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Pakistan lifts YouTube ban

Islamabad (UCAN): In a move welcomed by Church officials, the government of Pakistan lifted its three-year ban on YouTube on January 18 following the launch of a localised version of the popular video-sharing website

A statement the Ministry of Information Technology said, “Google has recently launched a country (localised) version of YouTube and confirmed that does not contain any known copies of the blasphemous movie Innocence of Muslims.” 

The government imposed the ban in September 2012 to comply with a court order seeking to prohibit online content considered blasphemous by Muslims. 

The film, Innocence of Muslims, sparked violent protests demanding the execution of the film maker and resulted in the deaths of more than 20 people.

The ban was strongly condemned by digital rights advocates, who denounced it as media censorship.

Father Peter Shangara, editor of the online newspaper of the Faisalabad diocese, welcomed the government decision to lift the ban.

“The ban shouldn’t have been imposed in the first place as it was a futile exercise. People were still accessing YouTube through proxy sites,” he said.

“There are a lot of controversial and objectionable things on the Internet. Instead of banning them, the government should have launched a campaign to educate people on how to ignore offensive material,” Father Shangara said.

“You may find anti-Christian content online. Shall we demand the blockage of Internet?” he asked.


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