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Pakistan bans, then unblocks, Wikipedia amid digital freedom fight

Government's internet policy could have profound economic effects: experts

Pakistan briefly sought to ban Wikipedia before intervention from the top. Activists say the move is part of a larger pattern of trying to control the internet. (Source photos by AP and Yuki Kohara)

ISLAMABAD -- A short-lived ban on Wikipedia in Pakistan has highlighted authorities' on-again, off-again efforts to restrict access to the internet -- a habit that experts say undermines the country's nascent knowledge economy.

Over the weekend, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned the crowdsourced encyclopedia for not removing content that was deemed sacrilegious. After digital rights activists and global watchdogs condemned the move, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday night ordered the site to be unblocked.

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