Pakistan Bans ‘Obscene’ Words On Phone Texts

December 6th, 2011 by James

Pakistan Bans 'Obscene' Words On Phone TextsThe telecommunications authority of Pakistan has sent a letter to cell phone companies and ordered them to block text messages containing what it perceives to be obscenities, Anjum Nida Rahman, a spokeswoman for Telenor Pakistan.

The authority also sent a list of more than 1,500 English and Urdu words that were to be blocked.

From in.news.yahoo.com:

The order was part of the regulator’s attempt to block spam messages, said Rahman. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority refused to comment on the initiative.

Many of the words to be blocked were sexually explicit terms or swear words, according to a copy of the list obtained by The Associated Press.

It also included relatively mild terms like fart and idiot.

The reasons for blocking some words, including Jesus Christ, headlights and tampon, were less clear, raising questions about religious freedom and practicality. Any word could conceivably be part of a spam message.

The letter was dated Nov. 14 and gave cell phone companies seven days to implement the order.

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