Monitoring Policy for SMS & Email: You have The Right to “Shut up”!

In the past week some very disturbing developments have taken place, in regards to the new sms and email monitoring policy of the establishments. According to the sketchy details available until now, a monitoring cell has been established to keep a track of all the information flowing around, in an attempt to halt anti government campaign.

The logic behind this new episode is yet to understand. Practically, in the past all around the world we have seen governments taking these steps only to ensure “National Security”, but this step seems to be rather “regime security” oriented. A society or a government, what ever it is can not prevail without accountability. A country like Pakistan, where a dire security threat is looming, can be expected to put a restriction on hate propagating literature, but a step of this nature is beyond my imagination. The policy is censorship has never delivered, nor will it this time around. If you receive an email or an sms giving you a statistic of how much extra taxation is leveled on the price of 1 liter petrol, neither the receiver nor the sender can be termed a criminal. In fact, freedom of expression is a basic right of any individual, and there is no second opinion to this.

Regime security seems logical in Moammar Gadaffi’s Libya or Kim Jong II North Korea, but in a democratic setup this is a brutality, a torture and a complete injustice. Just take the case of Americans. During the peak of War on Terror and 9/11 saga, there own citizen came up with “Fahrenheit 9/11”to prove that 9/11 was an inside job, not some Iranian journalist who made it. I never heard President Bush or his team went after any campaign like this, and this is a reality that the greatest suspicion came to surface through the documentaries produced in the West.

To those responsible in taking an initiative like this, we have a simple suggestion that care is better than cure. Instead of silencing all the voices, its better to pay a heed to them. Every Pakistani cares, that’s why they want their voices not only to be heard, but also dealt with. Lets see if the establishment will review its decision, or sooner we will hear the breaking news that blogging has also been declared a crime!

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