We often take for granted in the United States and other countries that we can look at what we want on the Internet. In many places that isn’t the case with countries like China and others going to extremes the block what the populace can see online. The latest country to seek to filter what citizens can see online is Pakistan. The Pakistani government issued an open call for global companies to provide web filtering technology to filter the Internet.
That didn’t sit well with a group in Pakistan that goes by Bolo Bhi. That group wrote directly to the companies that make security products and specifically asked them not to provide the Pakistani government with software that would allow them to censor the Internet. So far, five of those eight companies contacted have agreed not to provide the Pakistani government with assistance censoring what citizens see online.
So far, Cisco Systems has agreed not to provide software to Pakistan and the latest company to agree is McAfee. Cisco in the past has provided China with software to filter the Internet, which earned it criticism. One of the companies that has not yet agreed to refuse Pakistan’s filtering demands is Huawei from China. Considering China filters the Internet, Huawei would have to be one of the most likely to help Pakistan reach its goals. Both Verizon and Websense have also agreed to refuse Pakistan’s request.