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Censorship Government Politics

Pakistan Blocks YouTube 648

Posted by Soulskill
from the out-of-sight-out-of-mind dept.
Multiple readers have written to tell us of news that Pakistan has ordered its ISPs to block access to YouTube "for containing blasphemous web content/movies." This follows increasing unrest in Pakistan over a Danish newspaper's reprinting of cartoons which depict Islam in a less-than-favorable light. The cartoons also sparked controversy when they were first published a few years ago.
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Pakistan Blocks YouTube

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:06PM (#22536266)
    We really need to bring these people up to speed with the 21st century. What's the best way to do it? Just start trading with them like anyone else, it's not their fault that they are a bunch of ignorant, gullible sheep (cue the "omg its like teh USA!!!1" comments).

    Yes it will take time to achieve any results, but economic prosperity and theism are inversely related, and theism in places like Pakistan is really fucked up and needs to be eliminated or at least marginalized.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      We really need to bring these people up to speed with the 21st century. What's the best way to do it?
      Three weeks of heavy meteorite bombardment followed by moving in a new population of sane people.
      • by melikamp (631205) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:54PM (#22536754) Homepage Journal

        People do not like to admit it about genocide, but if you do it thoroughly, then it actually works, i.e. solves all problems relating to the unpleasant minority, once and for all. You know what is really ironic? That USians modded the parent +funny, whereas it really should be +insightful. Once you get it into your head that it is your Progress-given mission to bring some sovereign people into the 21-st century, genocide is an obvious answer. Bush would wipe Iraq clean if he could, a long time ago (he obviously does not give a shit about 1M Iraqis, almost all of them civilians, dieing due to war, why would he care about 25M?), but US is not powerful enough to do that with conventional weapons, nor does it have enough clout to get away with it.

        How about, instead of "bringing Arabs democracy" and "liberating them from an archaic religion", you liberate them from economic oppression and let them decide what to do with their own oil? Switch to alternative energy sources, perhaps? Develop a defensive military strategy, which should work just fine, as you are on your own frigging continent? Just my 2 cents.

        • by letxa2000 (215841) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @03:06PM (#22536928)

          ...he obviously does not give a shit about 1M Iraqis, almost all of them civilians, dieing due to war

          That number is not generally considered credible except by extreme leftists where the number benefits their agenda. Calculating deaths by polling is rather absurd.

          but US is not powerful enough to do that with conventional weapons,

          Actually, we probably are powerful enough to level the main population centers indiscriminately with conventional weapons. I'm glad we haven't done so, though.

          nor does it have enough clout to get away with it.

          I would hope no-one has enough clout to get away with genocide.

          People do not like to admit it about genocide, but if you do it thoroughly, then it actually works,

          Just because it might work doesn't mean the ends justify the means.

          Develop a defensive military strategy, which should work just fine, as you are on your own frigging continent?

          Because we had a defensive military strategy and we were still hit hard on 9/11, even though we're on our own friggin' continent.

    • by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:52PM (#22536728)
      The best thing that could be done with Pakistan is to raise the number of books people read.

      Many people there, if they read at all, read religious texts only.

      That's your problem. If they had a wider experience in the written word, they wouldn't be so easily led by Clerics with an agenda.
      • by Skim123 (3322) <mitchell&4guysfromrolla,com> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @05:25PM (#22538416) Homepage

        The best thing that could be done with Pakistan is to raise the number of books people read.

        First things first: let's help raise the literacy rate. You've really got to respect the work being done by the Central Asia Institute [ikat.org], as they are building non-fundamentalist schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan, with schools especially targeted to girls. In a perfect world, our government would cut the spending on armament and give the decrease to the CAI to build schools. That's the best long-term strategy to solving fundamentalism, IMO.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ultranova (717540)

          In a perfect world, our government would cut the spending on armament and give the decrease to the CAI to build schools.

          Unfortunately, if the US did that, the fundamentalists would use that as an excuse to attack the schools for being in collaboration with the Great Satan.

          That's the best long-term strategy to solving fundamentalism, IMO.

          Ultimately, the only solution to fundamentalism is that the surrounding society deems it not acceptable. Education is essential in achieving this; however, it is by

      • by websitebroke (996163) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @09:42PM (#22540654)
        I'm American, but I've spend quite a bit of time in Pakistan (mostly in rural Kashmir and a bit in Islamabad). People over there are very, very gung ho about getting their kids to learn to read. After the 2005 earthquake that flattened most of the homes in the area, the schools were one of the first things to be rebuilt. I got there in less than 2 months after the earthquake, and kids were already back in school. The system is a bit of a mess, and they have very little to work with as far as materials go, but they certainly are desperate to get educated.

        Personally, I think we'd have a much better return on our investment if we took the money we're spending in Iraq and put it into building schools and providing learning materials in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. While we're at it, let's bring some of their young men and women over here to our colleges. Based on how many times I was asked about whether or not it's hard to go to school in the USA, I bet they'd jump at the chance.

