New York Times International cover story erased in Pakistan — quite literally

new york times story pic

It seems that Pakistan wasn’t too keen on letting its citizens read a New York Times cover story — one that suggested the Pakistani government was well aware that Osama Bin Laden was living there — and so they erased the story. Or, rather, what probably happened is the government forced New York Times to remove the story or else risk not publishing the paper in the country.

So, instead of picking up the newspaper and seeing a nice big story on the front page, the people were instead greeted with a blank space where it was supposed to be. The story, What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden, which was written by Carlotta Gall, who has been based out of Afghanistan since 2001 and has written extensively about the conflict there and the events in Pakistan.

In the article, Gall suggests that the ISI, who are Pakistan’s equivalent to CIA, not only knew about Bin Laden being in Pakistan but also provided shelter to him as well. Of course, there are always two sides to a story and this isn’t a political blog — so we won’t get into non-tech related politics. All I want to say is: damn, look at that censorship.

[via The Verge, image via @sherryrehman]

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  • Ashraf

    [@Mike S.] You said exactly what I was thinking but couldn’t put into words. The idea that NSA & co have gone above and beyond definitely plays a part into our anti-spying bias.

  • Mike S.

    [@Ashraf] At least in part, I think it’s a matter of moderation: there is a sense that the NSA has gone beyond (far beyond?) what is needed. I sensed this immediately after 9-11 but there was no talking moderation at the time, given the events. People are now realizing what has been wrought. And technology only makes matters all the more possible, and will continue to do so, at an alarming rate, in the future. Unfortunately, law is always behind technology.

  • Ashraf

    [@Mike S.] You are right; there is at least some justification for NSA and co actions. Admittedly, we do tend to take an anti-spying and anti-censorship stance here on dotTech. Why? Not sure. Maybe it is because that is where the bias of our writers (myself included) is. Or maybe that is just how “techies” tend to be. Who knows.

  • Mike S.

    [@Ashraf] Thank you for understanding what I was trying to aim at.

    I do not man to defend the pendulum swing with the NSA’s activities in recent years (as well as the less well-documented actions of other intelligence agencies–the NSA certainly is not alone). For heavens sake, it now is being reported that even former U.S. President Carter sends communications via written hard mail, including to heads of state, given his belief that the NSA monitors him. (!!)

    But, at the same time, even there, there is an understandable motivation to the actions–to try to prevent terrorism and another 9-11. I have a difficult time accepting the taking of innocent lives on the other side, and certainly without a questioning of that just as one might question the preventative steps that have been undertaken.

  • Ashraf

    [@Mike S.] This is a much more controversial and not-tech-related topic and I wanted to tone it down before people came with a pitch fork up our asses, like they always do.

    Plus, we literally run stories from both sides about CIA and NSA when they break as opposed to just one.

    Nonetheless, I see your point. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll talk to my writers about being a bit more balanced in ALL stories.

  • Mike S.

    “Of course, there are always two sides to a story . . . .”

    An interesting comment, reporting on Pakistan’s ISI and its purported knowledge about Osama Bin Laden and assistance to him. Journalistically, do you also add this comment to your blog articles reporting on the U.S.’ CIA and NSA?