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YouTube blocked in Pakistan, Bangladesh over controversial movie trailer

YouTube blocked in Pakistan, Bangladesh over controversial movie trailer

The government in Pakistan said it had asked Google to block the offensive video

Article comments

Pakistan and Bangladesh have ordered a block on YouTube in their countries, in protest against Google's reluctance to block a controversial movie trailer that mocks the Prophet Muhammad on the video-sharing site.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered the blocking of YouTube late Monday, after YouTube refused to block the video at the request of the government, the press secretary to the prime minister, Shafqat Jalil, said on phone on Tuesday.

Bangladesh also decided to block YouTube temporarily after its requests to Google to block the controversial trailer in the country did not get a response, a spokesman for the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said. "Once the offensive video is removed or blocked, we will restore the YouTube site in our country," he said.

One businessman complained on BTRC's Facebook page that his business was affected by the block on YouTube, but other comments were generally supportive of the decision of the government.

Pakistani networks blocked YouTube in the country from late Monday after receiving the prime minister's orders, a spokesman for the telecom regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said on Tuesday.

The orders by the Pakistani government follow an order by the country's Supreme Court on Monday, ordering the PTA to block all links to the "offending material" on YouTube or any other website. The court did not however order the block of the entire YouTube site.

PTA said on Monday that it had blocked over 650 URLs on YouTube, besides links on other websites, indicating the proliferation of copycat videos and commentaries relating to the trailer on the Internet.

So far, Google has blocked the trailer in five countries: Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Although the company finds that the trailer is clearly within its guidelines and so will stay on YouTube, it has restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia.

The trailer was also blocked in Libya and Egypt given the very sensitive situations in these two countries, Google said last week. The US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed last week when a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was stormed by gunmen.

The trailer has led to protests at US embassies and consulates in various countries including Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Civil rights organisations such as Bytes for All, Pakistan are worried that the cutting off of communications channels, limiting access to information platforms, and other steps that curtail free expression could lead to a curb on the voices of individuals by politicians.

"Time and time again, we have witnessed in the past how censorship and filtering backed by religious reasons has eventually served political interests only," the organisation said in a statement on Tuesday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said last week that the US government did not have anything to do with the video, but that the US does not and cannot stop individual citizens from expressing their views.

The video was filmed in the US by a person, or people, whose identity has yet to be established, according to some reports.

Google responded to requests for comment on the block of YouTube by the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh with a brief statement. "We have received information from users that they cannot get access to YouTube in Pakistan and Bangladesh. We have checked our networks and there is nothing wrong on our side," it said in a statement. A Google spokeswoman also noted that YouTube isn't localized in Bangladesh.

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  • Jacka I dont get one thing what is the point of banning a youtube in pakistan it is a platform ofinformation and as a user i know what is worth watching and what is not i am really sad what our stupid PM decidedwhy wud i watch as a muslim such kind of videos which is against my religion s i wud love to make a request to the government ofPakistan stop taking the money from west too if u have really self respect in you mother fuckerss
  • Islam the censorship religion These people put a mythological figure before freedom of speech No wonder progress have halted on these areas of the worldSad to see our fellow human being being left behind Later on they will complain how come the West is so rich and were so poor They might be exploiting us Oh wait theyre already saying itIslam needs to reinvent itself in order to allow its people to move forward in this globalized world to reap the profits of globalization just as much as we doAnd no we the West were not to blame for your backwardness you the Muslim people are actively choosing to be left behind by blocking freedom of speech in the name of your religious dogmas Keep that in mind and dont blame us for your lack of human progress later on
  • Rahat Why arent we protesting against the corruption thats running within We are pure gene of human stupidity We need to evolve No protest remains a protest when it hits ones free will I havent watched the video for once coz hearing about it was enough for me Youtube didnt uploaded the video neither they have produced it They didnt even distributed it They got played too Its not like that they havent taken any initiative afterwards They have already blocked out the video and trailer over different muslimnon muslim countries Bangladesh has already accused google for such distribution too Seriously Its a massive search engine do they even know how the internet works U upload one file today and within hour it will get distributed among millions then billions We have already blocked the google play market too as they use youtube links to preview their apps Now what excuse is there for this
  • Nirob This is so stupid Its like using a bazooka for killing a mosquito Internet is full of anti islamic reviews But i dont see people going around door to door or sites to sites to block em up People who needs or want to be anti-islamic will alwayz do and will find a way to do it Blocking sites and apps are just violating ones current free-will If youtube can be banned today for religious views then tomorrow they will use it as political implementation This is just simply sad and pure deniability for ones pure freedom Finally it will get filtered and thus the corruption and manipulation of this media will begin soon Now Google play is being banned for using youtube links plus for not wanting to remove the database upon the case Seriously billions of videos and articles are there over net posted directly to anti-islam People who need to believe it will do anyway It is just a fcking retarded step
  • Revert Ross I agree brother Sohailthey should respect muslims views and take this off once af for all At least Bing is now getting more users
  • Sohail Although the video is under the guideline but yuotube should also understand the matter of sensitivity in muslim countries and should ban the videos to all muslim countries
  • Shahrukh Alam Yeahbut still thats one way we Bangladeshis can show how serious we are about this matterAfter allthe protests carried out here were quite peaceful
  • Mahir Ashraf I believe youtube should be unbanned in bangladesh 1 Youtubes a free-will site everyone has the right to state whatever they want as long as it doesnt violate the copyright law2 The video should be banned country-wide not the entire channel3 Peaceful protests can also be broadcasted via youtube4 Youtube is just a media like other channels - so its upon an individuals choice what he watches5 There are other sites where the video can be shared as well like Dailymotion or metacafe So I blocking Youtube was totally a wrong resolution
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