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'Here are 400,000 smut sites. Block them' says Pakistani telco regulator

Weary sysadmins copy pr0n to /dev/null

Pakistani ISP sysadmins are getting ready to write a lot of firewall rules, with the country's telecommunications regulator issuing a list of 429,343 banned-smut Websites.

The decision follows hard behind the country's decision to lift its long-standing ban on YouTube (something also qualified by rules that include blocking of videos that don't pass its rules).

According to newspaper The Express Tribune, ISPs will be expected to implement the blocks “at the domain level”. The outlet explains that the regulatory order followed instructions from the Supreme Court that it “take remedial steps to quantify the nefarious phenomenon of obscenity and pornography that has an imminent role to corrupt and vitiate the youth of Pakistan”.

The Register notes that “more than 400,000” sites is a popular number for blocklists: Saudi authority CITC issued a similar order to its ISPs in 2014. Since The Express Tribune says the Supreme Court order is dated January 12, the PTA's probably using the same list as CITC (most likely supplied by a filter vendor).

ISPs aren't impressed, complaining that they'll need both time and equipment to implement such a large block-list.

India's block of 857 sites in 2015 looks limp by comparison. ®

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