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Thread: No reason to keep YouTube blocked, PTA tells SC

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  1. #1
    Member Latif's Avatar
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    Pakistan Bahrain

    No reason to keep YouTube blocked, PTA tells SC

    ISLAMABAD: Even though the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) acknowledges that Google has made it possible for the Pakistani government to ask for the removal of objectionable videos from YouTube, the site’s Urdu version still remains largely inaccessible inside the country.

    The PTA told the Supreme Court on Saturday that YouTube was blocked because it was not possible to remove or block an offensive video from the website without blocking the entire site.

    In a report, submitted to the court through PTA Direc*tor Law Mohammad Khur*ram Siddiqui, the regulator claimed that it was simply complying with the SC order of Sept 17 2012, where it had “direct[ed] the Chair*man PTA to immediately block the offending material”.

    The update claimed that at the time, it was not possible to block access to the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ clip — that caused an uproar in the Muslim world — without blocking the website’s IP address, which meant cutting all access to YouTube.

    The Supreme Court is currently hearing a petition, moved by Barrister Zafarullah Khan, seeking the unbanning of the popular video-sharing website.

    The PTA report conceded that Google, which owns YouTube, had launched a version of the site localised specifically for Pakistan on Jan 12, 2016. However, since the PTA’s ban on the site remains in place, most Internet users in the country have not been able to access youtube.com.pk without using secure (https) protocols or VPNs/proxies.

    PTA said that Google and PTA had both verified that this version of the website does not contain any known copies of the offending material. Nevertheless, if any copy appeared on the website in the future, Google has “provided an online web process through which requests for blocking access [to] the offending material can be made by PTA to Google directly and Google/YouTube will accordingly restrict access to the said offending material for users within Pakistan”.

    After the launch of the localised website, there was no reason to block YouTube’s IP anymore, the report stated, adding that the website “may now be accessed by Internet users in Pakistan”.

    PTA has yet to issue a formal notification regarding the unbanning of YouTube.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Greenstar's Avatar
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    Pakistan United States

    Re: No reason to keep YouTube blocked, PTA tells SC

    No reason left to ban it now.

  3. #3
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    Pakistan Pakistan

    Re: No reason to keep YouTube blocked, PTA tells SC

    YouTube to be unblocked within 48 hours: PTA

    ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Information Technology on Monday issued a directive to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to restore YouTube service within 48 hours.

    The Ministry of Information Technology Spokesman Sagheer Anwar Wattoo and PTA officials confirmed that the directive has been issued.

    The service is still not accessible on some internet service providers without the use of a secure (https) protocol or VPN/proxy, which means the website remains blocked for the time being.

    The Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited welcomed the move by posting a photo to its official Facebook page:

    PTA officials said all arrangements for unblocking YouTube are complete and all standard operating procedures have been checked. The officials claimed all blasphemous content had been blocked on the localised version of YouTube.

    The IT ministry, PTA, Ministry of Religious Affairs and other agencies who were part of a committee formed to tackle the issue were informed that the content has been removed along with Google's cooperation.

    PTA Spokesman Khurram Mehran earlier confirmed the Google had launched a localised version of YouTube in Pakistan which did not feature any of the controversial content.

    In reply to a Supreme Court petition on the YouTube ban, PTA said that Google and PTA had both verified that this version of the website does not contain any known copies of the offending material.

    If any copy appears on the website in the future, Google has "provided an online web process through which requests for blocking access [to] the offending material can be made by PTA to Google directly and Google/YouTube will accordingly restrict access to the said offending material for users within Pakistan", the PTA said.

    The PTA acknowledged that Google has made it possible for the Pakistani government to ask for the removal of objectionable videos from YouTube.

    YouTube was initially blocked in Pakistan on September 18, 2012, after violent protests broke out all over the country in reaction to a blasphemous film uploaded on the website’s servers that outraged Muslims all across the world.

    The ban was lifted in early 2013, but only lasted for a few hours after which the website was again officially inaccessible to Pakistani users.

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