Pakistan cuts off all access to YouTube

Pakistan cuts off all access to YouTube

Summary: YouTube is no longer available in Pakistan due to a government-imposed blockade.


Pakistan has now blocked YouTube entirely from the country, after the video sharing site declined to remove the "Innocence of Muslims" trailer that sparked protests throughout the world.

Attempting to browse to the site results in users within Pakistan being redirected to a page that states "this page is blocked due to restrictions enforced by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA)," even if the video is not related to the offending trailer.

The PTA has stated that it was ordered by the Chief Justice of Pakistan to block all anti-Islamic videos. It had previously been provided with a list of 753 anti-Islamic sites, which has now grown to 934 sites.

Google's Transparency Report shows that, at about 7 a.m. AEST (2 p.m. PT), YouTube traffic from Pakistan dropped off dramatically, and states that the site is inaccessible from the country.

Google has not put in place a country-wide block, and has told ZDNet that there are no issues with its network that would prevent Pakistan users from visiting the site.

YouTube has previously stated that the video is "clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube," but the Australian Department of Broadband and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) disagrees with the video remaining online, stating that the video is "clearly offensive" and is calling on Google to "review its terms of service to see if they are being appropriately applied in this case."

"Australia has strong anti-vilification laws. If people believe this video is in breach of these laws, they can make a complaint to Google or the Human Rights Commission," the department said in a statement.

"What people shouldn't do is engage in violent protests on the streets. It is totally unacceptable behaviour and should be condemned."

DBCDE did not respond to queries as to whether it had actually made a request of its own to have the video removed.

Topics: Outage, Google, Government, Government AU

Michael Lee

About Michael Lee

A Sydney, Australia-based journalist, Michael Lee covers a gamut of news in the technology space including information security, state Government initiatives, and local startups.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Still accessible using https

    What a bunch of losers! I was watching iOS dev videos and I was met with this stupid message. Then I found out that I could still access it by using https and the iPhone app :)
    • This whole narrative is false

      What the rest of the world knows:

      Al Qaeda has admitted that the attacks were not about the video at all, but in revenge for the drone killing of one of their top brass.

      The attacks were planned days in advance. Hillary was warned but decided not to warn Benghazi, and also did not allow their security to have actual bullets.

      See Conn Caroll's article in the Washington Examiner. Or google this:

      "no one outside the White House believes a single video caused the violence. Liberal commentator and Tufts University international politics professor Dan Drezner has called Obama’s decision to blame the YouTube clip a “radically incomplete and dishonest answer.”

      Libya President Mohamed Yousef El-Magariaf directly contradicted Rice on CBS’s , Face the Nation, telling Bob Schieffer, “It was planned, definitely. It was planned by foreigners, by people who entered the country a few months ago. And they were planning this criminal act since their arrival."
  • Re:

    Hmmf, always muslims making so much fuss about a video. If you don't like, don't watch it. If you censor a vid for everyone, even the ones not following the religion, something is terrible wrong. Let's hope Google won't give in, freedom of speech is way more important than religion.
    • Australian govt joining the censorship

      Ive not seen the video, nor any interest in ever seeing it; however the censorship push by "free" governments is appalling.
      Richard Flude
    • Nope

      Hold on, and wait that someone would post videos of USA to help Hitler to keep Nazi Germany airplanes in air, how USA has helped to rape and murder womens and kids in dozens of countries, how USA paramilitary units mass murder whole towns (thousands of people) and how USA government assassinates democratically elected people in other countries who are against USA politics....

      If someone would post such things to youtube, instead just making books and photos of the data, USA would be there to bomb any company and its chiefs what does not comply.
      • You just don't understand the concept of free speach

        And you don't understand the Internet either.

        The fact is that if you want to find Anti-United States videos on YouTube, it's very, very easy to do so. Or, try doing a Google search on "I hate America" and see how many thousands of hits you get. And I doubt any of those people are getting bombed (at least not for posting a video - if they are also planning violent action then all bets are off however).

        The fact of the matter is that sitting here with my smart phone, I could grab a few people off the street and pay them $10 each to read a stupid script while I create a digital video of them. About 15 seconds later I can have that video on YouTube. And I can say anything I want. In fact anyone, anywhere can say anything they want on the Internet unless they are unfortunate enough to live in dictatorships that ban free speech.

