Pak government gives three-day deadline to PTA to unblock YouTube

Islamabad, Aug. 23 (ANI): The Pakistan Government has set a three-day deadline to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for applying a response mechanism to stop the uploading of blasphemous content on the internet before it goes ahead with unblocking the popular video-sharing website, YouTube.

Minister of State for Information Technology (IT) Anusha Rehman Khan said that the inter-ministerial committee will re-open YouTube for the users once those 4,000 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), that contain objectionable content have been blocked completely, the Dawn reports.

YouTube was blocked in September 2012 after the controversial film 'Innocence of Muslims' went viral in Pakistan.

Earlier, it was being speculated that YouTube may be soon be unblocked for the users in the country after Eidul Fitr.

According to the report, the IT ministry has prepared a proposal for the committee to setup a complaint cell for vigilance and monitoring of blasphemous and pornographic content on the internet, the report added.

The ministry has been browsing through 100,000 links to analyze and block the sites that contain objectionable words.

However, PTA had said that it lacked capacity to block more than 500,000 links with words like 'innocence' or 'Muslims', which are unobjectionable, spread across hundreds of thousands of sites.

The inter-ministerial committee has the mandate to define anti-state, blasphemous and pornographic content on internet and issue directives to the PTA to block access to such information.

IT official Mohammad Amir Malik said that users intending to access the controversial film will be taken to a new page with the message 'Access Denied' or will be given an 'Error' message. (ANI)


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