Pak yet to take action on YouTube issue

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 28, 2013 10:49 hrs

Islamabad: Five months after the Pakistan government blocked access to video-sharing website YouTube in the wake of protests across the country over a blasphemous movie, it is yet to either get the objectionable content removed from the website or open access to its non-controversial pages for millions of internet users.

According to sources in the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Pakistan needs to sign the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the US before asking the America-based company Google - which owns YouTube - to remove the objectionable content from the website, reports The Dawn.

Convener of the Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), Wahajus Siraj, said countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia have entered into agreements with the US.

The agreement safeguards interests of the service provider by not holding it responsible for any blasphemous or anti-state content posted online by individuals/users, Siraj said.

According to Siraj, absence of the treaty was why, despite repeated requests from Pakistan, Google has not taken out the anti-Islam movie. Access to YouTube was blocked on September 18 last year following protests in the country.

Siraj said that signing the agreement could be done within two months given that government officials in the ministry of information technology worked proactively on the matter.

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