Access restored: PTA reverses block on IMDb after public outcry

Site had been first blocked on November 19, and opened on Friday. The reason for blocking was not immediately clear.

Farooq Baloch November 22, 2013
IMDb is a prominent source of reliable news and box office reports on films, TV programs. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The government has reversed a ban on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a widely used online entertainment news portal and movie database.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson Khurram Mehran confirmed on Friday that a block on the website had been reversed, just days after it went into effect.

Sources within the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) also confirmed a fresh notification from PTA that asked ISPs to unblock the website.

They added that the PTA, on November 19, issued a notification asking ISPs to block the website, per a decision taken by the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC).

ISPs received numerous complaints from users, the raised the issue with the PTA over the block of an information database website. Another notification was then circulated on Friday that reversed the notification of November 19.

When asked why the site was blocked, the sources said they could only guess since IMDb contains millions of links.

Responding to complaints that the site was still inaccessible for some users, sources at local ISPs said that after the notification had been received, blocks were being removed and that the site would soon be accessible by all users.

The portal is ranked number 7 on the “Top 10: Must-know Entertainment Websites” by With 4.7 million fans on its Facebook page and a massive 995,279 followers on Twitter, the website is widely viewed across the globe. Termed as “the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content” on the website, IMDb has a great following here in Pakistan, as well.


Jonathan | 10 years ago | Reply

I'm tired of people trying to control other people. I'm tired of people withholding access to information from other people. Just let people be free and LIVE.

Jonathan | 10 years ago | Reply

Tired of people trying to control other people. Tired of people withholding access to information from other people. Let people be free already and LIVE.

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