Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pakistan Bans Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), thereby leaving a lot of online business stranded

PTA, which is the official telecom authority in Pakistan, has been blocking Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG) sites at random, thereby causing a lot of people inconvenience. Sites like Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play Store, and Google Analytics have been blocked by the telecom authority, although according to official reports, the Supreme Court in the country had only ordered anti-Islamic videos to be blocked on YouTube, which is but a part of Google. This has lead to widespread indignation by people who have work online, or who can no longer access Google, despite having day-to-day use of it.

A similar situation had also cropped up in India, when the ISPs used their power needlessly, by blocking entire web domains, while the court order had specified the blocking of a single URL on YouTube. The power that the telecom authorities hold, is being flaunted, and people are not pleased with it, what with the new generation becoming increasingly tech-savvy, and thereby, doing more of their work on the internet.

There are people who are not being able to check their mail, since they have their accounts in Gmail. Android developers have been complaining that they are being unable to update applications sure to the Google Play Store being blocked. Pakistan has around 250,000 people who use Google on a regular basis, and they are all complaining over Twitter, about this recent change of events.

Jawwad Farid had written an open letter to Google, requesting them to resolve their personal issues with the government so that online work can proceed as normal. He mentioned that while Docs, Play and Apps are not working at all, Gmail cannot be accessed through the Android devices anymore, and Analytics, webmaster and Adwords is working excruciatingly slowly.

In response to the PTA not doing what the Supreme court had asked it to, a petition was recently filed in the Supreme Court stating that the name “Pakistan” was being used by Google on its web portal. This provided grounds for blocking Google, since they had no legal permission to use the name, and they had not asked for legal consent before doing so. However, the petition is considered weak, and pedantic, by many. 

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