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Pakistan Orders Companies To Block 'Obscene' Words


Pakistani activists must watch what they say and, now, text.

Pakistani activists must watch what they say and, now, text.

The Pakistani Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has reportedly ordered all mobile phone operators to block text messages containing "obscene" words.

PTA said it acted on "innumerable, repeated complaints" from comsumers in preventing circulation of the roughly 1,500 words.

Officials from all five major operators confirmed they were working on software that would block messages containing the words deemed unwanted by the telecommunication watchdog.

Media reports said the list contained some 1,500 words in English and in Urdu.

"The Guardian" reports that in addition to profanities or sexually explicit words and phrases in which they are used, the list includes words or phrases like "flatulence," "fondle," "crotch rot," and "quickie," to name just a few.

The words "Jesus Christ" and some everyday terms are also said to be on the list.

Pakistan has around 100 million mobile phone users among a population of more than 170 million.

Text messages are said to have been a major source of criticism of the government and the military.

compiled from agency reports
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