Pakistan Lifts Curbs on YouTube


Pakistan's telecoms regulator said Tuesday it has lifted restrictions on the YouTube Web site that led to the knocking out of access to the popular video-sharing site in many other countries for a few hours over the weekend.The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered 70 domestic Internet service providers to restore access to the site after removal of what government officials had deemed a "blasphemous" video clip.

Pakistan ordered YouTube blocked on Friday over a clip featuring a Dutch lawmaker who has said he plans to release a movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence. As a result, most of the world's Internet users lost access to YouTube for several hours on Sunday.An Internet expert said Sunday's problems came after a Pakistani telecommunications company complied with the block by directing requests for YouTube videos to a "black hole."

So instead of serving up videos of skateboarding dogs, it sent the traffic into oblivion.The problem was that the company also accidentally identified itself to Internet computers as the world's fastest route to YouTube, which is owned by Google Inc. That led requests from across the Internet to the black hole.The outage highlighted yet another of the Internet's vulnerabilities, coming less than a month after broken fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean took Egypt off line and caused communications problems from the Middle East to India.

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