Pakistan Follows Facebook Ban With YouTube Ban

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In its wise knowledge of all things Web, the Pakistani government is continuting to go that extra mile to protect its citizens from “blasphemous” content.

That means Pakistanis won’t have to worry about the latest viral videos on YouTube because officials at the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority have indefinitely blocked the video sharing website on the grounds that depictions of the prophet Muhammad, considered offensive in Islamic culture, would turn up on the site. This comes just a day after the PTA banned social networking website Facebook for basically the same reason.

In 2007, Pakistan issued a ban for what it considered “un-islamic” videos at the time, but lifted it in early 2008. Now the agency, taking a fresh look at the site, has decided that the content is just too blasphemous for Pakistani eyes. But PTA officials say they did try to find loopholes.

“Before shutting down (YouTube), we did try just to block particular URLs or links, and access to 450 links on the Internet were stopped, but the blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down,” spokesman Khurram Ali Mehran told Reuters news service.

Pakistan may reserve the right to block whatever website they see fit to block, they may want to aproach it with a bit more technical care. According to Techdirt, the last time they did it, the Internet service provider PCCW, which services several Asian nations pulled the plug on YouTube in Pakistan and blocked it in those other countries as well.  That move started a chain reaction that essentially knocked Pakistan off the Internet completely.