A couple of days back, we were discussing “Draw Mohammed Day” – how it has become a runaway roller coaster and why FaceBook is acting irresponsibly and not banning the event / fan page connected to this day. Following my post, several opinions arose on Twitter and elsewhere on the attitude one should have on this matter and a lot of people who viewed it objectively figured instead of boycotting we should use the Facebook medium to promote Islam and highlight the life of the Prophet (SAW) on 20th May.
Yesterday Lahore High Court in a ruling decided that it was up to the Pakistan Government to shield the public from this and so a ruling from the court forced the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to pull the plug on Facebookers in Pakistan. however, as all implementations of the Government go, someone somewhere screwed up and at 11 pm last night (May 19, 2010) I was able to fully access the website through my GPRS connection on Mobilink.
The wonderful media managed to find this out and their highlighting of this accessibility of Facebook led to Mobilink being charged with contempt of court and a bit after midnite Mobilink switched off its GPRS access. No not the GPRS access to Facebook but the whole thing including all Blackberry Services. (Note: I am assuming that is what has happened since I don’t have access to any news on this!) Now Facebook or no Facebook is just OK with me but I am heavily dependent on my GPRS and Blackberry for a whole lot of things. My work involves hundred of emails daily and generally my access to this is via my Blackberry especially when I am out of the office. Moreover, the Blackberry Messenger is a vital tool for my communication with colleagues, friends and family. In addition, my connection to my Tweeps is primarily using SocialScope client on the Blackberry also.
It is around half past nine as I write this and generally by now I have read and replied to a majority of my emails and am up to date with things, all without even getting ready for work! Today I am clueless to what is happening since not only is my Blackberry service not working due to this idiotic decision, my DSL Modem refuses to hold a connection due to the extreme fluctuation since last nite. That is why this post
is was barebones without any links to other sources. It would be a lucky break if the electricity stabilizes for long enough for this to be posted!!
As an aside, it reflects just how integrated the Internet and mobile connectivity has become on our lives since we feel completely cut off from the world without it! Now i feel the voltage is picking up so let me reset the DSL modem and try to post this!
UPDATE: Around 9:50 am my link to the world has been restored and my GPRS and Blackberry connection seem to be back up and working. Yipppeeee!!!
UPDATE: More on this from other Blaagers
PRESS CONFERENCE: Protest Against Nationwide Government Ban of Facebook on Teeth Maestro (Dr Awab Alvi)
Lahore High Court orders Facebook blocked till the 31st of May on Teeth Maestro (Dr Awab Alvi)
From South Park to the LHC Ban – How Did We Get Here? on CHUP! by Kalsoom Lakhani
UPDATE: From the International Media
Facebook upset over Pakistan ban due to Prophet Mohammed contest page – Herald Sun Australia
‘Draw Mohammed’ call prompts Pakistan Facebook ban • The Register
Pakistan Court Orders Temporary Facebook Ban Over Prophet Caricatures – Tech Crunch
Muslim anger prompts Pakistan to block Facebook – Yahoo! News
Pakistan blocks Facebook over ‘Draw Mohammed’ Day – CNN.com