Ashraf did not persuade Google to remove the \'Innocence of Muslims\' film
Lahore – Arabstoday
The Pakistani government would unblock YouTube once a filtration system has been put in place, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Wednesday.
An earlier order to Internet service providers [ISP] and mobile firms to reopen
YouTube on December 29 was reportedly cancelled shortly after it was issued because the government discovered the anti-Islamic video \"Innocence of Muslims,\" which contributed to violent protests across the Muslim world last September, had not been removed from the site, according to the country’s Dawn newspaper.
\"We believe in access to free information,” PM Ashraf told the 8th South Asian Free Media Conference in Lahore. “The only reason not to unblock YouTube is the presence of blasphemous material on it. We will open it as soon as we have a filtration mechanism.”
Pakistan’s Express Tribune claimed in a recent report, however, that it is more likely the video hosting site will remain “inaccessible” in Pakistan for the foreseeable future as three-month-old talks between Pakistan Telecommunication Authority officials and Google, which owns YouTube, had not convinced the Internet mogul to remove the \"Innocence of Muslims\" video from the website. The report also said that Google also does not have a localised version of the video in its possession.
The newspaper quoted sources as saying Pakistani ISPs, who are affected by the YouTube ban, have been lobbying to push Google to register the website in Pakistan so they can autonomously block all links seen as being offensive.
Other Islamic countries are currently developing national alternatives to YouTube, to prevent users accessing material considered anti-Islamic. Iranian authorities are said to be designing a “National Internet” for this aim, while also developing “intelligent software” to monitor social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.