NEW DELHI: The Lahore High Court has observed that it appears
that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is least
interested in drafting a mechanism that could open (unblock)
YouTube in Pakistan.
The observation was made earlier this month in 'Pakistan Internet
Freedom' (Bytes for All Vs Federation of Pakistan).
However, the Deputy Attorney General informed court that
Google did not respond to the request and seemingly has no
interest in this case and so did not appear in court. Earlier,
it was learnt that a legal representative of Google was going
to appear before the court.
Bytes for All, the petitioner of the case, informed that PTA
was misleading the court and that it had the mechanism to
filter the unwanted blasphemous and anti-social content on
"While PTA has the technical capacity to block individual
URLs to keep the rest of the platform accessible, they had
been denying their ability to do so", the petitioner
A filtering solution is already in practice at Pakistan Telecommunication
Company Limited (PTCL) who hired the technology from a Canadian
According to the petitioner, Netsweeper technology is being
implemented in Pakistan on PTCL for purposes of political
and social filtering, including websites of secessionist movements,
sensitive religious topics, and independent media.
Several times, the Pakistan government and its regulatory
bodies have announced that they lack a technical capability
to block specific URLs in Pakistan and for that they require
filtering software. Other than this, government representatives
have been demanding Google to open its office in Pakistan
so that legal affairs could be controlled in a better way.
An official of the ISP while commenting on the situation said,
"It is very easy to provide complete access to YouTube
archive and filter the unwanted content at the same time.
If government is seriously willing to resolve the issue, ISPs
can install the filtering software on their end. This will
ensure filtered access to entire YouTube".
Meanwhile even as PTA had claimed last year that that it had
blocked the access to the videos on YouTube that are anti-Islamic,
many leading Pakistani ISPs are still making it possible for
people to access those videos (without even using any proxy)
which are actually the trailers of the movie titled Innocence