YouTube Ban Finally Officially Removed In Pakistan

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Youtube PakistanFrom couple of months it seem so, that every ISP had deliberately made the https version of YouTube available to the masses. However, there was an official ban on the website. Also during that period PTA’s (Pakistan Telecommunications Authority) policy also looked lenient towards the ISPs which were allowing some traffic to YouTube. So that meant government is cooking something and something is going to be decided between the video sharing giant and government of Pakistan.

Finally, just not more than couple of days ago YouTube.com launched its local .pk version in Pakistan. Which later cooperated government of Pakistan and block an objectionable video against Islam on government’s request. Following that PTA requested Supreme Court of Pakistan to order removal of ban on YouTube. That very request or appeal came into play when supreme court came forward with an order to remove the ban on YouTube.com in the country and finally here we are.

On 18th on January following the PTA’s directive to all ISPs in Pakistan regarding this matter, the youtube is officially open in Pakistan. This is another achievement as Pakistan were made deprived of all the educational and informational material which can be found on website called YouTube.

There was sure material which included objectionable content against Islam but blocking a whole domain with blanket ban was surely not the answer. However, now we must be happy that this resource is now back in the country and we will use it for positive purposes.

Finally to mark the official opening of youtube, here at Info Pakistan we share following randomly chosen video from years ago in which a Pakistani plays national anthem of country on metal guitar.


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YouTube to officially Open in Pakistan Very Soon

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YouTube to Open Soon in Pakistan Officially

YouTube have now been banned for more than three and half years officially in Pakistan. However, from last couple of months it is accessible via https on all ISPs and PTCL was first to make it available on http as well.

An important development happened this month when YouTube.com launched a localized version for Pakistan. Now the news is that PTA (Pakistan Telecommunications Authority) have appealed Supreme Court to remove ban on YouTube in Pakistan.

According to PTA, after the launch of local version of YouTube in Pakistan, it is possible for authorities to request Google and get blocked any video which is not suitable for local users. Or any video which can cause chaos in the country. So on these grounds the Authority have already forwarded an appeal to the Supreme court.

YouTube is world’s biggest video sharing website, it is a learning platform. You want to learn anything, absolutely learn any art, craft or any technical stuff, go to youtube, search with relevant term and you will have thousands of high quality tutorials at your disposal.

Also, YouTube is up and running almost all other Muslim countries with exception of few objectionable videos. Do share your opinions via comments section below.

When is youtube opening in Pakistan?

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when youtube opening in pakistanFew days ago the Pakistan’s Minister for IT and Telecom (Anusha Rehman) had hinted opening of youtube in matter of just very few days. It was told that filter is ready and already have been tested. Story further claimed that this filter is worth millions, is acquired by Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and this filter will be able to block 4000 URLs only. I had objected that filter worth millions, so why its only capable of filtering only 4000 URLs but still many people were happy with this as at least the biggest video sharing website was going to open for Pakistanis.

We also had suspected that like other wondering stories this is also temporary measure from Anusha Rehman to get some publicity and  just calm the Pakistani people, who are waiting for this video sharing website, that work is under process at ministry. Also, we have already discussed that how critical it to get the website like Youtube in Pakistan as Ban is doing nothing but just only and only hurting the Pakistani People.

I am obviously not wanting the full opening of Youtube in Pakistan but I am only looking forward to Pakistani Government that they should do whatever other Muslim countries have did. Block the Blasphemous content and make the rest of website available to Pakistanis. Government can either block the content on its end or could have a contract with Google and they would do it on their end, which would be a more effective method to block all the copies of blasphemous content.

Many days are gone after she had hinted us and as we suspected, Anusha Rehman and her ministry is failed to take an action about the issue according to promises with Pakistani people. We would again advise our minister to concentrate more on ground work, put that firewall or filtering system in place and open all the resources up for Pakistanis which they deserve.

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Unbanning of youtube in Pakistan is still pending, Anusha Rehman busy in getting some free publicity

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youtube with anushaFew days ago we did a post about why and how ban on Youtube is only hurting Pakistanis. Soon after I finished as I was wandering on different Facebook pages, I cam across a story about unbanning youtube in Pakistan. Out of querulousness I done some research on that and whole Internet, I mean most of Pakistan sites and blogs were full of the same story. It was telling that Anusha Rehman, who is Federal Minister of IT and Telecom have hinted that youtube will open very soon in Pakistan.

Story also included the content like Pakistan already have a URL filtering system ready, which will operate via PTCL and is developed million of Dollars. Not only this, the circulating story also included text like it is already tested and will just allow us filtering and banning 4000 URLs. This caught my attention that a Software which cost millions will only filter out 4000 URLs, I was happy that ok at least they are doing something.

But seems like the Federal Minister of IT and Telecom from the new ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) have this habit of making news like our former Interior Minister Rehman Malik. Her statements are also similar as that of what Rehman Malik’s have been. On one side Anusha Rehman was warning Google few months back that we will even ban Google, on other side she is giving many statements about unbanning youtube.com from couple of months.

