Monday, June 10, 2013

Anusha Rahman's Faux Pas: "We can ban google if ..."

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

If there was any hope or optimism that one had associated with this current Nawaz Sharif govt, Anusha Rahman's statement widely reported on Sunday ended it. Here is a corporate lawyer with telecom expertise making possibly the most ignorant and illogical statement yet. What then can one expect from the rest of the maja sajas who have come to power in the current regime?

“It all depends on our negotiation clout. If they persist with their stance, we can block Google in Pakistan as a last resort as there are many alternative search engines available on the web,” she reportedly said

Madame Minister !

No it does not depend on "our" negotiation clout. We don't have clout in the matter. Google is an internet tool from which there is no escape. It is like saying we will ban the English language if it is not purged of all the blasphemous material written in it.  Have you tried the "many alternative search engines"? Try Bing. Try Yahoo. None of these search engines hold a candle to Google.  Google is all encompassing.  What negotiation clout can your government have with Google which is used by close to 2 billion people and counting? Not even the US government has any unlimited "clout" in negotiating with Google and that is the government to which the laws of Google are subject.  Madame Minister the world has left us behind. Google, Youtube, Facebook etc are our only means to level the playing field. Do not opt for censorship. Do not shoot us in the foot.

When I say internet is the equalizer I mean it. The cure to many of Pakistan's ills is a free flow of information. It is protected under Article 19 and Article 19-A of the constitution.  Do not make things harder for our country by trying to swim upstream. Do not be misled or misguided. You will do no service to Islam by making a mockery of it and banning Google.

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