Feeds

Pakistan's YouTube ban may end after Google removes anti-Muslim vid

Chocolate Factory's hand forced after losing US court case

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google has been forced to take down a controversial anti-Islam YouTube video in a move which could pave the way for the site to finally be unblocked in Pakistan.

A US appeals court ordered the web giant to remove the “Innocence of Muslims” film which caused widespread rioting and scores of deaths and injuries across the Muslim world back in 2012.

It’s widely believed that Google’s uncompromising stance on the video, which many view as blasphemous, led to the Pakistani government banning YouTube within the nation's borders.

Ironically, the court order had nothing to do with its controversial depiction of Prophet Mohammed. Instead, it came after a lawsuit was brought by actress Cindy Lee Garcia, who argued that the film contained a dubbed clip she had actually made for another movie.

As a result of appearing in the film, Garcia had apparently received death threats.

Now that the offending video is being removed by Google, Pakistani rights groups are urging Islamabad to unblock YouTube.

Shahzad Ahmed from Bytes for All told AFP that there was now “no excuse” for the continued blocking.

“The ban on YouTube has got more to do with the government's desires and efforts to impose censorship, content filtering and moral policing and we are fighting against them in court through a constitutional petition,” he added.

The Pakistani government has a track record of using religious and moral sensitivities in the country to de facto block and censor content online.

In February 2012 it blocked 13,000 porn sites and in October that year, in the wake of the Innocence of Muslims furore it took another 20,000 sites offline because they contained “objectionable content”.

In the Freedom on the Net 2013 report from rights group Freedom House Pakistan sits tenth from bottom with a status of “Not Free”.

The country recorded a “notable” decline from the previous year thanks in part to the increase in web site blocking.

The Freedom House report offered the following observations:

While internet penetration continued to improve in 2012 and early 2013, internet freedom in Pakistan looks increasingly precarious, a trend that could have significant consequences for the country's socioeconomic development.

Once YouTube is available again and Pakistan's residents can once again watch all the cat videos they want, socioeconomic progress will doubtless resume. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.