Feeds

Pakistan blocks 20,000 sites in wake of anti-Islam vid

YouTube just the start for anxious censors

Application security programs and practises

Pakistani authorities have revealed that a whopping 20,000 web sites have been taken offline as part of a nationwide crackdown on “objectionable” content.

The purge took places as part of government efforts across the Muslim world in the wake of widespread anger at “Innocence of Muslims” – a film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammed which was subsequently uploaded to Google’s popular video-sharing site.

Google refused to take the video down, claiming it remained within YouTube guidelines, however it bowed to pressure from governments in various countries such as Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt by restricting access according to local laws.

However, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere, governments were forced to take matters into their own hands and block YouTube.

It has now been revealed that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has gone even further, blocking tens of thousands of sites.

It seems this is partly in response to pressure from the courts, after the PTA chairman was personally cited in a case in Lahore as responsible for blocking all footage of the controversial film on the web, PTI reported.

Things don’t look good for Google in the near future either.

"The ban on YouTube will continue as long as it does not remove the blasphemous film. Pakistan can take no chances on lifting the ban as people are not ready to accept this film," a PTA official told PTI.

If such censorship restrictions persist, it could harm the web giant’s ambitious plans to tap what has already become a $500m market.

NGO Freedom House said Pakistan registered one of the steepest declines in internet freedom over the past year, despite apparently shelving any immediate plans to build a China-like nationwide firewall.

“Pakistan’s downgrade reflected extreme punishments meted out for dissemination of allegedly blasphemous messages and the increasingly aggressive efforts of the telecom regulator to censor content transmitted via information and communications technologies (ICTs),” the report said. ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
British cops cuff 660 suspected paedophiles
Arrests people allegedly accessing child abuse images online
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.