X Faces Prolonged Outage in Pakistan

In a concerning turn of events, X, formerly known as Twitter, has been experiencing intermittent disruptions in Pakistan since Saturday, February 17. Despite being restored briefly earlier today after a 36-hour blockade, the platform continued to face accessibility issues throughout Monday. Users in Pakistan resorted to accessing the microblogging website and its app via Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass the restrictions imposed by the authorities.

Silence from Authorities:

While the users grapple with the ongoing connectivity issues, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has remained conspicuously silent on the matter. Queries regarding the blockage of X have gone unanswered, leaving users and the public in the dark about the reasons behind the prolonged disruption.

NetBlocks Confirms Disruption:

Internet watchdog NetBlocks has also confirmed the disruption, revealing that X/Twitter has now been restricted in Pakistan for over 48 hours. NetBlocks expressed concerns over the lack of a lawful basis for the measure, stating that the authorities have failed to provide justification for the restrictions. The watchdog highlighted the violation of the public’s fundamental right to free expression at a critical moment, pointing to mounting concerns over potential election fraud.

Election Fraud Concerns:

The disruption of X in Pakistan comes at a crucial time, raising suspicions about the motive behind the prolonged outage. NetBlocks specifically mentioned concerns over election fraud as a potential reason for the restrictions. The absence of an official explanation from the authorities adds to the uncertainty surrounding the situation.

User Response:

In response to the ongoing blockade, frustrated users have turned to VPNs to access the X platform, highlighting the resilience of individuals in the face of internet censorship. The use of VPNs not only reflects the determination of users to stay connected but also underscores the limitations of attempts to restrict access to information.

As X, formerly Twitter, grapples with a prolonged outage in Pakistan, concerns over the freedom of expression and potential interference in democratic processes continue to mount. The silence from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority further complicates the situation, leaving users and the public with unanswered questions. The disruption serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by internet censorship and the importance of preserving open communication channels in the digital age.

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