ISLAMABAD - Around 84,000 websites containing objectionable contents were identified and blocked while 400,000 obscene websites has been circulated to all the Internet Service Providers for blocking on domain level, said the PTA. In a report submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday said that the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited, a licensee, has confirmed blocking of approximately 200,000 links containing obscene material over the internet. A two-member bench of the apex court comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Qazi Faiz Isa on January 12, 2016 while hearing suo motu notice and various petitions had sought report from PTA regarding blocking obscene material from the internet.

The report said due to large number of websites (URLs), the operators required reasonable time in this regard, adding the websites that contains offensive material will be analysed, which were reported through PTAs helpline toll free number, fax, post/web from the dedicated e-mail as per law. It said the PTA Web Analysis Cell will continue to take effective measures regarding the access to these objectionable links/websites available on the internet.

The report further submitted that technically 100 per cent blocking containing offensive material is not possible on the pretext that numerous proxy sites are being built every single day. The PTA said lots of new websites are also being made uploaded on a daily basis, adding that Virtual Private Network (VPN) and proxies are also used to access these websites, despite blocking.

It was further submitted that continues blocking of the websites at massive scale will also lead to deteriorating internet quality in terms of speed and availability. It contended that internet is a club of millions of computers which are connected together to serve each other.  Each computer on the internet is assigned with a unique internet protocol address (IP) and among them a few are acting as clients and the others acting as servers, the report said and added whenever any client wants to get connected with any server in order to fetch any data/information hosted on that server it raises its request in human language which is translated by DNS server (domain name server) into an IP address (machine language).

The PTA further submitted that blocking of any content on internet would mean denying the access of requested website by not resolving Domain name with the IP address. The PTA further informed that each blocking request is compared with the list of websites available on the DNS, and as the list of blocked websites increases.