Earlier this month Pakistan sent a call for proposals to provide Internet filtering technology to censor the Web locally. Known as RFP (Request For Proposal), it was an open call for national and international companies dealing in certain demanded technology.
Websense, a San Diego based company, has already sidelined itself from seeking the contract from Pakistan Government. Joining it are another four companies which aren’t willing to bid for RFP.
McAfee withdrew itself from this ongoing campaign after posting a tweet saying “McAfee has confirmed that it is not pursuing the Pakistan Firewall RFP.”
Bolo Bhai, a group that is against this RFP by the local government, wrote a letter to eight international companies not to bid for this contract. It looks like its effort is paying off handsomely.
All these five companies have backed off with an intention to safeguard the human rights that would be endangered if the Web is censored in Pakistan. It will further lead to a spark of protests similar to those seen across the Europe against Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and in the US against Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
But talking from an Islamic viewpoint, the local society especially youth is witnessed misusing the Internet. To control that factor the Pakistan Government has blocked access to some 15000 porn Webs. Censoring the Web further to gain control over it might be another step to save people from sinning. But Pakistani Government does not have a good reputation that is why how this RFP shall be exploited in the future remains a question at the moment.