YouTube ban has lead Pakistan into middle of nowhere. Website was banned in Pakistan in September 2012 due to a blasphemous video that YouTube decided not to block in Pakistan, despite the fact that the same video (and its copies) were blocked by Google in various countries including India, Egypt, Syria, Singapore, Russia and others.
After 20 months of YouTube ban, the situation is still the same as it was on day one.
For the records, YouTube was banned in Pakistan on the orders of Supreme Court. Supreme Court, in its order on September 17th, 2012, had directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block the access of blasphemous content available on YouTube to the people in Pakistan.
Yes, Raja Parvez Ashraf, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, had ordered the blockade of website through a statement on TV, but it was originally the Supreme Court that had ordered to block blasphemous content available on YouTube.
PTA, which hadn’t the capability of blocking selected videos/content, blocked the entire website instead.
PTA still lacks the capabilities of blocking all the copies of blasphemous videos on YouTube.
Google on the other hands is persistent that it will not block the access of blasphemous videos in Pakistan. Instead, it has proposed a way of showing a warning page before such blasphemous videos, Salman Akhtar told Lahore High Court yesterday.
Salman is appointed by LHC to figure out any possibilities to resolve the situation.
Salman told the court that these proposed full-page warnings or content advisories can aware the user that requested content is objectionable. However, because of the impossibility of creating a fully comprehensive list of all instances of the video, these warning pages cover only those instances that have been flagged by MoIT and PTA and those that have been appropriately marked by Google. There remains the possibility of unflagged instances that would not have this warning page.
Please participate in below poll to help us understand the public sentiment on this complex situation.
Here are possible options:
Don’t Open it Ever: We can live with Tune.PK or DailyMotion and there’s no place for the YouTube in Pakistan again.
Open YouTube Only if Blasphemous Videos are Fully Blocked in Pakistan: If Google agrees to block all blasphemous videos in Pakistan, like they did in Singapore.
Open YouTube With Warning Pages on Objectionable Videos: Unban YouTube if a warning page is displayed before objectionable videos, like they did in Bangladesh
Open YouTube Without Any Restrictions: That is without filtering anything