PTA clarifies but does not deny YouTube delay
ISLAMABAD: With reference to a story titled “YouTube not to be opened any time soon” published in daily The News on October 25, 2013, the official spokesman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has clarified that PTA blocks objectionable link/URL or websites on directions of the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC).
As for opening of video sharing platform “YouTube”, a series of meetings were held between PTA and Ministry of IT&T wherein different solutions to address the issue were identified. As part of one such solution, on the direction of MoIT, PTA has enhanced the capacity of its complaint handling system to 24/7. It is receiving all complaints on a 24/7 basis now including complaints on blasphemous content.
The spokesperson also said that PTA would continue to provide technical support to IMC on the issue of URL filtering as per practice and is committed to complying with all directions of the Government of Pakistan on blocking and unblocking of URLs. Further, the part of news item about an official of PTA expressing shock over the statement of MoIT is not correct and is denied.
Waseem Abbasi adds: The News stands by its story that contrary to the claims by the minister of state for information Technology Anusha Rehman, the government has not been able to devise any technological solution to filter or block blasphemous contents from YouTube.
The clarification does not contradict this fact. PTA’s complaint handling system had been there for many years and it had not been able to resolve the issue of preventing objectionable content. In fact, the government sources have told The News that there is still no mechanism to prevent re-loading of blasphemous videos by millions of YouTube users worldwide. Therefore, the statements of the minister about imminent YouTube re-opening have proven to be wrong, resulting in disillusionment for millions of Pakistani Internet users.