Mobile|November 21, 2011| Author: Steven Hodson|Tags: , ,

Pakistan delays its proposed filtering and censoring of text messages

It seems that the government thought it would be a good idea to filter the millions of text messages that flow through the country every day and censor them for obscene words. Of course the definition of what would be obscene and what would need to be filtered out was within the control of the government which could potentially cause quite the social uproar from the country’s citizens.

Some of the words that were apparently up for censoring included humorous ones like “mango”, “athlete’s foot”, and apparently a really bad word “kmart”. Along with those however were much more sensitive, and needless to say controversial choices like “Jesus Christ”, “deeper”, and any kind of sexual connotation.

Well, it seems though that the ban has been delayed however the delay has nothing to do with any concerns about the words that might make the filter list but rather the cost of implementation and upkeep of the systems needed to run the filtering systems.

No, the issue seems to be whether or not it is feasible to filter text messages without creating huge delays and requiring crazy manpower, effectively destroying service. There are concerns that all texting would be slowed down due to the need for filtering and that many users could be inconvenienced by accidentally using one of the many banned words and getting their text blocked, something service providers really, really don’t want. It probably goes without saying, but there is some public outcry as well.

via Geekosystem

So it all boils down to money. Why am I not surprised.