Pakistan blocks over 700 anti-Islam YouTube links

Pakistan blocks over 700 anti-Islam YouTube links

Pakistan Monday blocked over 700 links to an anti-Islam film on YouTube that has triggered anti-US protests across the Muslim world, including Pakistan, officials said.

The decision was taken after the Supreme Court issued orders to the state-owned Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block links to the movie, reported Xinhua.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry directed the PTA to take down all sacrilegious material that disrespects Islam or Prophet Mohammad in any way. He asked the PTA chief to submit a report about the action he will take following the directives.

The PTA director general told the apex court that almost 100 new clips of the anti-Islam film proliferated on YouTube every day.

He said that the PTA had written a letter to YouTube, requesting the removal of such clips, but the video-sharing website replied  that it does not have any such agreement with the government of Pakistan.

Justice Chaudhry directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority to set up "standards of modesty" and submit a reply in this regard within two weeks.

The government earlier had claimed that the PTA and the  information technology ministry had blocked 122 anti-Islamic websites over the past few days.

The authorities had also told the public that any blasphemous material that comes to their attention must be reported immediately to the PTA through phone or email.

The government clarified that it was not blocking popular websites YouTube and Facebook, but only anti-Islamic material would be blocked. Officials say that obscene material will be blocked on case-to-case basis.

Links to the anti-Islam movie were blocked amid series of protests across Pakistan over the past few days. One person was killed and dozens were injured in clashes between the police and protestors in Karachi Sunday after the demonstrators pelted stones at the US consulate in the city.

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