Feeds

Pakistan blocks YouTube

And world loses access for an hour

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Updated: Pakistan became the latest nation to block access to YouTube, although much of the country has now had access restored.

The plug was pulled late last week by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, but mistakes over the weekend meant the site was blocked worldwide for more than an hour on Sunday, the BBC reports.

Reports suggested that the PTA ordered all ISPs in the country to block access because: "The ratio of non-Islamic objectionable videos has increased on it." The BBC reports that the blocking of YouTube's IP address was then passed onto other ISPs around the world, resulting in a global outage.

A spokeswoman for the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority told the Register: "We only implement the policy set by the Ministry of Information Technology. On Friday we wrote to ISPs asking them to block YouTube as requested by the Ministry."

The video hosting site has been blocked by countries before - by Turkey for videos that insulted the country's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, by Thailand for rude content about the king, and in Morocco for hosting content about Western Saharan independence.

Wahaj us Siraj, convener of the Association of Pakistan Internet Service Providers, said: "YouTube is available again now. It was blocked because of videos depicting humiliation of the Prophet that were blasphemous in nature."

Siraj explained that the two main backbone providers in Pakistan were dealing differently with the problem - TWA is routing traffic to a proxy then filtering for the specific URL of the offending videos, but PTCL (Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited) is unable to filter such URLs so has just blocked the whole website.

Anyone in Pakistan trying to access YouTube via the TWA backbone, about 40 per cent of the population, should have access to the site apart from the pages considered by authorities to be offensive.

The site was originally blocked in its entirety by both providers.

Asked if the blockage was really about religion or if politics may have played a role, Siraj told the Reg: "There have been rumours. On Thursday local TV showed some allegations of poll rigging (Pakistan's presidential election was last week), some of this was uploaded onto YouTube and the ban came on Friday. But this is just a hoax, the problem with the videos had been known for some time."

The problem spread beyond Pakistan when YouTube was blocked across the world for more than an hour. It seems this was caused by a vulnerability with how internet routing tables deal with IP numbers. Ars Technica has more here. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?