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Pakistani Court Rules On Internet Censorship: Unconstitutional 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the us-declares-freedom-causes-terrorism dept.
Fluffeh writes "It looks like some Pakistanis are taking on 'the man.' With plans laid by the Pakistani Government that could sink up to fifty million websites that it isn't a fan of, Pakistanis took the matter to court — which ruled that such action by the government was unconstitutional. Reporters without Borders was however a little more skeptical 'The high court's ruling, if respected, would make it impossible for the government to introduce any nationwide website filtering system. While welcoming the ruling, which penalizes the lack of transparency in the PTA's past website blocking, Reporters Without Borders calls for vigilance because the PTA could try to circumvent it by devising a constitutional procedure based on the anti-blasphemy law and national security provisions. '"
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Pakistani Court Rules On Internet Censorship: Unconstitutional

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:15AM (#39867609)

    Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

    • Don't worry, citizen. Everything the government does is to keep you safe. Lying, molesting people at airports, warrantless wiretapping... it's all for you! You should feel honored that we're keeping you safe!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The difference between banana-republic-style, "third world" oppression and superpower, "first world" oppression is merely the shiny package it comes in.

    • I can't speak for the justices, but I can speak for my elected representatives!

      My congressman and both senators don't know what the 4th Amendment is: http://slashdot.org/my/journal [slashdot.org]

    • by Kjella (173770)

      I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

      Uh, wouldn't this be a first amendment issue in the US?

    • Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

      I'm pretty sure there is another possibility - that they in fact do understand it, as applied, and you don't. One of the big stumbling blocks is people keep refusing to acknowledge the difference between procedure under ordinary criminal law, and the law of war, or national security law more generally. Most people here have a better understanding of cheese, which still baffles them, than they do of how the Constitution applies to armed conflict.

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        I'm sorry, I missed the part of the Constitution that said "All provisions and amendments of this document are to be suspended during any period when the President says the country is at war."

        • by tqk (413719)

          I missed the part of the Constitution that said "All provisions and amendments of this document are to be suspended during any period when the President says the country is at war."

          Especially, when it seems your nation is always at war with someone or something.

    • by the gnat (153162)

      Our guys have been asleep at the wheel for the last 10 years. I'm pretty sure at this point that most of the U.S. Justices don't even know there *is* a 4th Amendment, much less what it says.

      Actually, to the surprise of quite a few observers (myself included), the Supreme Court just unanimously ruled that law enforcement agencies can't simply slap a GPS tracker on your car [washingtonpost.com] without a warrant. The majority's ruling was actually relatively limited, but was based on 4th Amendment grounds. Alito and several of

  • And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
    That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
    A home and a country, should leave us no more?
    Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
    No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

    Pakistan? :\

  • by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @10:42AM (#39867905)

    The government can't be seen offending their own people. They're more progressive than they let on. Because of the threat of violence from the religious fundies, the progressives often disguise their actions or appear to be "arguing for" something they are actually against.

    All of the institutions in Pakistan have to walk lines between the progress the lawyers and intellectuals and professors want to see happen and what the religious fundies will tolerate. It's not that different in the US. as the etch-a-sketch positioning in the Republican primaries reveal. You can't alienate that much of your (stupid) electorate and expect to get or stay in power.

    The government and most of the military in Pakistan hates the Taliban as much as anyone and was as glad as we were when we did bin Laden Of course they had to act outraged.

    Pakistan is chock -o-block full with highly intelligent forward looking progressives who aren't drinking the Kool-aid. That's why the drone program is a great thing. The religious head cases in Waziristan are hated by many Pakis as much as they're hated by us, and both the Pakistan government and its military smile every time a fundie gets dished out to him what he earnestly sought to dish out to civil society.

    Just like with any other country, you can't understand the international headlines unless you have at least a basic grasp of the domestic politics.

