Postcard from... Islamabad
Tuesday 30 October 2012
YouTube – which, of course, brought you Gangnam Style, Justin Bieber and innumerable clips of cats flushing toilets – has been blocked in Pakistan since 17 September, when riots swept major cities.
The unrest was triggered by a short trailer for the film The Innocence of Muslims. Criticising Islam and the Prophet Mohamed, it caused violent protests across the Muslim world in which scores were killed. In Karachi, at least 25 died and six cinemas were burnt to the ground.
Acting on a Supreme Court order, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) began to block links to the video. But it was uploaded on YouTube so many times that their attempts were futile. The government demanded that Google block the clip from being accessed. It refused, saying that it did not have an agreement with Pakistan for such a block.
Access to the video has been restricted in countries such as Egypt, Libya, Indonesia, Malaysia and India, where agreements exist.
The response from Pakistan was to ban the website until "blasphemous content" is removed. Sudan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Iran implemented similar blanket bans of YouTube. The deadlock has lasted over a month.
While PTA officials originally said the ban could go on indefinitely, the Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, has hinted that YouTube could reopen, minus the controversial content. Its return will be welcomed – and not just for clips of people falling over. Schools, businesses and universities all use the website.
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 3 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 4 News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Turkey duped the US, and Isis reaps rewards
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...
£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...
£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...