YouTube ban

Published: October 4, 2012
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While PTA has said it will not lift the ban till video is removed from YouTube, a solution needs to be worked out.

While PTA has said it will not lift the ban till video is removed from YouTube, a solution needs to be worked out.

The blockade of the popular video-sharing website, YouTube, which was shut down on September 17 to prevent access to the blasphemous video, has now entered its third week. Given the violence seen in the country over the derogatory video, the government’s orders, imposed through the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), are not impossible to understand. But with PTA officials quoted as saying that the ban could last indefinitely, the situation perhaps, needs to be reviewed. Beyond providing entertainment, YouTube is also widely used for educational and communication purposes. The lack of access to it affects many, with the clumsy  ‘wall’ put up by the PTA also disrupting Android mobile phone services run by Google.

Despite talks held between Google and the government, the former has reportedly declined to block the offending video in Pakistan, since there is no agreement that could facilitate such an action. The video has been removed from public viewing domains in a host of other countries, including Egypt, India, Libya, Malaysia and Indonesia, with whom Google has agreements. Countries where major Google operation centres are based have also been granted a blockade when requested. Despite the absence of the required agreement with Google, its tough line with Pakistan still seems harsh given the obviously objectionable content of the video. Both sides have locked horns and a deadlock persists.

While the PTA has said it will not lift the ban till the video is removed from the website, a solution needs to be worked out. Right now, discs loaded with software to run proxy servers are selling like the proverbial hotcakes across cities. Others have, of course, downloaded and initiated their own programmes such as proxies and so on. The PTA, then, needs to consider what good is being achieved through the ban and reach a decision keeping this in view, while working out an arrangement for a deal with Google to prevent the repetition of a similar sequence of events at any time in the future.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Modassar Ali
    Oct 4, 2012 - 10:25PM

    I really cant understand what kind of blockage is it? just by replacing the http with https it is working perfectly. Hell with this kind of so called “ban”?

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  • Ali
    Oct 4, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @Modassar: Come on dude, dont give them ideas

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  • Muhammad Ishaq
    Oct 4, 2012 - 11:38PM

    hahahaha @Modassar: thanks for the suggestion but thts also blocked at my network connection :)Recommend

  • waqas
    Oct 5, 2012 - 12:15AM

    ha. ban lifted…Thanks Tribune

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  • gp65
    Oct 5, 2012 - 1:15AM

    “Despite talks held between Google and the government, the former has reportedly declined to block the offending video in Pakistan, since there is no agreement that could facilitate such an action. The video has been removed from public viewing domains in a host of other countries, including Egypt, India, Libya, Malaysia and Indonesia, with whom Google has agreements.”

    Deliberately misleading. The other countries have a localised youtube implementation which Pakistan does not. So the video has been removed from the Indian/ Egyptian/ Saudi /Indonesian/ Brazilian implementation of youtube. Since Pakistan does not have a local implementationn, the only way to block access for Pakistan is to remove it from its US implementation. Since the video isn’t against US laws, youtube is unable to facilitate Pakistan in the matter.

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  • Modassar Ali
    Oct 5, 2012 - 3:58AM

    @ali

    its not an idea. its reality that is surely bitter than imagined.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 5, 2012 - 3:59AM

    @gp65. Good point — it’s disappointing that the Editor apparently doesn’t read his own newspaper which has a nice article explaining exactly why Google was preventing from granting Pakistan’s request.

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  • Modassar Ali
    Oct 5, 2012 - 4:00AM

    @ muhammad ishaq

    bro i dont know what the heck is up with your network connection. its working perfectly at my place and so is the case with my contacts.

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  • irfan tusneem
    Oct 5, 2012 - 6:59AM

    It is not technically difficult to only block the URL of the video. Mobile native apps might be a bit more challenging.

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  • dfbkjdf
    Oct 5, 2012 - 11:07AM

    The trouble is that most Pakistanis including those in office think rules are always changeable if you cry enough. That may be how things work here but we should not expect the same disregard for rules and systems from everyone else. Google has already explained why it cannot do anything for Pakistan (as other comments have pointed out). Their explanation is satisfactory and there is no need to keep blocking the website.

    We have to wait till Google expands its operations to a localised version for Pakistan. That will take time. And let me point that when that happens that will probably mean the government and I bet the military will be constantly demanding videos be blocked when they don’t like any criticism. Take the case of Brazil for example; that’s what their government is doing. Be careful what you wish for.

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  • zaman khan
    Oct 5, 2012 - 1:15PM

    congratulations on writing such a bold editorial. in banning you tube pakistan has block the path to knwoledge,also. ban is self inflicted injury. in youtube ‘there is more good and less bad’ban should be lifted immediately.

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  • A Pakistani
    Oct 5, 2012 - 3:40PM

    What I don’t get is why the objectionable link can’t be blocked on YouTube by PTA instead of blocking the whole site – and most of Android services with it. Stupid PTA. Weren’t these the geniuses who brought down half the internet backbone in the Eastern hemisphere when they changed a routing table entry a couple of years ago?

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  • Asif roy
    Oct 5, 2012 - 4:28PM

    According to my self Government should blocked the VIDEO not the YOU TUBE

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  • Hizzam1
    Oct 6, 2012 - 1:50PM

    banning Youtube is not gonna solve anything ..instead it will worsen the situation ..the Govt of Pakistan should sign that agreement or whatever that is with youtube and then it should be removed..this matter should be dealt with diplomacy not with aggression ..Youtube is not just for entertainment .it’s very educational as well ..i was learning computer programming from Youtube untill they banned it now i don’t have anything useful to do on the internet then waste time on Facebook ..

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  • Arsal
    Oct 9, 2012 - 11:16AM

    Well look 70% of people uses internet becuz of youtube so thats why youtube should be lifted reply with yes or noRecommend

  • Arsal
    Oct 9, 2012 - 11:18AM

    i am bored when youtube is bannedRecommend

  • Tahir
    Oct 9, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Come on guys! It’s useless to argue. Just download or buy proxies and enjoy your life. :)

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  • Adnan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 6:22PM

    Being a Pakistani and more importantly being a Muslim of-course our first priority is our Holy Prophet(S.A.W) no one is greater thn him for us so better to block all google services in Pakistan except android phone although google contain many educational material for us but there are many other site. Its my of view i don’t know you ppl agree with me or not.

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  • Aliya
    Oct 10, 2012 - 8:09PM

    I think its not important to unban youtube. you can use other sites as well in order to gain learning material etc. Most of the guys are feeling bored thats why ther are stressing to open it. Even if we can access it using proxies but i think v shouldnt use it as if movie trailer is still there. why they cant just remove that trailer in order to get the billion user back to website. they have some reasons behind and believe me no especial knowledge v r missing by not using you tube. every important topic has alternate video links only v have to search some more minutes. So i m still on point to “Not Unban youtube until they remove the movie” and if they dont then okay v can makeup things without you tube.

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  • Adnan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Yeah it’s not important to lift ban on YouTube but it’s very important to banned all Google services in Pakistan. I don’t know why people feeling bored without YouTube. YouTube is nothing but just an dirty insect. And if we people talk about videos and educational material thn all this stuff availabl on torrent sites for free so please don’t post such type of messages that shows “youtube is our weakness” no it is not. Our love for our Prophet is more than anyone and any thing. If our government even think to lift banned on YouTube I just call them looser. Please don’t lift banned on YouTube until they don’t agree to delete that videos on their site. Infect I’ll suggest to ban all Google services in Pakistan except their Smartphones

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