Yesterday all Internet users in Pakistan were up in arms protesting the sudden censorship of the entire Youtube.com domain. A number of theories circulated which ranged from vote rigging videos to the cartoon video containing the blasphemous images disgracing our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority the appointed monitoring agency had issued a notification blocking a specific URL and a bunch of IP addresses, which belonged to the youtube.com domain. Since yesterday we all witnessed a domain wide blockade of all content from youtube.com and we generally had confirmed reports that this existed throughout out the country, only today did a kind gentleman shared with us screen captures of his computer showing the unblocked youtube website but the specific offending URL is censored from all TWA users. A bit of history all ISP’s in Pakistan connect through the FLAG backbone via the PTCL/PIE link but some ISP’s choose to go via the other bandwidth hub coming via TransWorld.
PIE sadly does not have the ability to enforce a URL specific block and is forced to employ an IP wide block hence we say the entire Youtube domain off limits to us, while TWA with its advanced filtering system can specifically block URL’s
Coming in with this information I would suggest everyone to urge Google/Youtube to remove this offensive religious hate-spurring video while at the same time send a strong condemnation to the Pakistani government to have resorted to a domain wide censorship as their first line of defense. It seems illogical for the government of Pakistan to hinder their own people from using one very important tool of the modern era. PIE (Pakistan Internet Exchange) is also advised to upgrade its filtering / censorship systems which can cater to URL specific blocks and not take the entire country down a roller coaster of censorship.
Most of Pakistan still remains in a youtube blackout due to most of ISP using the PIE/FLAG connectivity, could we assume that some mischief could have been involved in all this censorship fiasco considering that some serious incriminating election voter rigging evidence surfaced just a day prior to all this, I can only speculate as the timing of the censorship is highly dubious, but we can give the government the benefit of doubt considering at least the non-governmental body Transworld has complied to a URL specific block. But government owned networks block the entire domain
Screen captures courtesy Abdul Sami Azeemi who connects via a local cable connection onto the TWA network.