Egyptian Telecoms Ministry Appeals Against YouTube Ban

Egyptian Telecoms Ministry Appeals Against YouTube Ban

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The government would see YouTube blocked for 30 days over The Innocence of Muslims.

When inflammatory anti-Islamic video The Innocence of Muslims first appeared on YouTube last fall it sparked widespread protest, some of it violent, across the Muslim world. Egypt, like many of its neighbors, quickly blocked access to the clip. Now, almost 6 months on, the Egyptian government remains displeased with YouTube for still hosting the banned video, and would like to let YouTube and its owners know this by shutting the whole site down for 30 days. However, the government is being blocked from doing just that by the country's own telecoms ministry.

Citing technical costs and legal concerns as reasons for its rejection of the shutdown, the telecoms ministry is appealing the judgement that called last week for the 30 day ban. It isn't alone, either; campaigning by its side is the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression in Egypt (AFTEE to its friends), which described the proposed ban as "collective punishment of all YouTube and Google service users."

In a statement, AFTEE added that, in its view, "Banning these websites will deprive internet users from the right of expressing themselves on those sites as well as depriving them of an important means of expression."

Google, which owns YouTube, is used to this by now. Ever since it first appeared on the site, The Innocence of Muslims has prompted removal requests from governments all over the world, including a request from the White House. In a statement on the subject given to the BBC, Google said that it's been dealing with these requests carefully. "[We] work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions," said a spokesperson. "This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country may be offensive or illegal elsewhere."

"The authorities in Egypt have notified us of individual videos that they believe are illegal and, after a thorough review, we have blocked access to them on the Egyptian version of YouTube," concludes the statement.

At the moment Egypt is in flux, with widespread dissatisfaction with the behavior of its administration sparking riots across the country earlier this year. That a judge from the current administration, presided over by the Muslim Brotherhood, should call for a blanket YouTube ban because of The Innocence of Muslims is not surprising; that its own telecoms ministry should appeal it, however, is encouraging. Many will remember how the toppled government of dictator Hosni Mubarak attempted to use internet blackouts to control the population during the revolution, and to see parts of the post-Spring government working to ensure the right of Egyptians to access YouTube and use it as a forum for dialogue and the sharing of ideas (and, well, also things like that one He-Man music video that everyone always ends up at), is pleasing news indeed for fans of internet freedom everywhere.

We'll keep you updated as this story progresses.

Source: BBC News

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You know, I don't know about the rest of you guys but I won't kill anyone or destroy property over an offensive video. Just saying.

And I thought game publishers treated the public like children.
Remember when Muslims were attacking Americans over things that ACTUALLY MATTERED? I miss those days.

You know, I really do love how these thugs in dirty nightshirts will get so offended when people say they're violent and evil...and then to prove how peaceful and kind they are, they behave violently and do evil things. I have yet to hear of a Jewish person who started murdering indiscriminately if someone says something bad about their religion. I await the negative comments and possible ban.

Sigh..... I await the day when humanity just learns to get over itself and let people do their own thing.

One constructive thing did come from reading this article.... I apparently missed out on that he-man video when it first came out and am thoroughly enjoying it now. ^_^

I knew the Muslim Brotherhood was going to be a problem. Hopefully we don't get another Iran.

Well... at least the telecoms ministry has some common sense! Blocking the entirety of youtube anywhere is like cutting off the Internet's nose to spite it's face!

LysanderNemoinis:
You know, I really do love how these thugs in dirty nightshirts will get so offended when people say they're violent and evil...and then to prove how peaceful and kind they are, they behave violently and do evil things. I have yet to hear of a Jewish person who started murdering indiscriminately if someone says something bad about their religion. I await the negative comments and possible ban.

I think that a lot of it is still just a problem of age. Judaism is thousands of years old, Islam is a mere 1400. When Christianity was 1200 it was still frequently riding into the desert to slaughter Muslims.

The zealous stupidity...it's...overwhelming.
It's like requesting a game gets shut down because one user voiced his opinion (albeit quite insulting).

