Pakistan may unblock YouTube, with filter for ‘blasphemous’ videos

YouTube has been banned in the country since 2012.


Joe Kloc

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 2, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 7:36 am CDT

The Pakistani government expects to restore citizens’ access to YouTube, the Express Tribune reported.

In September of 2012, the government blocked access to YouTube due to the what it deemed was offensive content shared on the site. On August 22 of this year, the State Minister for Information Technology announced that the state had acquired the necessary filters to block the objectionable videos.

Apparently, the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited provided the government with the filters for 4,000 URLS “containing blasphemous content.”

The filters are currently being tested. A final decision about the fate of YouTube in Pakistan will be made when the Inter-Ministerial Committee convenes later this year.

“The IMC meeting has not been convened yet,” ministry spokesperson Kamran Ali Khan said to the Express Tribune, “the test run [of the filters] is going on and the IMC meeting would be convened once there are desirable results.”

Illustration by Jay Hathaway

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*First Published: Sep 2, 2013, 3:03 pm CDT