ban YouTube could not be lifted without directives from the Supreme Court.


The National Assembly was informed that the ongoing ban on video-sharing website YouTube could not be lifted without seeking directives from the Supreme Court.

Answering to question of Shazia Marri during the question hour, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed said the government had imposed ban on YouTube on the directives of the Supreme Court in 2012 after loading of objectionable content on it. He said the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) lacks the mechanism to block objectionable material on YouTube because it laid on http and there is no technology in the world to stop it.

He said to comply with the instructions of any state with regard to blocking any Universal Resource Indicator (URI) on YouTube, Google has the requirements of inking Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Countries like Saudi Arabia have signed MLAT with Google – resultantly Google has developed a local domain in the kingdom. The minister informed the house that six other Muslim countries, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iran, Egypt and Sudan also blocked the YouTube in 2012 due to blasphemous contents.

After due discussion with Google, he said Pakistan has included the relevant sections in Cyber Crime Bill which is in process of enactment. Once the law is enacted giving third party indemnity to Goolge, the MLAT would be signed. After that the Google would be more comfortable in abiding by the instructions of Government of Pakistan for blocking of any objectionable material. The PTA was proactively identifying and continuously flagging/reporting the Universal Resource Indicators (URIs) of the blasphemous movie/clip to Google and in response they add interstitials screen/warning on those videos depending upon Google’s own policy, the minister concluded.

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