From the BBC: Pakistanâ€™s Attempt to Block YouTube Causes Two-Hour Global Site Blackout
Pakistan has relented and lifted their ban of the media giant, YouTube.
Pakistan said Tuesday that it has lifted a ban on YouTube after the website removed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, adding that an earlier worldwide outage sparked by its actions was unintentional.
Telecommunications officials told AFP that the popular website was up and running again in the conservative Muslim nation after YouTube removed “highly profane and sacrilegious footage” that was offensive to Islam.
“We have issued instructions to all Internet service providers that YouTube should be unblocked as the specific content has been removed by the website,” Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) spokesman Khurram Mehran told AFP.
YouTube was not immediately available to confirm whether it had removed the material, which the PTA said was controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that were republished by Danish newspapers earlier this month.
So, why did Pakistan block YouTube and inadvertently bollock up a good deal of Asia’s internet traffic on Sunday? Some say it was Mohammed Cartoons like this:
Some in Pakistan say it was the Musharraf government preventing local television coverage of voter fraud being broadcast around the world.
Some Pakistani users have expressed doubts over the official reason for Pakistan’s YouTube ban, saying that authorities wanted to block access to footage of alleged rigging in last week’s parliamentary elections.
President Pervez Musharraf’s allies lost heavily to opposition parties in the polls, which were preceded by allegations of massive vote fraud.
“Some Internet users are sceptical that the government banned YouTube because it contained clips from a private television station which showed election rigging,” said Wahaj us Siraj, chief of the Pakistan Internet Service Providers Association.
Internet user Sajid Ali said the ban was unnecessary because Muslims in Pakistan would not want to access blasphemous material anyway.
“No Muslim would want to view the blasphemous content on any website. The government is really disturbed over its defeat in elections and afraid of critical videos and remarks on YouTube,” Ali, a banker, told AFP.
In any case, the outage highlights governments ability to censure internet content. A warning for us all and certainly a wake-up for internet content providers.