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Pakistan: Partial Block of Youtube

Categories: Pakistan


The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority [1] (PTA) has directed (see above) the country's ISPs to block access [2] to the videos sharing website YouTube [3] for allegedly featuring a blasphemous video [4].

However, and according to the Pakistani “Don’t Block The Blog” [5] there are two theories that could explain PTA's recent move to ban YouTube: vote rigging [6] videos showing alleged evidence [7] of election fraud in Karachi and a blasphemous video [4] disgracing Prophet Mohammed.

pakistan Blockpage of Youtube [8]

Pakistan blockpage (Source: National Blockpages Gallery [8] via Don’t Block The Blog [5])

Some Pakistan ISPs are urging [9] their customers to write to Youtube to remove the objectionable movie:

Dear Internet Users

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (www.pta.gov.pk)has directed all ISPs of the country to block access
to www.youtube.com web site for containing blasphemous web content/movies.

The site would remain blocked till further orders from PTA. Meanwhile, Internet users can write to
youtube.com to remove the objectionable web content/movies because this removal would enable
the authorities to order un-blocking of this web site.

The ban was originally supposed to be implemented on one video hosted on Youtube and three IP addresses that belong to the service, but it seems that the entire site was blocked by some ISP's [5]:

Since yesterday we all witnessed a domain wide blockade of all content from youtube.com and we generally had confirmed reports that this existed throughout out the country, only today did a kind gentleman shared with us screen captures of his computer showing the unblocked youtube website but the specific offending URL is censored from all TWA users. A bit of history all ISP’s in Pakistan connect through the FLAG backbone via the PTCL/PIE link but some ISP’s choose to go via the other bandwidth hub coming via TransWorld.

PIE sadly does not have the ability to enforce a URL specific block and is forced to employ an IP wide block hence we say the entire Youtube domain off limits to us, while TWA with its advanced filtering system can specifically block URL’s

For more information about the countries blocking access to Youtube-like websites and other web 2.0 applications, check out our Access Denied Map [10].