First 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.
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.
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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