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Pakistan lifts, reinstates YouTube 'blasphemous' block

updated 09:44 pm EST, Sun December 30, 2012

Temporary unbanning of YouTube quickly reversed

Pakistan lifted its ban on video-sharing site YouTube, only to block it shortly afterwards. The block, originally started due to content deemed blasphemous appearing on the service, has seen the website inaccessible within the country, though both the length of time and the reasons for the block being reinstated varies between reports.

The ban itself originated from a trailer for a film that mocked the prophet Muhammad, which was followed by protests and an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. YouTube agreed to block the video in a number of countries, though not Pakistan, which lead to local authorities to block the site.

According to the New York Times, the block lasted just three minutes, and that the block was reinstated due to efforts to prevent access to offensive content had apparently failed. The Pakistan-based Express Tribune claims the block lasted three hours, and that the ban reinstatement was due to Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf having "expressed displeasure" over the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority lifting the block from interior ministers, and not from him.

At the time of writing, YouTube continues to be blocked in the country.

by MacNN Staff



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