Pakistan on the YouTube black hole: Never mind

Having neatly knocked YouTube off the net for several hours, exposing a key vulnerability in the BRG system and creating a small tumult within Pakistan, the government has now changed course and removed the block on YouTube, AP reports.The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told Internet service providers to restore access to the site after the removal of what it called a "blasphemous" video clip, authority spokeswoman Nabiha Mahmood said.

Having neatly knocked YouTube off the net for several hours, exposing a key vulnerability in the BRG system and creating a small tumult within Pakistan, the government has now changed course and removed the block on YouTube, AP reports.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told Internet service providers to restore access to the site after the removal of what it called a "blasphemous" video clip, authority spokeswoman Nabiha Mahmood said.

225px-geertwilders.jpgThe clip in question featured Dutch politician Geert Wilders promoting an upcoming film trashing Islam. Apparently, the clip asserted that Islam is Fascist and promotes violence against women and gays.

Now get this:

[Mahmood] said the authority had posted a complaint through the Web site -- a facility open to any registered user -- but had not been in contact with the administrators of YouTube.com.

No, rather than place a call or send a fax, the PTA just filled a complaint form on YouTube, waited, oh, what do you think - an hour? - and then sent out the order to take the site down. From the entire Internet. Perhaps they felt that the web form wasn't getting YouTube's attention. But isn't this shooting a flea with a bazooka?

And regarding that litle snafu:

Mahmood said the Pakistani regulator carried no responsibility for "technical hitches" which may have lead to problems elsewhere. She said it was not clear how that occurred.

Technically, the ISP that screwed it up so royally is responsible but the PTA's nonchalant attitude doesn't exactly inspire confidence. In any case, Pakistan said, it's nothing personal.

The black-holing of YouTube was "very sad, very unfortunate. We have nothing against the YouTube site itself," Abdullah Riar, Pakistan's minister for information technology and telecommunications.

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