When CPJ covered the Pakistani government's attempt to build a massive censorship system for the country's Internet in February, we noted a key problem with such huge blocking systems: they are, at heart, democratically unaccountable.
In Pakistan, the term "a war of words" can take on a menacing dimension beyond the metaphorical. Words--written, spoken, or reported--regularly land journalists in trouble, a very literal, physical sort of trouble. Reporters have become accustomed to being threatened, and over the years they've seen threats sometimes build to abductions, beatings, and even death. Such violence seldom comes without a string of prior warnings.
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