Samizdat Internet: This one’s an easy call

 

Ricochet’s James Poulos dropped me an e-mail this morning noting the news that the Lahore high court has ordered the blocking throughout Pakistan of Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, YouTube, Google, Amazon and Bing on the grounds that these sites host “sacrilegious material.” I should note that I live in Turkey, where half the Internet, more or less, is blocked.

James said he’d love to know my reaction. My reaction? Go Pakistan! Block it all! Beat Turkey! I am completely against the expression of sacrilegious thought. In fact, I am firmly persuaded that a society that permits the expression of thought–of any kind–is in mortal peril. You start by looking at Amazon, next thing you know you’re in Sodom and Gomorrah. Blocking access to large sections of the Internet is will foster rapid economic growth, social harmony, civic trust, public safety and superior intellectual hygiene. It will encourage foreign direct investment. It will even eliminate unemployment. Good for Pakistan for taking the lead!

Come on, James, what did you expect me to say?

There are 5 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TommyDeSeno

    Sacrilege is porn, only less useful.

    Even Katy Perry tweets that it’s so ;-)

    While I disagree with hitting the kill switch on the ‘net, I applaud the pro-religion sentiment.

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  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MelFoil
    Justified Right: Sacrilege is porn, only less useful.

    Even Katy Perry tweets that it’s so ;-)

    While I disagree with hitting the kill switch on the ‘net, I applaud the pro-religion sentiment. ยท Jun 25 at 5:37am

    I think the vast majority of these countries are much more concerned about political sacrilege than about religious sacrilege.

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  3. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Poor James. When he’s just waking up trying to sort the news of the day, Claire is already well into her day and in rare form. Homey can’t catch a break…

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  4. Profile Photo Editor
    @RobLong

    This is a great development. What on earth do people in Pakistan need Hotmail for? Unless it’s to plot attacks on us. Which is how they use it now.

    Chat rooms, Google searches — take them down. Say it’s for whatever you want — “religious reasons” is fine — but the truth is, these are just tools for terrorists anyway. Ordinary Pakistanis don’t need access to Yahoo! or Bing.

    Actually, we could all do just fine without Yahoo! or Bing.

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  5. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesPoulos

    Let’s go deeper, Claire — peer into the crystal ball. Like any good phone psychic starts first by predicting the present, let’s ask whether Pakistan’s suffering particularly acutely from relationship trouble. Then let’s gaze back into the past…should we have seen this coming? What’s coming right now, we might gasp, that we aren’t paying heed? And finally, the future — do you suppose this marks a new stage in a more deeply unpalatable turn toward the kind of Pakistan we least want to see? Looming over it all is Afghanistan: how can we carry on there if Pakistan, next door and enormous, is slipping swiftly into…or at least toward…Talibanism? If we ‘lose’ Turkey and Pakistan, that’s a blow as dreadful in some ways as losing Iraq and Afghanistan themselves, no?

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