        The only time I saw a Qu'ran while I was over there was when I visited a Mosque. People there read pretty much the same sorts things we do.
    • Saudi-Arabia is one of the richest countries in the world, and also one of the most oppressive theist regimes in the world.

      And like Pakistan, we already trade with them, so I don't think you are on the right path.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Then you will be happy to know that in the latest elections radical religious are considered the biggest losers. They lost a lot of their political power.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Don't you know that Islam has every right to oppress women and practice medieval style law enforcement?! If we question their beliefs we're being insensitive to their religion, regardless of how evil and backwards it is.
  • Morocco tried to block YouTube about a year and a half ago, because there were videos either making fun of the King or criticizing him.

    The block didn't last long because so many people were (figuratively) up in arms about it. Given the amount of "non-offensive" material (i.e. in this case, material not criticizing the king), the government realized their own stupidity and realized it would be better to have a placated populous than risk unrest over such a small thing.

    Are there parallels here? Possibly not, because I guess the blocks are for different reasons. However, it's not like a large amount of YouTube is about the comic or other representations of Mohammed, so... It will be interesting to see if the people cry out and how the government responds...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306)
      I'm pretty sure that was Turkey, not Morocco. I remember because quite a few blog posts in Turkey syndicated my anti-blocking instructions [slashdot.org]. I'm probably a fugitive there for having a minor amount of technical knowledge. :-P
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wenchmagnet (745079)
      I am posting from within Pakistan, youtube is accessible again.
  • by broothal (186066) <christian@fabel.dk> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:11PM (#22536322) Homepage Journal
  • Cover Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pinkocommie (696223) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:12PM (#22536338)
    The danish thing has been going on for a while, it took them this long to ban it for that?
    Otoh there were elections a few days ago and there were multiple clips about rigging that happened in the election.
    Forward to 1:20 [youtube.com] or just search for pakistan rigging
    What's the more probable cause for the ban?
    • Re:Cover Story (Score:5, Interesting)

      by siriusnova (535993) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:46PM (#22536650)
      Yes I have to agree with you on this.

      As a Pakistani who has spent considerable amount of time in and out of the country, this blocking has absolutely nothing to do with "blasphemous content".

      The reality is that right now in Pakistan there are serious allegations of vote rigging going around, the Military Junta in its usual dictatorial form has to find a cover story to block news about any vote rigging as they already do the same with the regular news media. They blocked the biggest Pakistani News TV being broadcast from Dubai, GEO TV, a few months ago over the news station airing reports critical of the current government.

      I really doubt 90% of Pakistanis even care about the cartoons, this is really an excuse to hide under their real motivations, ie vote rigging.

      There are tons of websites that can be stated as "blasphemous" however none of them are blocked, so why block youtube, especially at this point in time.

      Reeks of a CYA cover story to me.
  • mTube (Score:3, Funny)

    by pha7boy (1242512) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:17PM (#22536402)
    Welcome to mTube. To upload videos, please make sure that all models are wearing mTube approved burqas. Religious discussion are to adhere to Quran aproved topics. For information on how to carry out stoning, please see the miscellaneous section.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Pissed off at your sister? Commit a crime. You'll get a trivial sentence while your sister gets gang raped.

      Wait... what's that? All cultures are of equal value? Oh, OK. Sorry.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:20PM (#22536436) Homepage
    Okay, so maybe it wouldn't end human suffering, but it would certainly remove about 90% of the motivation for mistrust and a lot more. Some say religion is just the "given" excuse for violence and oppression. But I hold that the majority of people who claim they are killing and oppression for "god" really believe in what they are doing.

    Religion is also a large part of the reason for suppression of knowledge, increases in fear and the idea that "ideas are dangerous."

    But once you subtract 'religion' and 'morals' from the minds of many, you'll find they actually don't know how to think.
  • We banned YouTube too. Well not we, she. In any case it's off limits. Too subversive of her power she says. Oh well. It's good to know Pakistani's feel my pain.
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fahrvergnuugen (700293) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:31PM (#22536542) Homepage

    "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
    -John Gilmore, 1993
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The amusing thing in this case is that Pakistan screwed up their censorship an managed to knock youtube off the *entire* internet [cydeweys.com] for over two hours.

      The net didn't interpret censorship as damage and route around it; the net interpreted censorship as a superior path and routed everyone into it.

      The belief that technology alone will protect us from political oppression is mistaken and harmful.
  • by Teun (17872) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:40PM (#22536610) Homepage
    It is really shameful how religious leaders continue to try to impress their own (private) values on the rest of the world.
    No later than 9/11 we (in the democratic world) were made aware how narrow the scope of some Muslim leaders is when quite a few of them spoke out with understanding or even admiration for the criminals that crashed these planes killing thousands of innocent.

    Of course this type of behaviour is not limited to Moslims, just look at the retards that, especially in the USofA, are trying to ban education on Evolution or bomb medical clinics.

