A Cultural Journal

    Bolo Bhi: Crusaders for Internet Rights

    - Posted on: February 27, 2014 | Post your comment here Comments

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    Bolo Bhi: Crusaders for Internet Rights

    While the social media was being swept with a new song, “Kholo BC”, featuring three popular young musicians, asking the government to open its ban on Youtube, there were other wars being waged for the same objective.

    On Tuesday there was the 17th hearing in the Lahore high court for the Youtube ban lifting case, being fought by Yasser Hamdani. Amicus curia in the case is an organization, Bolo Bhi, which is on jihad, trying to educate people about internet censor ship and surveillance threats.

    Wednesday evening at 7, Bolo Bhi showcased its documentary with the name of “Pakistan’s Internet BanWagon”, at Kuch Khaas, here in Islamabad. The documentary showed the efforts of the Bolo Bhi team in terms of “sensitizing” the policy makers of the country with internet usage and the rights that individuals should enjoy with regards to privacy. The documentary features young entrepreneurs, IT experts, law experts, politicians and senators.

    “Instead of using proxies and finding a way around, people should have stood up for their legitimate rights”, said Farieha Aziz of Bolo Bhi after the documentary. “The arbitrary decision making by the government needs to be challenged by proper, regular, lawful channels rather than just having pessimistic preconceived notions about the government”. 

    The documentary also raises important questions about the legitimacy of Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC), which is responsible for banning of websites, and is operating under shadowy rules and regulations. Its authority is not being derived from the Telecommunication Reorganization Act of 1996, meaning, henceforth, that most of internet censorship is being done arbitrarily. Knee-jerk reactions without fully grasping the nature of the problem have caused widespread distress for young, budding entrepreneurs who heavily depend on fast communication network that the internet provides. Coupled with the fact that there is always self regulation available as a means, internet censorship seems more of a draconian means of blocking the free flux of information.

    One of the speakers in the documentary aptly mentions that technology can be used for good or bad purposes, but then it is the individual who is responsible for the use rather than the technology itself.

    A politician in the documentary asks, “Are we a ridiculous state?”It warrants an answer both from her clique and us.  

     

    The documentary can be found at: http://vimeo.com/87335243

    For more visit: http://bolobhi.org/

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