I don't suppose they understand the results of shutting down website of this scale (ie. massive revenue losses)

Sometimes (read: all the time) I wish religious elitists, above all other forms of elitists, would just spontaneously die.

and the whole killing spree that sparked all this was shown to be a pre planned attack, the video did not get retconed into the whole thing until later on.

cerebus23:
and the whole killing spree that sparked all this was shown to be a pre planned attack, the video did not get retconed into the whole thing until later on.

Amen! Glad to hear someone knows the truth about what happened. The film maker got locked up on a trumped-up charge so the government could say they "did something" when it was really just that they didn't want to admit a terrorist attack happened on Obama's watch. But the Fort Hood shooting, as well as one or two others, already were...even if they'd never admit it.

RatherDull:
You know, I don't know about the rest of you guys but I won't kill anyone or destroy property over an offensive video. Just saying.

That's because your from a civilized, rational culture, as opposed to one ruled by religion and xenophobic spirituality. With Egypt it's a relatively mixed bag as you can see from the civil wars which are in part based around a clash between Islamics and more rational sorts even if they themselves tend to be rather borked to say the least.

Understand your dealing with a culture (which runs through myriad nations in the region) that if you've been paying attention, has had women stoned to death for not marrying their rapists, along with basically keeping women as slaves and demanding foreign women visiting not be shown to have any authority and follow Muslim custom during meetings (wearing body tents, etc...). Not to mention that whole lovely law against showing/producing an image of Mohammad which lead to the internet "draw Mohammad" day in protest.

Whether it's a movie, or someone writing a book (like say Satanic Verses) that is critical of Islamic culture, you wind up seeing these kinds of reactions, which is the problem. A minority might act, but the culture itself is in support which is exactly the problem and why it's so hard to track down the actual terrorists.

THAT said by many accounts the video wasn't what inspired these attacks, it was simply the rallying point used towards the end by way of "justification". Or so certain reports have said. A point I find darkly humorous because it shows not only how deep the poison actually goes, but it's laughable that someone would pick something like this as a later justification.

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On a side note, for anyone that is curious, the apparent reason under analysis why nobody is allowed to draw pictures or show images of Mohammad is because he never existed. He's more or less a culture hero that was created as an alleged leader for the Islamic movements as it was taking over the region. The idea being that at the time anyone could claim to be Mohommad and you'd largely hear about him doing things, but few people if anyone would ever actually meet the guy or see him do anything. I was reading some stuff about this back when the whole "draw Mohammad" thing came out since there were people analyzing the trend and pointing out that it's difficult based on the stories, lore, and Qua'ran to actually plot any kind of path for where the guy was, especially seeing as he apparently shows up in multiple places nearly simultaneously without the abillity to travel there.

It presents an interesting counterpoint to other religions that get quite iconic with their central figures. Buddha, Jesus, etc... Jesus for example is portrayed as looking a specific way due to something called "The Mandylion" which is simply put a portrait painted by a messenger who met him. The basic story being a king sent a messenger to Jesus to ask him to heal the sick, Jesus said he was too busy but would send one of his disciples to take care of it (which happened according to the story) and the messenger so enchanted by his encounter painted a picture of Jesus. Unlike other portraits there were questions as to whether the guys doing them ever actually met Jesus, where there is a sort of trail attached to The Mandylion which allows one to take it as first hand knowlege. This is largely why there is so much flak thrown at people who draw pictures of "Black Jesus" and other assorted things claiming that they are more authentic, people turned Jesus light skinned, how inaccurate the current versions probably are, etc... when the classic image goes back to that source (updated for modern techniques).

I'm rambling, and The Mandylion which is admittedly contreversial in it's own right or the whole issue of Mohammad's image are kind of irrelevent. I'm not going to argue the point, since before my usual tangent the point was simply how the culture gets rallied to violence over the dumbest things, and I personally think a lot of it is getting butthurt over questions they don't want to be looked into too closely. Plenty of those with other religions and cultures as well, but in general nobody freaks out if you draw a picture of Buddha, Jesus, or Uncle Sam, Islam just seems to be "special" that way given the scale under which it operates.

 

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