Monday, February 25, 2008

Pakistan to cut off YouTube access

Pakistan has apparently banned all access to YouTube within the country ("The Land of the Pure") after publicity about a planned short film release from Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders, which would portray Islam as "fascist" and prone to violence and repression of women and gays. The AP story is by Sadaqat Jan and is titled "Pakistan Blocks YouTube Video Access," link here. The story appeared on p 9 of the Washington Post this morning in print.

It does seem bizarre that a whole major site is blocked because of one item, but I don't know whether Pakistan would have been able to block that one item alone; but it seems from various reports that China blocks many specific items and sites, even with the help of major companies wanting to continue to do business in this market.

To cover the rapidly evolving political developments in Pakistan after Musharraf's election loss, go here on CNN.

I recently found that a spider had been run against my site from Iran, and it lingered, trying to load a few specific videos repeatedly (perhaps only because it couldn't connect).

Update: Feb. 26, 2008

Jane Spencer has a story on page B1 print of the Feb. 26, 2008 Wall Street Journal, "How a System Error in Pakistan Shut YouTube," link here. Service on YouTube was actually disrupted around the world on Sunday (Feb. 24) because of a problem called "black-holing" where router errors accumulated and backed up on servers because of the "coronary" blockage in Pakistan. It still isn't clear why only that one clip couldn't be blocked Pakistan. Visitors may be able to comment on this.

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