YouTube, the world’s largest video streaming website owned by Google Inc., the access to which had been restricted by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in September 2012, had been unblocked for a few hours by some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Pakistan, earlier today.
Back in September, 2012, in a protest against an anti-Islamic short clip from a two hour long produced film that went viral on the video streaming giant, Pakistan’s IT ministry directed PTA to block access to YouTube all across the country.
A local News channel reported that today, after a three-week non stop ban on YouTube, users reported their access to the website for a short span of time. The Ministry of Information Technology of Pakistan, however, denied any order to re-open YouTube in Pakistan.
Despite many requests by the Pakistani government to block the video or take it off the web, Google did not comply accordingly and as a result, the video-sharing site has been blocked for almost three weeks now in Pakistan.
“Unlike Google, Facebook had removed the blasphemous content from its website for users in Pakistan and was hence unblocked after two weeks in 2010. Google, however, has decided otherwise and this is why it will remain blocked until it acts,” A PTI official said.
It has also been cautioned by PTA that if Google wanted to retain its customers in Pakistan, compliance to the local government’s order is important.
According to an IT ministry official, restoration of YouTube will not take place in Pakistan until the anti-Islamic video is taken off or blocked by YouTube – internationally or at least in Pakistan.
The Director General PTA added that they are investigating the matter and an appropriate action will be taken against ISPs that unblocked YouTube without any direction from the IT ministry.
Among the Muslim countries that requested YouTube and Google to block access to the video, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sudan, and Pakistan put a complete block on the video streaming giant following their failure to honor the requests.