Thursday, March 23, 2006

How to access Blogger (.blogspot) sites

You can access your blogger blog (or any other blogger site) via www.pkblogs.com or simply www.pkblogs.com/blogname

For example spider blog (www.spiderisat.blogspot.com) can be accessed at www.pkblogs.com/spiderisat

Happy Browsing :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blogspot ban continues - cyber activism on

It is indeed a sorry state of affairs that the Pakistani blogosphere has to get into anonymous surfing and proxy servers simply to read something completely harmless on other blogs. And if you can believe it, a proxy server being used to read blogs has also joined the list of banned websites.

I feel we should actively try and do something about it. Join the following Google group if you haven't already:

Action Group Against Blogspot Ban in Pakistan

The group right now is discussing whom to contact and where to send press releases. So jump right in!

In the meantime, freedom of expression (with responsibility of course) and Anonymouse rules!

Update 8th March 2006 => The Alvie Team comprising of Dr Awab Alvi (aka Teeth Maestro) and Omar Alvie have launched the Don't Block the Blog Campaign! The campaign formally began on 3rd March. Join in, if you haven't already!

Did anyone catch the News yesterday? Ethan Casey wrote on the blogspot ban. Read the whole article: Freedom of Speech is a Global Issue

Monday, March 06, 2006

The News: "Ban on 'blasphemous' websites"

The country's telecom authorities that imposed a ban last week on websites inviting people to draw blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have also blocked several blogs that have no connection with the cartoon controversy. "In their efficiency, PTA axed the host instead of the URLs that could easily have been blocked without causing this problem," said an IT professional working for a Karachi-based ISP, who requested anonymity, writes Ammara Durrani in The News today.
"We will not accept any excuse or technical objection on this issue because it relates to the sentiments of the entire Muslim world," Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was reported to have said while hearing two constitutional petitions seeking the blocking of websites showing "blasphemous" material on the Internet."
Discussion continues under KO's posting below.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Blogspot (and other sites) blocked

I received an email about blogspot sites being blocked:
can you please check blogspot sites? It seems like government of Pakistan has banned blogspot hosted blogs. I have asked many friends using different ISPs to try and connect my blogspot hosted blog and they are all unable to access it or any blog hosted on blogspot.

On checking, blogspot is currently blocked from Pakistan. Before now, the GOP was blocking a few blogspot sites, but now they've gone all out and have blocked every single blogspot site. Blogspot itself is running fine and dandy, as can be checked by accessing it through a proxy server based outside Pakistan. The block seems to be at the DNS level only - typing the IP address of blogger takes you there directly: http://66.102.15.100.

For workarounds, see:
HOWTO bypass Internet Censorship, Anonymouse and TOR.

Any knowledgable in the Pakistani telecoms/isp industry know how exactly the Pakistani govt. censors the internet? Such information would be really helpful in writing an article about it (for publication in local magazine/newspaper).

Ironically, this post is not readable by the intended audience as this website is currently blocked in Pakistan!

Correction: The block is not just at the DNS level, it's also blocking IP addresses.

Update: The block is at the ISP level. Not all internet traffic is routed through the Pakistan Internet Exchange, so the govt. must have ordered local ISP's to block certain websites. All the major ISP's in Pakistan are blocking weblogs hosted at blogspot.com.