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TWA Internet backbone blocks only Blasphemous video URL

youtube unblocked in Pakistan on TWAYesterday 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.

youtube unblocked in Pakistan on TWA.JPGPIE 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.


4 Comments

  • Yasir Hussain |

    Dr. Sahib, I personally think that a suggestion to remove any offensive religious material from youtube is not realistic. There are a couple hundred religions with over one million followers, youtube cannot accommodate each and every one of them.

    Citing it as an excuse by PTA is ridiculous. Next they would ban Wikipedia, and who knows entire Internet by the same blasphemy yardstick. AFAIAC, every media can fall into this category. I wonder, how many of us get fooled by such actions every now and then. We seriously need to accept the existence of other POVs.

  • Raza |

    I tend to agree with Yasir. It is only when something sensitive to us have surfaced that we’ve gone up in protest. We never bothered to find out that there are possibly several other videos spewing hatred against other communities/religions or countries. They exist and the sad fact is we don’t care about them.

    The only option is register your protest by writing to them. I have written to PTA condemning this idiotic act of theirs, and am writing to YouTube against the Geert Wilders video (although I don’t expect any action on their part).