YouTube will Start soon in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Khan said on Thursday that YouTube would open soon after the approval of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) while a cell has been established in PTA to point out and immediately block the unbearable material from the Internet.
Talking to media persons here the Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication said that a team comprising experts was working hard round the clock to block the sites containing blasphemous material and about 4000 such sites have already been blocked. She said that the government was working on the issue involving blockage of YouTube and a committee consisting of fourteen members had deeply worked on the matter and had put forwarded some recommendations for consideration to resolve the matter permanently.
The Information Technology & Telecommunication Ministry will table these recommendations during the next Inter-Ministerial Committee, which is mandated to open the website, she added.Anusha Rahman Khan also said with the help of free-of cost filters from Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) a trial was conducted and four thousand URL had been blocked successfully. A response cell in Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has also been established to monitor and immediately block the blasphemous material on the Internet following the refusal of the Google Inc. management to block those URL that contained unbearable material. She also declared that auction of 3G technology would be made soon after the formation of PTA board and to control the grey traffic a vigilance cell has also been established in the PTA.
” Earlier, there was no ready system to control grey traffic in the country, however, now a system has been formed which is installed at PTA to control grey traffic. And, this system worth Rs270crore would be installed till September 15,” She said. Since Google had declined to cooperate with the government in removing unpleasant material from the websites so a technical formula is under process to block the blasphemous material available on internet.
The suspension of YouTube in Pakistan was made following the orders of Supreme Court that found blasphemous material on the website. And, a decision to close YouTube in Pakistan was taken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee, which had given technical assistance from the Ministry of Information and Technology, she added.
The incumbent PML-N government is seriously contemplating to open the YouTube, which, however, be opened after getting nod of all relevant stakeholders while all the stakeholders had been advised to find a solution. She further said that research is in progress to determine the YouTube links, which contained the sacrilegious movie, and development is underway for blocking mechanisms for other URLs and links on both the Http and the secure Https protocols to ensure the restraint of controversial content.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), constituted by the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 2006, has the mandate to evaluate and restrict offensive online content in Pakistan. This committee, headed by the Secretary of IT, has representation from different Government of Pakistan Ministries, entities and agencies. the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) had evaluated the circumstances in outgoing September and concluded that Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) should block Youtube and Facebook in Pakistan on 17 September, 2012 till further orders.
In accordance, the Ministry of IT (MoIT) ordered PTA to block the websites. Similarly, a policy directive was also issued by the Ministry in May, 2012 and advised the PTA to deploy a state of the art technical solution to proactively and independently block blasphemous and pornographic matters from the websites. However, so far the PTA could not implement this policy directive. PTA falls under the Cabinet Division and not come under the administrative control of Ministry of Information Technology, Anusha added.
The Ministry of IT had also taken up the matters with the management of YouTube and Facebook for blocking the blasphemous content from websites. In response, Facebook had restricted the access and upload of the video on the website. But, the Google Inco did not remove the sacrilegious content by saying that YouTube complies with international laws that are subject to the laws of United States that, however, do not comply with Pakistan-specific content removal request.
She further said that the volume of incoming calls before the International Clearing House (ICH) Agreement was 2 billion minutes monthly, which had declined to 500 million minutes after the establishment of ICH, however it is yet unclear why there was a decline.
At present the country lacks the capacity to monitor international incoming/outgoing calls along with voice, text communication on Internet and blasphemous movies; hence the government has decided to upgrade the ICH and the financial support has been extended to all private companies to install the required equipment, she added.