You can no longer text someone in Islamabad that you are flogging the dolphin apparently. I guess you will have to download one of the 50 or so apps that allow you to instant msg with other smart phones without using the txt service. Might be a good time to invest in Skype. If they are a public company of course.
Islamabad: If Pakistan’s telecom regulator has its way, millions of mobile phone users may be unable to send text messages with “offensive” and “obscene” words like crap, damn, hobo, flatulence, gay, lesbian and slime from Monday.
These words are part of a list of nearly 1,700 words and terms that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has deemed as offensive, and wants mobile phone operators to filter from SMS text messages.
Operators have been directed to start blocking text messages containing these words from November 21.
The move has been greeted with ridicule and derision, particularly by Pakistan’s vociferous users of internet forums and micro-blogging sites like Twitter.
Since the PTA’s lists of offensive English and Urdu words and terms containing 1,106 and 586 items respectively became public a few days ago, it has become the butt of jokes on the web.
While the English list has 148 items containing a four-letter swear word, it has had many scratching their heads by including words and terms like athlete’s foot, deposit, black out, drunk, flatulence, glazed donut, harem, Jesus Christ, hostage, murder, penthouse, Satan and “flogging the dolphin”.
The lists of offensive words and terms and a letter written on November 14 by PTA’s Director General (Services) Muhammad Talib Doger, instructing mobile phone operators to start filtering SMS messages, have been posted on numerous internet forums after they were leaked to the media last week.
Doger’s letter indicated that the lists were drawn up after consultations with mobile phone operators over the past few months.
It described the filtering scheme as part of larger efforts to halt spam messages.
“The right of free speech extends to all subjects which affects way of life without limitation of any particular fact. “However, right of freedom of speech and expression is not unfettered and unbridled,” the letter said.
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