        But you better carefully consider though before demanding that a governmental ban certain speech. Because if they have the authority to ban speech you don't approve of, then they also have the authority to ban the speech you do approve of. What goes around comes around as they say.

        Finally, it would not surprise me one bit to see anti-American groups out there making their own anti-Muslim videos, blog postings, etc. Why would they? Because as we have seen, there are a lot of very foolish people who will go out and burn down embassies and kill people over it. One guy with a cell phone can provoke a world wide reaction.
    • HAHAHA

      The trailer was originally released in July... that's right, JULY! And NOW it's a problem?
      • Good question.

        Very good question.
      • Poor marketing plan

        Plus, they didn't buy featured video status on YouTube. Word of mouth took way too long.
  • Giving Religion A Bad Name

    People living in Western democracies see these disorderly, violent demonstrations, and all they see are people who are not capable of rational thought, who have to depend on their governments to protect them from themselves.

    Yes, free speech really is that sacred, that we will not give it up just to assuage some hurt feelings. Freedom paid for with blood will not be lightly given away. The more violently you respond to that, the more you confirm all the worst prejudices against you.

    Remember, religion is a lousy basis for defining your morality.
    • Religion a lousy basis?

      There's something worse - irreligion, which caused more horrors in the 20th century than all the atrocities of medieval religion combined. 120 million killed by their own governments, *in peacetime*, to advance an anti-religious mindset.
      • Down the Rabbit hole

        Hitler was a catholic. Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot were setting themselves up as gods in their respective new religions. It is magical thinking and uncritical adherence to ideology which is the problem. Jihadism is just the latest and currently the most dangerous manifestation of this mental illness. harvey_rabbit seems to be infected with the 2nd most dangerous form - fundamental christianity. If his fellow cult-members ever manage to take over the US military (something which they are diligently working towards), we will face the horror of a nuclear armed armageddon loving cult with both the desire and means to end all life on earth. The Jihadists are working to the same end in Pakistan, but hopefully, if it comes to that, Russia and China will help the US to contain them. Meanwhile, we need to maintain our core values against the onslaught from both forms of the religion disease or the best we can hope for is a return to the dark ages. The fact that the US government is not currently enforcing the rules against religious proselytizing in the military does not bode well for the future of humanity.
        Ullrich Fischer
        • Down the rabbit hole

          Well said sir. I'd vote but it doesn't appear to working ATM.
  • This is ridiculous

    Even here in Germany they are debating to ban that video... Luckily there is absolutely no way they can do that from a legal point of view.
    I love the title of that video. It's so beautifully ironic. Poke them a little and the members of the "religion of peace" immediately show how innocent they really are by murdering people and burning down embassies.
    There is no excuse for this bullshit and it really just shows how dangerous religion can be. We need to get rid of this medieval superstitious nonsense if society is supposed to evolve beyond what it is right now.
  • it should block. no doubt about it...

    I watched the video on Youtube and just after a few minutes, it felt disgusting... Made in such poor and ugly taste!!! horrible it is!!!
    I was shocked to read "clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube," crap from that organisation. blocking the domain is perfectly fine, if they are not willing to remove it...
    • Blocked? Seriously?

      If you are using those guidelines ("it felt disgusting... Made in such poor and ugly taste!!! horrible it is!!!") then there are a LOT of things that would be blocked. I, for one, thought the entire movie "The Last Temptation of Christ" was disgusting and made in poor and ugly taste. However, I will defend the movie publishers' right to publish such filth and nonsense.

      As was said earlier here: if you don't like it, don't watch it. I would add, don't be the judge for all others.
      • "Disgusting" ⇒"Immoral"

        It is quite common for those of conservative beliefs to rationalize their condemnation of something based on feelings of disgust.
    • Or and alternative would be... create your own video showing what you believe to be the truth. Fight words with words. Don't fight words with fire and don't fight them by limiting the most basic of human rights.
  • Just remember...

    Many of the posters on this topic will be intelligence agents of foreign governments.
    Tony Burzio
    • When?

      Are you recruiting them? How do you know?
      Ullrich Fischer