PTA blocks youtube.com -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTA blocks youtube.com

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) ordered ISPs in the country to block access to a popular video-sharing website, youtube.com, all over the country on Friday.

According to an official notification sent out by the PTA to major ISPs, the ban was supposed to be imposed on a specific URL, featuring a 04:58-minute-long trailer from Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ controversial anti-Islam movie. The video had been uploaded to the website on January 28, 2008, and had remained largely unnoticed by the internet-savvy community in Pakistan.

Local ISPs went a step ahead, however, and blocked the entire youtube.com domain. The delayed PTA response to the January 28 video, coupled with the domain block, and the fact that everything else related to Geert Wilders is still available all over the internet, sparked speculation on mailing lists and blogs, and people wondered whether the youtube.com blackout was connected to some other videos that had been uploaded to the site on Thursday. These videos implicated a certain political party in “election rigging” and showed party activists stamping ballot papers en masse.

ISPs have however, denied these reports, and in emails sent out to subscribers, officials from these companies have stuck with the PTA’s version of events. Some have even asked users to write to the youtube.com administrators to “remove the objectionable web content/movies because this removal would enable the authorities to order un-blocking of this website.”

Source: The News
Date:2/23/2008