Interim set-up has said that they will continue with YouTube ban till controversial anti-Islam videos aren’t blocked in Pakistan by YouTube, video sharing website of Google.
“Google Inc, the owner of YouTube, has been engaged in progressive talks recently and we hope a breakthrough soon,”, reported Express Tribune while quoting an official from Ministry of IT and Telecom.
Official was further quoted as saying that YouTube is urged to at least block the video in Pakistan if they could not altogether remove it from the website.
It maybe recalled that YouTube was banned in Pakistan in September 2012, after a controversial anti-Islam video – uploaded on website – had irked large scale anger in the Muslim world.
In response to protests, YouTube had blocked the access of such anti-Islamic videos in various countries but didn’t agree to block the controversial videos in Pakistan.
Express Tribune reports that current interim administration was keen on getting the ban lifted, and said that caretaker Minister for Information Technology Dr. Sania Nishtar was working tirelessly on the matter.
However, the controversial video that was still present on the website remained the bone of contention. “She is looking into all possible ways to resolve the issue but so far there had been no major breakthrough,” MoITT official said.
Two days ago, Information Minister Arif Nizami told journalists that a summary was sent to the government suggesting removal of YouTube’s ban.
Why Google isn’t Blocking Access of Video in Pakistan (Our Opinion):
This is mindless. If Google can block the access of blasphemous videos in India, Egypt, Libya, Singapore and Russia then why not in Pakistan?
Some officials from IT Ministry believe that for removal of the blasphemous video needs a formal request from Government of Pakistan for which Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) between United States and Pakistan is required. However, the treaty was not initiated from Pakistani foreign office administration as it was a lengthy process.
We think otherwise.
Any website on internet has a Terms of Services under which it operates. You can get any content removed from a website (any website for that matter) on individual level if you can prove that content is violating website or host specific TOS.
There is no MLAT needed for any such removal of content. Websites remove content from their websites on regular basis for reporting TOS violations.
Similarly, YouTube has this clause in its TOS which confines users to not to upload videos that can be categorized under hate-speech or if they spread hatred. These controversial anti-Islamic videos surely come under hate-speech. Evidence is the protest from billions of Muslim across the world who were angered over the video.
After all such anger and protests, YouTube seems to be on an agenda for not removing videos in certain countries.
We believe this is our diplomatic failure and incompetency that we are yet to get the videos blocked in Pakistan, otherwise, getting a content/video removed from a website isn’t a big deal – especially when the content/video violates host’s TOS.