Feeds

Pakistan blocks YouTube

And world loses access for an hour

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.