Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 20:15 pm (KSA) 17:15 pm (GMT)

Pakistan YouTube ban causes worldwide outage

Pakistan said it had lifted a ban on YouTube Tuesday after the website removed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, adding that an earlier worldwide outage sparked by its actions was unintentional.

Telecommunications officials told AFP that the popular website was up and running again in the conservative Muslim nation after YouTube removed "highly profane and sacrilegious footage" that was offensive to Islam.

"We have issued instructions to all Internet service providers that YouTube should be unblocked as the specific content has been removed by the website," Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) spokesman Khurram Mehran told AFP.

YouTube was not immediately available to confirm whether it had removed the material, which the PTA said was controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that were republished by Danish newspapers earlier this month.

Global error

Authorities ordered the blocking of the website at the weekend in protest at what it said was blasphemous material but the move prompted worldwide problems with access for a few hours.

YouTube said Monday that an Internet service provider complying with Pakistan's ban on the website routed many worldwide users to nowhere for a couple of hours over the weekend.

"This was not intentional and might have happened when an international company, which is routing Internet traffic to Pakistan, tried to block the specific (web address)," a senior PTA official told AFP.

The ban was only partially effective, with industry officials saying that some Pakistani users were able to access YouTube through at least one major service provider that relies on a foreign-based router.

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