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Pakistani players: PTA appears to be censoring access


New concerns from Pakistani players have arisen that servers or server hosts have been secretly banning/blocking connections from Pakistan. However, it would also appear that the problem is more widespread than the VC:MP community.

On January 17, users on the PakGamers forum started a thread to complain about the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) blocking SA:MP (particularly Code5) servers and "irrelevant sites" that did not seem to fall under the PTA's standard anti-blasphemy rules:

The same day, other SA:MP players in Pakistan began reporting similar issues connecting to servers:

Players then reported some SA:MP servers appearing to be back up, but not others.

On February 5, during 0.4 Public Beta #3, Pakistani players began to report that they could not connect to the update or game servers for no known reason, which the development and testing team strongly believed and continues to believe to be the fault of ISP or governmental restrictions outside our control.

Yesterday, Los Santos Roleplay, a popular roleplay server in the SA:MP community, announced that it would be allowing VPN usage for players in Pakistan due to an apparent blockade by either Pakistani ISPs, the PTA and other government authorities, or both.

Given the pattern of connection issues to SA:MP and VC:MP servers from Pakistan, it is highly likely that any sudden issues connecting to servers is caused by IP, port, or traffic blocking by ISPs or the Pakistani government, and not a coordinated effort by numerous server and host owners.

Due to the situation at hand, here's what can be done:

* Developers and server owners are unable to help you. We cannot program VC:MP to circumvent these blockades as connections are being blocked to entire IP ranges.
* Pakistani players can email the PTA asking for further information and assistance. You can also play with a VPN, but please ask server admins before using VPNs, as they may also be seen as a method of ban evading, and may result in you being banned by server administrators themselves.
* Players outside of Pakistan should not experience any issues and should be able to play as usual.

Access to VRocker Hosting has been restored in Pakistan; the issue is currently being deemed resolved.


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