Like me, if you live on Internet and Pakistan, strong are the chances you’re already familiar with the Authority of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). We know PTA from their active involvement in our SMS, Watching us online, and yes banning Facebook and other websites in general.
Most recently over 1,000 porn sites were blocked by internet service providers (ISP), directed by PTA. It was also stated by a source, “They are adding to the list on a daily basis.”
Here is where I and PTA get face-to-face, my problem is not like they have blocked my favorite porn site. History is history, we all share it. Instead they added my innocent site in the list too, and it is blocked today.
My website (http://hometownshoes.com/) is about selling shoe, not even close to porn. But who knows, when the ‘athletes foot’ is banned. May be they found a link between shoes> athletes foot>something unethical, but I don’t know about.
When you visit the link in Pakistan, it reads: “THE SITE IS RESTRICTED” and site name appears as PTCL. So I instantly called to PTCL helpline inquiring them the problem my website is facing. But after a 13 min long wait, their busy CSR told that it is blocked from PTA and PTCL has nothing to do with it.
While writing this post, too much to my surprise, I find I am not alone. In fact, PTA has blocked all sites in Pakistan which contain the word ‘shoes’ in its URL and first of it took place one Nov 01, 2011. Now somebody please explain me what is wrong with sites containing shoes.com in its address. That is totally ridiculous.
From its website, PTA claims ‘‘To promote and protect the interests of users of telecommunication services in Pakistan.” But instead from my experience PTA is causing loss to my business and now I’m insecure about running my website in Pakistan. How sad..!
Any ways, I visited PTA website assuming for some help, but in vain. No one answered my call from any of their contact numbers. More, I wrote an email, hoping that they would solve my problem at an earliest when they see my complain message.
This is not at all childish or minor mistake. PTA has the responsibility to make our life easier on web and telecommunication in general. But such continuous stupid mistakes are making it worse for people like me. I am angry and sad at the same time.
PTA is keeping to over use its authority. Shall we stop them?