YouTube case referred to LHC CJ for larger bench
LAHORE: A judge dealing with the petition challenging ban on YouTube on Thursday referred the matter to Lahore High Court chief justice Umar Ata Bandial with recommendations to constitute a full bench to hear this matter.
The court during previous hearings had remarked that it was important to understand the nature of the problem. In today’s digital age, the court had observed, information on the Internet could not be blocked, it could be intelligently regulated. There were no borders or walls that could limit this information from flowing into Pakistan unless of course we shut down Internet completely and severed our links with the outside world.
It appears that a sustainable answer to the problem was self regulation at the individual and house-hold level. World Wide Web has all sorts of information ranging from ‘very useful’ to ‘out right offensive’.
The choice is ours, we can either draw upon the useful information for our national development or fall prey to the negative content and immerse ourselves into moral and cultural chaos, the judge said, adding that the choice was ours. He said that, in the end, the responsibility and the choice was of the individual to watch or not watch a controversial website as the same could not be effectively blocked according to the level of technology present in our country today.
The court was hearing the petition filed by an NGO. The petitioner submitted that any filtering and blocking on internet was counter productive and predatory.
The petitioner sought directions for the Ministry of IT and the PTA to reopen the functioning of YouTube. He said taking away YouTube’s access was the modern equivalent of taking away the scholar’s pen.
He appealed to the court to order the restoration of access to the YouTube in Pakistan.