Access restored: PTA reverses block on IMDb after public outcry

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

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.

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Reader Comments (15)

  • Arsal
    Nov 22, 2013 - 8:13PM

    Thanks ET for raising this issue feeling happyRecommend

  • Usama Bin Ahmed
    Nov 22, 2013 - 8:34PM

    Finally a sigh of relief .. !


  • Moiz Omar
    Nov 22, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Why was it even blocked in the first place? Also please unblock YouTube already. I can still bypass the block, but YouTube would easier to get to without the block.


  • Umais Bin Sajjad
    Nov 22, 2013 - 10:09PM

    Acting like kids, ban-unban-ban-unban…..Recommend

  • Ali S
    Nov 22, 2013 - 11:44PM

    Good. Now about time the ISPs also push for unblocking YouTube


  • oton
    Nov 23, 2013 - 12:12AM

    govt should unblock youtube!


  • farah
    Nov 23, 2013 - 12:24AM

    Please people, cry about youtube as well!!!


  • Long Time Reader
    Nov 23, 2013 - 12:40AM

    How about unblocking, a music website with charts and streaming? Nothing immoral there, the country needs to tell PTA that they cannot decide what websites are right for us to visit and what aren’t.


  • Nov 23, 2013 - 1:04AM

    Outcry works folks, press coverage also. Thanks Express Tribune for raising the issue!Recommend

  • Free
    Nov 23, 2013 - 9:55AM



    Nov 23, 2013 - 1:05PM

    what about the public outcry over banning of youtube? when will someone take notice of that?!?!


  • Alina
    Nov 23, 2013 - 1:44PM

    I’ve never been more happy..Recommend

  • BraveWiki
    Nov 23, 2013 - 8:26PM

    Dear Long Time Reader, working fine on my side may be you need to change your DNS. :)


  • Jonathan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:32PM

    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.


  • Jonathan
    Nov 25, 2013 - 9:34PM

    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.


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