Spotflux, a free proxy service that allows people to access uncensored content on the internet, has finally been banned by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). We tweeted about PTA interrupting Spotflux’s service by blocking ping requests to its servers on January 28. It is confirmed that it might have been a test run to a full-fledged ban on Spotflux and quite possibly other proxy services in the future.
Spotflux isn’t the only web application that has faced ban in Pakistan. More than a year ago, PTA banned YouTube blaming a controversial movie trailer Innocence of Muslims to be the source of civil unrest in the country. Moreover, Skype and Viber have also been blocked temporarily due to security reasons of an impeding terrorist attack. Citing morality and ethics as the reason to ban services that give people access to uncensored content on the Internet, Anusha Rahman, Federal Minister to IT in Pakistan highly supports state-imposed ban on the Internet. It is, however, not hard to see that the real reasons behind banning access to content is to impose a writ on people by denying them access to information and taking away the freedom of expression from common people.