:50PM (#32697032) Journal
    "Scour"? It's the fucking Internet. How hard can it be? Start here! [lmgtfy.com] Let everyone know when you're done, ok?
  • by pseudorand (603231) on Friday June 25, 2010 @06:09PM (#32697268)

    Great idea Pakistan. I think the only practical and effect way to do that would be to just block the entire Internet. Reminds me of Weird Al's song...

    There's no phone, no lights, no motorcar
    Not a single luxury
    Like Robinson Caruso
    It's as primitive as can be

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