    Here in The Netherlands we had a nice one last night, around 01:00 in the night one of the public broadcasters decided to air the old Deep Throat movie, in (eager?) anticipation quite a few religious leaders protested as if they did not have an off button on their TV :)

    In the case of YouTube there might be a link to my country as an extreme nationalistic member of the Dutch Parliament (Geert Wilders) is readying a movie/ documentary called Fitna (Arabic for Evil) about what he perceives as the dangers of Islam and the Quran.
    More and more politicians of wholly undemocratic Muslim nations are protesting with the Dutch government and demanding a stop to this movie as it would be an insult to Islam.
    Mr. Wilders has so far not found a regular broadcaster to air his work and has said he'll distribute it via the net, starting with YouTube.

    The problem will not go away until religious people, starting with their leaders, learn to accept there is more in this world than their own (narrow) view and that a cartoon or critical movie is generally not meant as an insult or attack but to further discussion and even educate on the subjects covered.
    • by Deadstick (535032) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @03:03PM (#22536874)
      Here in The Netherlands we had a nice one last night, around 01:00 in the night one of the public broadcasters decided to air the old Deep Throat movie, in (eager?) anticipation quite a few religious leaders protested as if they did not have an off button on their TV

      They knew perfectly well they had an off button on their TV. They were angry because they didn't have an off button connected to your TV.

      rj

  • Fundies, whether Muslim or Christian are amazingly stupid.
  • by mellon (7048) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @02:55PM (#22536770) Homepage
    I know the reason they /gave/ is that YouTube content is blasphemous, but what they /didn't/ tell you is that there have been a lot of really embarrassing videos on YouTube recently. One you might have seen in the news was the one where they showed that there was a gunshot before the explosion that officially was supposed to have killed Benazir Buttho. But it's my understanding that there have been a lot of videos that are /personally/ embarrassing to politicians in Islamabad as well, and this is more probably the motivation behind the ban.

    It serves all the sitting politicians' interests to paint this as a religious thing (including the Bush government); it's up to us to try to see through the propaganda.

  • Why this reminds Catholic fight to get believers under control in Middle Ages? Ohh, because churches are actually big historical scams and faith has actually nothing to do with it.

    Yes, I believe in God. And I believe that church has lot of good, nice people in faith there. So it is outrageous that there is _lot_ of people who game this system for their own good. As any system. Wait, it is human nature.
  • by bdraschk (664148)
    ... and nobody told me, or somebody in Germany has demanded to block youtube, too. Just timeouts here.
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @03:09PM (#22536972) Homepage
    It was all of them this time, unlike the first time the were printed. The cartoon in question was the "bomb in turban" drawing from the top of the original article [wikipedia.org]. The were reprinted as a reaction to an alleged murder plot against the cartoonist.

    I'm not sure what kind of reasoning will lead anyone to attempt to murder somebody for insinuating that their prophet inspire violent behavior. By doing so, they just prove the cartoonist right.

  • by Nigel Stepp (446) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @05:11PM (#22538254) Homepage
    Not that it's really important, but many are saying there is DNS hijacking going on.

    It's actually IP hijacking (from what I'm reading on the NANOG list anyway). An ISP in Pakistan is advertising a "more specific route" to Youtube's ip space. So, routers are taking the traffic there instead.

    It could easily be accidental, like someone not having the right filter in place to block that advertisement going out to everyone.

    I hope they are enjoying all of the extra packets.
  • by Blancmange (195140) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @07:54PM (#22539808)

    It's funny that a bunch of Muslims get all upset over a picture of Prophet Mohammad Bomb-for-a-head [zombietime.com], while not making nearly quite a fuss over a bunch of Danish Muslim leaders distributing their own image of Paedophile Mohammed [ekstrabladet.dk] (an obvious reference to Mo having a 9 year old girl for a wife[1]) in order to incite more hatred against Danish cartoonists.

    The fanatics seem to be oblivious to the Streisand Effect. The Mohammad Image Archive [zombietime.com] makes for fascinating reading.

    [1] It's immaculate paraphilia, not paedophilia. Honest, m'lud!

  • by oceaniv (1243854) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @09:15PM (#22540462)
    I've been lurking on these boards for about two-three years and the amount of hatred and ignorance on these boards whenever something that has to do with "Islam" comes up is just plain disgusting. Captain Obvious says: 1. A vicious dictatorship, which has recently been accused of the murder of one of the most prominent politicians in the world (Bhutto), decides to ban an important source of information (youtube) from their citizens... (Go see the number of Pakistani political movies on Bhutto's death) 2. They use Islam as an scapegoat to justify their actions so as divert/dilute attention from their personal political motivation by passing on the "blame" to the larger (1 billion) Muslim community 3. At the moment of reading "Islam" and "censor" the so-called freedom-sensitive western slashdotter abandons all rational thought and begins foaming at the mouth. Good job Slashdotters, your intelligence (or rather lack of) is blinding.
  • by ejoe_mac (560743) on Monday February 25, 2008 @01:10AM (#22542138)
    So, what are the steps to secure the IP space in BGP? How likely is this to occur again? What if Pakistan couldn't subnet accurately? sBGP, where are you?

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