    • Pakistan's liberal voice is going to be diminish, which is a dangerous precedent. The way in which killer of Punjab province governor was welcomed with so much rose explain how ultra conservative muslim is going influence a major portion of public thought. Recently after US issued a bounty on Hafiz Saeed when 'anti america' emotion with nationalist mood is at it's peak level simply fuel spread of 'mullah ' thought (orthodox & anti america anti india) on internet via social networking site. Therefore Zar
      • Pakistan's fundies , just like our fundies in the US, may use terror to intimidate the voice of Pakistan's progressives, but rest assured if they got into power, banning websites with which they disagreer would be the first order of the day, just as Rick Santorum was planning to make p0rn sites illegal.

        But there are tens of thousands of expat Pakis who can and do put up websites to combat extremeist thoughts and if they're not blocked in Pakistan, there's little the fundies in Pak cn do to stop people in

        • by tqk (413719)

          Look at what's happening to the conservatard hatred of homosexuality in the US. They themselves admit they've lost "this battle" against gay acceptance. That's the power of ideas.

          Rick Santorum made it to the level of Presidential Candidate, not to mention Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and GWB. That's also the power of ideas.

          It's on. It's on between the forces of darkness- the religious fundies in every nation- and civilization. My bet is on civilization. Let's roll.

          I applaud your optimism but think you're way too optimistic. Renouncing Islam in Pakistan is still a capital offence. Being raped in Pakistan can land a woman in jail. Just walking to school can buy a girl a face full of sulphuric acid. Allah akbar. A religion of peace.

          Plenty of countries throughout history have let themselves be held hostage by a minority compo

    • That's welcome news that Pakistan is not as evil as their talking points make them out to be, but I'm skeptical. Osama was just down the street for years. They were so hamstrung by fear of the far right that they couldn't send an anonymous note to us saying "Hey, uh, we didn't tell you this, but 123 main street, Abbottabad. Check it out. Thanks in advance, and know that the whole outrage thing we're going to pull is just an act."?
      • There is zero credible evidence that they knew.

        If that strikes you as unlikely, consider this. bin Laden had every reason to be paranoid- the full power of the US intelligence community was looking for him. One leaking person and it's game over. What's he going to do?

        Not let anyone not in his family or his inner circle know where he is. Even if the majority of the upper echelon of Pakistani armed forces was FOR him- and they're not- but even if that was true, he'd still have to worry about someone tel

        • by tqk (413719)

          Pakistani military, no.

          Pakistani intelligence service (ISI?), yes.

    • Is that why Pakistan intelligence services keep supporting Islamic extremists in neighboring countries, as they did during Soviet-Afghan war?

      • Yes it is; the ISI is shot through with people who are tali sympathizers. Some of those are in a position of power in the ISI and they're in a position to tell their underlings what to do the same way your boss is, except with the implicit threat of personal harm added in if you don't do it. It's just like any other organization in which there are power struggles. There's in fighting and conniving and looking the other way and wanting to hang on to your job.

        Look at how Chicago was when Al Capone was

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure everyone here loves spending every waking hour fighting CISPA/PIPA/SOPA/ACTA or every other incarnation that will be silently pushed into law. We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy and Internet usage as an inalienable right. The days of hoping your representative Democracy will work for you are sadly over.

    • We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy and Internet usage as an inalienable right. The days of hoping your representative Democracy will work for you are sadly over.

      You're right. I'll contact my representative to demand he get the amendment process moving and- oh, wait...

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      We must demand a Constitutional amendment that clearly defines personal privacy ... as an inalienable right.

      Hmm, how about this as a starting draft:
      "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated"

      That seems pretty clear to me about enforcing personal property. But I'm not sure we could get that one passed these days.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Why would that help? They don't respect the amendments we already have.

  • Oh, wait, I think these jokes are done now
  • Yes, Pakistani judges frequently rule for the rule of law... and just as frequently get ignored (or far, far worse) by both the military junta of the day and the murderously pious.
  • ...all of the members of Pakistan's high court were replaced today, as the previous members all died of, according to the official government report, accidental bullet wounds to the chest and head.

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