As soon as after Anusha took charge of IT and Telecom Ministry and given this statement about banning Google in Pakistan, I immediately had an idea that a person who does not know the importance of search engine like Google in today’s era, does not know any thing about telecom and specially Information Technology (IT). Though like former interior minister Rehman Malik our new IT and Telecom Minister had to face lots of criticism about her statement about banning Google. Also there is much of pressure from people about unbanning the youtube in the country on interior minister.

Despite that pressure seems like our IT and Telecom minister seem to do nothing but just giving some statements which keep people calm and give her some publicity as well so that people might think she is busy. You would have idea that people from this ruling party PML-N have a habit of looking very busy but producing much less, like some politician look very busy in resolving electricity shortage issue but end result is same. Same kind of load shedding is going on. Like statements of Rehman Malik, Anusha have also been coming up with statements like youtube will open soon, we are working on the issue.

Anusha you do not need to look busy, you just have to work on the real issue because I want that people of Pakistan do benefit from services which are available for rest of world. I want that Web Applications developer “Imran Zia” to use youtube video tutorial to learn new technologies, I want that student “Danish” to learn theories of physics via youtube video animations, I want that jobless Hafeez to learn some skill via youtube video tutorials from youtube and I want every Pakistani to get benefit from the services available to the whole world. And if you think, I am making this up, oh no, I am not, I have seen and heard many Pakistani people getting benefited from service like youtube in the past.

Youtube would be our first baby step, next would be paving the way for bringing the PayPal in to support the Pakistani Developers and Freelancers who are bringing in huge bulks of cash daily in Pakistan but have no support at all from government.

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How blanket ban on Youtube is only hurting us Pakistanis

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ban on youtubeFirst things first, ban on Youtube.com is not effective at all. Almost every internet user from Pakistan knows how to bypass the ban or restriction put by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) or the Internet Service Provider (ISP) on youtube. People here in Pakistan are bypassing the ban using Proxy Server and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Even the search trends about Pakistanis on Youtube have not changed from what they were in 2012.

So, if government is really serious about blocking the blasphemous content on youtube, they must resort to methods like url filtering instead of blocking the whole website. When people from Pakistan open youtube from a proxy server or a VPN it not only opens the whole website up but also opens that blasphemous content as well for the users. So it is very important that the whole website is unbanned and only the objectionable material like blasphemous content is blocked.

From attitudes of PTA and government its been clear that the people they have hired are not capable of effective url filtering, also somehow url filtering from these currents techs in government industry of Pakistan would only worsen the things and make the things much more annoyingly slow. So government have a good alternative to that as well, that is having a contract with Google Inc, pay them the security money they demand for contract and then they will effectively block all objectionable videos and their copies for the government of Pakistan.

Lets see how Pakistanis are losing from youtube ban.

Educational Material

There is an ocean of educational content available on youtube, for a person or a student who does not want bypass the ban by government or does not know how to do it, this material is inaccessible. I know people who have been benifiiting with this material a lot and learned from it a lot in the Past.  Quality of education in not so good in Pakistan, specially higher education, so people have been benefiting form the material available on youtube. Now that material is not available for Pakistanis and citizens of other countries are learning benefiting from them. Most of Islamic countries have done those contracts with youtube or with private url filtering they blocked only the objectionable content and rest of site is available.

Tutorials

I belong to information technology (IT) field, in fact I am web applications developer. I know it better than anyone else fr an IT professional it is very important to stay updated with the latest technologies, our development tools are ever changing and if we close eye to them for a day, we are far behind than everyone else in the world. Pakistan does not have that kind of  IT institutions which teach or guide the people with the latest technology. so we have to resort to online tutorials. Also everyone knows that no other website have latest tutorials like youtube, its used by so many more people compared to other websites, so that people don’t even post those videos on other small websites of the world.

Now, not only this site contains tutorials about the everything else, it tells you how to repair your tv, how to fix tv cable, how to fix anything, even how to stitch clothes and how to make artwork that is sell-able. I have come across so many success stories about people who learned stuff from youtube and earning a fortune through it.

We can hear but can’t Speak out hearts out

Remember, in start of post I had talked of people who can access website through proxies and VPN. But we all Pakistanis can not post any video on youtube. That means world can speak, we can hear them but we can’t speak what we have to. I know channels on youtube which have been preaching Islam and have been preaching good image of Pakistan, but now through all those proxies we can only hear what others have to say about us but we can’t balance that out with our prospective of thing.

It would be considered as biggest failure of current Pakistani government lead by PML-N if they could not treat this issue of blanket banning the youtube. All those students as well as, freelancers and technical people who are earning money from other countries and bringing in lots of revenue, they are all in trouble due to this ban. Government will have to be friendly with IT sector as well as with the students.

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