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The Lowdown: Pakistan’s Telecom Regulator Directs Telcos To Filter SMSs; Reportedly BackTracks

Reports indicate that the directive issued by Pakistan's telecom regulator banning certain words and phrases from being transmitted via SMS, is being deferred or being completely withdrawn. So what is this all about? The directive: The PTA had earlier issued a list of more than 1695 English (view) and Urdu (view) words and phrases including words (we're publishing the polite ones here, but it gets worse) such as 'Jesus Christ', tampon, fart, athlete's foot, damn, deeper, harder, four twenty, fornicate, looser, 'go to hell' and idiot, and had said that it could restrict free speech in the "interest of the glory of Islam" and had a responsibility to prevent "obnoxious communication". It had directed all telcos to implement the filters by 20th November and had asked all mobile phone companies to submit a monthly report indicating the total number of blocked messages by each operator. Sources for the original list: Interestingly, Pro Pakistani has also revealed the source of the list in one of its posts. It says that the PTA might have just searched for a list of offensive words. The list of English words are exactly the same words that appeared in a list of words/phrases that were actually disallowed to be used for personalized jerseys sold by NFL Shop (National Football League shop). It has also linked to lists of Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi words that were apparently blindly copied by the authority. Order has been deferred: According to a report by the Daily Times, Pakistan's mobile service operators have deferred…

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