Stories about internet

Halalgoogling: Putting the ‘beep’ in ‘be pious while you search the web’

The holy month of Ramazan is just around the corner and what better way to welcome this month than to launch a search engine especially designed for Muslims? Halalgoogling is all set to take the pious world by storm. Halalgoogling is my new toy. As any responsible Pakistani would, I immediately went ahead and checked its authenticity by looking up the word “sexy”. No, I’m not a pervert; I’m responsible, just like the guys who spread videos of two people “committing sins” in order to raise awareness that it should not be done. How would you know you shouldn’t do it unless you know what ...

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Eye To Eye: The music video that won the internet

Have you ever been in love so madly that you felt like no one has ever loved the same way before? Well, get the fat out of your head because you lose. Someone has loved like you never can… It is a “genyin killasic” (genuine classic) love that you are yet to experience. This love isn’t the kiss-and-cuddle kind. It is very modern and a lot like Bluetooth technology, because you can feel it transferring from a distance only between two pairs of eyes. This love is Eye To Eye by Taher Shah. Accessorised like the true diva that he is, ...

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Virtual emptiness

Tweet tweet tweet, all day long. Upload pictures and statuses on Facebook letting the world know what you have been up to and Skype with your family and friends abroad to keep in touch. Oh and how could I forget the wonderful world of Whatsapp that has made life so much easier by reducing, or eliminating almost all barriers of communication! Most of you might be of the opinion that such technology can only be good for us by connecting us to our beloveds with the touch of a button, making e-businesses flourish through online marketing and having access ...

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Are nasty comments distorting reality?

The online landscape in Pakistan is not unlike the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) at its current scale. There are almost no laws that govern this space. For better or worse, individuals and groups online act with near impunity, with only the slightest fear of heavy-handed retribution from a largely disinterested, clueless government and its associated agencies. In this space exists the potential – both good and bad – for the shaping of public perception, particularly on many thorny issues that traditional media dare not touch. It is also here that the greatest potential exists for measurably changing a person’s opinion ...

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Hacking is painfully easy: Anybody can be you!

Having taken the day off, I was at home sound asleep. The phone rang around 10am. I did not bother to pick it up. It stopped ringing and I became half aware that it was received by our maid. What completely took me by surprise and made me leap towards full consciousness was her conversation with the other person on the line. This is what I heard her saying: “There is no one at home right now apart from chotay sahib. Choti bibi is in her room sleeping. Baray sahib left in the morning to drop chotay miyan and hasn’t come back yet.” I ...

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How technology in Pakistan should be used safely

The public-private debate in Pakistan is a hard creature to get a handle on. Being a Pakistani male, when I was approached by Take Back the Tech — a Bytes for All Pakistan initiative locally — to develop a set of comic strips for their campaign focused on how concepts of public and private affect ICTs and violence against women, I was initially stumped.  I was told the debate was a wide one, including right to privacy, lines between private and public in online spaces, state surveillance, sexting and more. I wanted to focus on this with an emphasis on technology, media (especially the online space) ...

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Cyber crime in Pakistan: Serious threat but no laws!

Cyber crime is the one of the biggest threats all over the world. Almost all countries, including developing African countries, are combating these threats with extreme legal measures. They have completed their legislation and now there are laws to tackle cyber criminals. Unfortunately Pakistan is one of the few countries where cyber crime laws are still in the pipeline waiting for implementation. It is certainly not as if we don’t face that many cyber crimes here; In fact, Pakistan is currently facing the following types of it: Financial crimes Cyber pornography Sale of illegal articles Online gambling Intellectual property crimes Email spoofing Cyber stalking Forgery Unauthorised access to computer systems\networks Theft of ...

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Giving village children a fighting chance

I am from a village in rural Punjab, Pakistan. Like most other villages, my village lacks proper infrastructure. Poor people live in houses built with mud and only the rich live in huge mansions. Children of the rich go to private schools in the city, but the poor parents cannot even afford the heavily subsidised government schools. They are left with no other choice but to educate their children in the village school. Visiting my village as a child, I remember hearing about the experiences of students in the village school. As you might or might not know, schools in villages have ...

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Banning YouTube: Why doesn’t the PTA need to justify its actions?

The advent of the internet has been one of the feats of modern civilisation, and its ubiquity, a defining feature of the 21st century. The war on terror, the European debt crisis, and our current prime minister may in time become footnotes in history, but the internet can only become more central to the fabric of human society. It has already sparked globalisation’s second great unbundling – cheap communications allowing firms to become truly multinational. Today, it is not just producers and consumers who can be geographically distant; production itself has fragmented across transnational supply chains, so that businesses can put ...

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Pakistan vs India: Who’s the better hacker?

The kids were probably bored at the other side of the border. August 15 was approaching; patriotism was burning up like inferno in their passionate hearts. Their country’s pride was at stake, they had to do something to make Bharat proud. And what better way to accomplish this feat than hacking a bunch of Pakistani websites? ‘Congratulations Bhai Sahab…yeh Bharat Ratna Apka hua…Taalian!’ The Pakistanis on the other side of the border are no less patriotic. They have been on these hacking sprees on and off, with the same zeal and fervour. For these Indian and Pakistani kids, cyber space is the ...

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