With TV Cut Off, Pakistanis Turn to the Web

Musharraf can’t keep people offline in newly tech-savvy country
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2007 2:07 AM CST

(Newser) – When Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency rule, he turned off all news outlets but his own, but couldn't stop Pakistanis from flocking to the Internet for independent news. The website of private news outfit GEO-TV was so flooded by traffic that the channel had to upgrade servers and remove non-text content to allow 500,000 simultaneous visitors, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Internet and cellphone use have boomed in recent years; said one observer, “People had become very used to knowing.” The president was the first to allow free media, and 60 channels have been born since he seized power. But technology now threatens his plans, as online news, blogs and even social networking sites have become key for organizing protests, petitions and other opposition to martial law.