STAFF REPORT IBD: Since blocking the YouTube five months ago in the wake of protests across the country over a blasphemous movie, the government has done practically nothing 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 experts, Pakistan needs to sign the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the US before asking the America-based company Google (which owns the YouTube) to remove the objectionable content from the website.
“Unlike Pakistan, countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia have entered into agreements with the US. Under the MLAT, these countries are in a position to request Google to follow local laws and remove the objectionable content from YouTube,” said Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), Wahajus Siraj.
He said that the agreement safeguarded interests of the service provider (Google in this case) by not holding it responsible for any blasphemous or anti-state content posted online by individuals.
According to Siraj, absence of the treaty is why, despite repeated requests from Pakistan, Google has not taken out the anti-Islam movie. Access to YouTube was blocked on Sept 18 last year following protests in the country.