Pakistan Mobile Operators Find List of 1,695 Banned Text Messaging Terms Confusing

Paul Lilly

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has deemed it inappropriate to text the word "quickie." It's just one of 1,695 supposedly 'obscene' words or terms Pakistan is trying to censor from text messages, but that Pakistan's mobile operators are refusing to ban until they receive clarification from the PTA. Other terms on the list include "fairy," "monkey crotch," "idiot," "deeper," and "no sex."

Pakistan's mobile operators were given seven days to implement the text messaging ban after receiving the full list on November 14, according to an AFP report . Easier said than done.

"Obviously there are concerns and we have some reservations," Omar Manzur, a spokesman for Mobilink, the biggest telecom operating in Pakistan, told AFP.

Mobilink is in no rush to implement the goofy ban and will only do so "after mutual agreement" has been reached between it and the PTA. Other than the obvious concern of censorship, Pakistan telecoms also fear that trying to filter out nearly 1,700 terms could have an adverse affect on the quality of network services and could prove a pain in the backside for subscribers who have their messages nixed for using the wrong words, intentional or otherwise.

A letter sent out to telecoms with the list of banned words justified the move and said it was legal under the Pakistan Telecommunication Act of 1996 in which people are not allowed to send "false, fabricated, indecent, or obscene" messages, AFP reports.

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