Playstation Network, Xbox Live and GameRanger Banned in Pakistan

Playstation Network, Xbox Live and GameRanger are added to the list of Networks and Sites banned in Pakistan. Earlier today, GamerRangers tweeted that Pakistan is blocking GameRanger, Xbox Live and Playstation Network.

This caused a big uproar in Pakistan. Gamers from all over Pakistan are furious at PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) for blocking these services. GameRanger being one of the largest PC Multiplayer gaming providers after Garena and Steam in Pakistan.

The ban was noticed a couple of days ago, when the Xbox 360 and Xbox One users could not connect to Xbox Live . After that, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 users failed to connect as well not to mention GameRanger players who are now getting an assorted series of Firewall errors. For some users, the error did not occur but others failed to connect to their gaming networks.

The heart of the problem arose from an automated security censor system installed at the Pakistan Internet Exchange. The system uses a series of Deep Packet Inspection techniques to counter security-circumvention tools such as VPNs. Problem is that while it can effortlessly tell the White traffic (legal) from the Black (illegal) , it makes an absolute mess with Grey Traffic. Complicated stuff. A few days, a couple of other sites were automatically banned too. The sites were Verge and Gizmodo.

Never underestimate the power of social networking. Gamers all over the country have taken to social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make their voice heard. While it appears almost certain that the block will be lifted eventually, it is still an alarming state of affairs. Going without gaming for a couple of days might not be something the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority would care about but I am sure the gamers would have a completely different opinion. Not to mention that the system itself is very alarming. If it can block services as big as the Playstation Network and Xbox Live without any consequence, what is there to stop it from permanently blocking small services.

Hopefully everything is resolved soon.

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
Follow him on Twitter

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