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The Ministry of IT has apparently decided to shelve its plans to install a massive URL bocking system. The MoIT, through its research arm, the National Information & Communication Technology Research and Development Fund had through a public advertisement on Feb 23rd, 2012, sought bids for a system that “should be able to handle a block list of up to 50 million URLs with a processing delay of not more than 1.”
Mr. Farooq Ahmed Awan, Secretary IT said that the URL project has been withdrawn due to the concern shown by various stakeholders. Meanwhile, the MoIT has neither confirmed nor denied the report.
Naseem Akhtar Bhatti, the MoIT spokesperson said that the ministry was not the only stakeholder, and that PTA too was a stakeholder. A statement over the project will be issued tomorrow.
The PTA had earlier stated its determination in taking steps that blocked “blasphemous and objectionable content.” PTA sources had said last week that, being the telecom regulator in the country, they would implement policies to block websites with “blasphemous, un-islamic, offensive, objectionable, unethical, and immoral material,” as per their mandate, and or per instructions from the government.