Pakistan expected to unblock YouTube

A Karachi resident is seen browsing video sharing website YouTube at an internet cafe, on May 27, 2010
This file photo shows a young Pakistani man browsing the popular video sharing website YouTube at an internet cafe in Karachi, on May 27, 2010. Pakistan is expected to unblock access to YouTube on Saturday after taking measures to filter blasphemous material and pornography, according to a cabinet minister.

Pakistan is expected to unblock access to the popular video sharing website YouTube on Saturday after taking measures to filter blasphemous material and pornography, a cabinet minister said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in September ordered the blocking of after the US-based website refused to heed the government's call to remove a controversial anti-Islam video.

Weeks of protests in Pakistan over the crudely made "Innocence of Muslims" film saw more than 20 people killed and caused serious damage in major cities.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Twitter the decision to allow access was due to huge public demand, and that the would install a firewall to maintain a block on unseemly content.

"There was a great demand to unblock YouTube from all sections of society... expect the notification today," Malik said.

"PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) is finalising negotiations for acquiring a powerful firewall software to totally block pornographic and blasphemous material," he added.

Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) said they have not yet received the notification, but welcomed the minister's announcement.

ISPAK Convener Wahajus Siraj told AFP that when the ban first came into force, Internet in Pakistan plummeted by up to 30 percent.

"It is a good development because many people, especially students and institutions, were using YouTube for education, and were facing difficulties as alternate websites were not as good," he said.

According to PTA there are 2.1 million in Pakistan.

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User comments

Dec 29, 2012
Youtube doesn't even allow pornography. Maybe the muslims were complaining about women in shorts or bikinis in some cases. Poor fools.

"blasphemy" is speaking evil about God himself.

Telling people the truth about how evil muslims or islam are is not blasphemy, it's a duty.

Dec 29, 2012
The only the thing the Pakistani government is concerned about is the fact that their "citizens" both male and female will do something that is extremely unpleasent for these types of governments. Their citizens will start asking "questions". The Pakistani government and others like them around the world need to fasten their seatbelts their in for a wild ride.

Dec 29, 2012
"blasphemy" is speaking evil about God himself.
The fact that you claim any knowledge of a god: to even know there is one and only one, puts you in the same intellectual cesspool as the jihadi goatherders.

Dec 30, 2012
Some cultures have easy-to-push buttons. Some people like to push those buttons. Unfortunate. Investing in companies that produce enterprise-class content filtering firewalls might not be a bad idea.

Dec 30, 2012
Censorship is censorship; If these children can not handle free speech I would suggest better education in the appropriate countries.

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