YouTube, the popular video sharing website has been unblocked in Pakistan
YouTube, the video-sharing network owned by Google has been banned in Pakistan since September 2012 after the search engine giant refused to take down the movie Innocence of Muslims.
The movie was considered blasphemous and insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and ignited international protests. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Google to remove the video from YouTube. Given the court’s order, Pakistan has no more reason to continue to block the video-sharing site.
Since the censorship of YouTube, the Pakistani government received a growing demand to lift the ban on the service. There had been several occasion when the country’s officials stated that the government would lift the ban soon.
On August 2013, Pakistan’s officials indicated that the government will soon lift its ban on YouTube. Its plan was to provide users with limited access on the site by putting a URL blocker to monitor sensitive issues that could hurt local sentiments. That report did not happen.
Again on March 4, 2014, the chairman of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) announced that it will soon remove the ban on YouTube. In fact, the agency was considering to lift the restriction the following Monday (March 10). As expected, YouTube was still blocked for months.
Reason why Pakistan continues to ban YouTube
Earlier this month, a Pakistani official stated that YouTube will remained blocked indefinitely citing the reason that experts failed to find measures to filter content that are considered blasphemous and offensive.
Pakistan’s Minister of Anusha Rehman stated, “[The] matter was reviewed several times but the situation effectively remains the same.”
Another senior government official emphasized that Pakistan does not want to take any chances and wants to ensure that no offensive content would remain view-able in the country after unblocking YouTube.
“So far no tool or solution has been found which can totally block offensive content, that is why YouTube remains blocked and it will remain so indefinitely,” according to the official.
Pakistan seemed lifted the ban on YouTube
Today, it appears that Pakistan found a solution to filter contents considered blasphemous or offensive. ValueWalk found that YouTube is already accessible in the country.
Twitter users are saying that YouTube is now working in Pakistan. Some people in the country told us that they were able to access the website without the proxies.
It is uncertain whether the ban on YouTube was temporarily or permanently lifted by the Pakistani Government. The PTA has not released any official statement regarding the matter.
How Twitter is reacting to it?
So atlast youtube is unblocked in Pakistan.
— Faraz Faruqui (@farazfaruqui) February 25, 2015
— Sheeraz Raza (@SheerazRaza) February 25, 2015
I just found out that Youtube got unblocked in Pakistan exactly 1 hour before Brit Awards. This was all fate!
— Myra (@myra_tomlinson) February 25, 2015
Just now got to know that YouTube is unblocked in Pakistan yaya????????
— Alina (@AlinaHussain7) February 25, 2015