Pakistan today unblocked YouTube nearly three years after the popular video-sharing website was banned for carrying a blasphemous movie, following assurances by the company to insert country-specific filters to remove objectionable content.
Bloody riots were held in several countries including Pakistan when the website carried ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in 2012, which Muslims blasted as blasphemous and derogatory to their religion.
The site was opened after company agreed to install Pakistan specific filters and arrangements to block objectionable material through a localized version, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesman Khurram Mehran told media.
“We have issued directives to all relevant people to provide access to YouTube and it is accessible now,” he said.
Earlier, Ministry of Information Technology today asked PTA to restore YouTube service within 48 hours.
Initially, the Supreme Court ordered to block it until measures are in place to stop blasphemous materials.
In reply to a Supreme Court, PTA said that Google verified that this version of the website does not contain any known copies of the offending material and Google has made it possible for the Pakistani government to ask for the removal of objectionable videos from the website.
The site was banned on September 18, 2012, and unblocked briefly in early 2013 for a few hours after which the website was blocked again.