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Facebook trashes its “principles” as it blocks human rights pages in Pakistan

Screen Shot 2013-08-06 at 23.49.16By Simon Davies

Facebook has again been accused of unlawful collusion with the Pakistan government after the publication today of a list of url’s that have been blocked by the company – including an influential page dedicated to human rights and political discourse.

A partial list of blocked pages is published below.

there appears to be no legal basis for Facebook’s agreement to remove pages that seek to encourage free expression and political discourse.

While some of the removed pages are clearly themed on religious obscenity – and are therefore illegal under Pakistan law – there appears to be no legal basis for Facebook’s agreement to remove pages that seek to encourage free expression and political discourse.

Earlier this year Privacy Surgeon reported that a senior Pakistan government official told the High Court of Lahore that Facebook has entered into a covert working relationship with national authorities to censor its content.

The claim was made during a hearing of public interest claims brought by Bytes for All Pakistan (B4A) against the government’s policy of widespread online censorship. The government policy has already resulted in an outright ban on YouTube.

In response, Facebook denied that it was “colluding” with Pakistan’s authorities and asserted that it acted strictly in accordance with policy and law.

“In the case of Pakistan, we have received legal advice that the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority is a body authorised under Pakistani law to require Internet service providers to restrict content. These orders are made pursuant to court decisions and directives from government agencies as specified in Pakistani law.  Pursuant to this authority, the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency sends blocking notices to Facebook from time to time.”

“When we receive a request from the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency pursuant to its authority to require ISPs to restrict content, we evaluate it according to the process described above. Consistent with our policies, if we have a good faith belief that the content in question violates the law in Pakistan, then that specific content may be made unavailable in Pakistan in accordance with the terms of the order.  These requests relate to a relatively small amount of content on Facebook: we estimate that blocking orders received from Pakistan this year relate to fewer than 100 items of content.”

However the removal this week of Roshni, a popular page promoting human rights and free speech, calls into question Facebook’s assertions. The page contained no religious obscenity or unlawful content and its removal appears to have been a political matter inspired by pressure from influential extremist clerics.

 

Page name Status Description Link
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/repeal-blasphemy-laws-in-pakistan/13368646673700
Maulana Tariq Jameel OFFICIAL Blocked Information related to religious scholar Mulana Tariq Jameel http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maulana-Tariq-Jameel-OFFICIAL/420172644705213
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pakistankafirtehrik?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pakistankafirtehrik
Blocked Page on Zaid Hamid expositions https://www.facebook.com/ZaidHamidExposition?ref=ts&fref=ts
Blocked Page on Zaid Hamid expositions  http://www.facebook.com/pages/ZAID-HAMID-EXPOSITION-SSUET-chapter/112094655473476?ref=ts&fref=ts
Blocked Page on Zaid Hamid expositions http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zaid-Hamid-Exposition-QAU-Chapter/110806942272039?ref=ts&fref=ts
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pages/EK-NAZAR-ISLAM-PAR/161125190704125
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/EK-NAZAR-ISLAM-PAR/161125190704125?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/saaenji
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/saaenji?refid=48
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/?sk=welcome#!/blasphemyday?fref=ts
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/ihatejesusandallah
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/ihatejesusandallah?ref=stream
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pages/anti-allah/481008725283090
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pages/anti-allah/481008725283090
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/allahbd
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/islamagainstwomen
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/i-hate-jesus-and-allah/114367978736000?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/islamdevil/242404659215735
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/ameerul.munafiqeen.5?viewer_id=100001989388603
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/wakeup6
The Terrorland

Blocked Army/ ISI https://www.facebook.com/theterrorland.blog
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pakistan-Kafir-Tehrik-PKT/207047499431829?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Reality-Of-Shia-Nasibis-%D8%B4%DB%8C%D8%B9%DB%81-%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B5%D8%A8%DB%8C%D9%88%DA%BA-%DA%A9%DB%8C-%D8%AD%D9%82%DB%8C%D9%82%D8%AA/376760515753839?fref=pb
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/Shit.Lords.Say
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/ztanqeed
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/Seedsofiblis/
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tafreeh-Muhammad/329484637164434
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tafreeh-Muhammad/329484637164434
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/xaaenji
Blocked Political Speech http://www.facebook.com/secularpakistan
Blocked www.facebook.com/pages/shugal-and-captured-instants/338485356175914
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/idiotmyshkin
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/critical.analyst?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/molviustrapk?ref=ts&fref=ts
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pages/destroy-islam/493625177342537
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/truth.alone.wins
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/UMAR-MEDIA-%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%82%DB%81- %D9%85%D9%84%D8%A7%DA%A9%D9%86%DA%88%DA%88%D9%88%DB%8C%DA%98%D9%86/449811125080305?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/malhamah.media
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jamia-Hafsa-Forum/413438768727623
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/%d8%b3%d8%a7%d8%a6%db%8c%da%ba/159068874249328
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/Shariah4Pakistan?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sex-videos/289863901128381?fref=ts
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/God-of-Sex-darkness/355515727882253
Blocked https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%B3%D8%A7%D8%A6%DB%8C%DA%BA/159068874249328
Blocked http://www.facebook.com/pages/urdu-hindi-sex-stories/156059871207172
Removed http://www.facebook.com/rab.ulalimeen
Removed https://www.facebook.com/truemanpk?ref=ts&fref=ts
Removed https://www.facebook.com/truemanpk
Removed https://www.facebook.com/fukizlam?ref=stream
Maulana Tariq Jameel official Page Removed Activities of  religious scholar Mulana Tariq Jameel http://www.facebook.com/MaulanaTariqJameel.officialPage?ref=ts&fref=ts
Removed Profile page https://www.facebook.com/rawqaiser.shahzadkhan.9
Removed https://www.facebook.com/MediaOfficeHizb.Pakistan
Removed https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=300725220032100&set=a.299669993470956.59096.100002838736961&type=1&relevant_count=1
Removed www.facebook.com/royalebeauties2?ref=ts
Removed www.facebook.com/classypicturegroup
Removed www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151586152440917&set=a.45049902016.233208.277890080916&type=1&relevant_count=1
Removed https://www.facebook.com/groups/73347625044/?fref=ts
Removed Profile www.facebook.com/tariq.maan.3
Removed www.facebook.com/pakistankafirtehrik