pakistan

Pakistan to lift YouTube ban after adding "filtration mechanism"

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Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf announced Monday that the Middle Eastern country's government will lift its nearly four-month-long nationwide ban on YouTube as soon it can effectively create a filter mechanism that will effectively rid Pakistani access to any information its government deems to be inappropriate or disrespectful.

"We believe in access to free information," Ashraf said in an address to the South Asia Free Media Association Monday. "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."

YouTube has been blocked throughout Pakistan since Sept. 17, when the nation's brass restricted access to the site in the wake of Google's decision to not remove a trailer for the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims from the site's catalog.

Google has owned YouTube since purchasing it for $1.65 billion in 2006.

The site briefly became available to Pakistanis two weeks ago, but government officials once again restricted access to the site after only a matter of minutes.

At the time, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik reported on Twitter that there was "great demand to unblock [YouTube] from all sections of society" and pledged to acquire "powerful firewall software" that would "totally block pornographic and blasphemous material" from showing up on the site.

Evidently, that's something still in the works.

Photo via We Are Change/YouTube