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Pakistan threatens to ban Google unless it cleans up YouTube

Islamabad, June 12 (): The Press Trust of India reported that the new IT minister of Pakistan has warned that Google could be blocked in the country if the company fails to remove blasphemous and objectionable material from video-sharing website YouTube, owned by Google.

YouTube has been banned since September when clips from a controversial film, Innocence of Muslims, triggered demonstrations around the world. “Innocence Of Muslims” generated violent protests by right wing groups across Pakistan and the PPP-led government itself sanctioned a day of protests in September last year.

Anusha Rahman Khan, minister of State for IT and Telecommunication has hinted she will block the search engine altogether if YouTube does not remove unsuitable material. She said her ministry would start work this week on a web filter that would screen out blasphemous and pornographic content, as well as asking Google for help.

But, Google has denied to remove blasphemous content from YouTube in Pakistan, stating that the localisation process of YouTube in Pakistan would take time, as it is looking for suitable laws.

Zeffri Yusof, head of the Google Malaysia Communications and public affairs said that Google was providing a localised version of YouTube in 49 countries around the world. He said they give local content that is more applicable to the users in that country and abiding by the laws of that particular country and limited access to a video when it is informed that it is illegal in that particular country.

Yusof further stated countries like Pakistan have access to a global version of the site and they need to be notified of the video content in order to customise its access in a particular country after a thorough review.

The head stated the localisation process is a lengthy one, as they need to research laws and build relationships with local content creators.