Pak Govt blocks YouTube over anti-Islam film controversy

Sep 18, 2012, 15:47 IST | Agencies

The Pakistan government has blocked popular video-sharing website, YouTube, in its entirety across the country after a recently released anti-Islam film created furore across the Muslim world.

In addition, Interior Minister Rehman Malik weighed in with another threat to Google Inc, the company that owns YouTube, asking it to remove the anti-Islam material, or visas of Google officials would be cancelled. He also said he will approach Interpol for the arrest of those involved in the film, reports The Express Tribune.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf issued directives to the information technology ministry to immediately block YouTube across Pakistan.

The directives came as the website has been unable to stop the film from continuously being reposted on the site through different accounts and links. Nevertheless, Ashraf said sacrilegious material would not be tolerated and YouTube would remain suspended till it removed all links to the film.

YouTube is the main, but by no means the only, website that can host the video on the Internet.

Following Ashraf''s directives, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson Malahat Rabi confirmed that YouTube was blocked with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Google Inc rejected a request by the White House to reconsider its decision to retain the controversial film on YouTube. Google said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where U.S. embassies have been stormed by protestors.

Google said it was further restricting the clip to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure.

Google had initially said that the video was within its guidelines. 

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