Free proxy websites render YouTube ban ineffective

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A number of freely available proxy websites and software applications on internet have largely made the government’s ban on YouTube ineffective. Whether the government lifts the restriction or continues it further, the users will however feel no difference because of the available unblocking methods, telecom professionals said.

The globally popular video sharing website is being conveniently visited for movies, songs, cartoon films, sports matches, education learning and for other materials despite the government’s ban. “There are a number of ways to unblock any restricted site on internet with the help of a variety of websites and applications which are easily available for users,” telecom sources said on Tuesday.

Pakistan banned access to YouTube in mid-September last year as the top video site had posted an anti-Islam movie which triggered mass demonstration and violent protests in Muslim world. The ban on YouTube since then continues though a brief resumption late December in 2012 was witnessed. “The government may reopen the site for local users anytime but its ban however is largely diluted by the proxy servers,” the telecom professionals said.

Whether it is learning of English language, solving mathematics questions and physics numerical, photography, poems for children, computer education or any other academic and professional knowledge, YouTube is believed the world’s best site, they said. The tube also provides access through free account to every user to upload personal footages, pictures and videos on the site, which can be seen across the world. “It is also a best and most effective site for children education,” they said.

However, video site has emerged a source of disrepute to religions, social and culture norms and propaganda tool across the world, they said. “The site has its paradoxical status, you may like and at the same hate it for the stuff posted on it,” they pointed out.

The official stance on banning YouTube is still vague, as Pakistan Telecommunication Authority can block the unwanted material and make the site accessible for all internet users, they suggested. “The use of free proxies widely enables the users to click on YouTube without any problems or inconvenience,” they said, adding that “the government just needs to weed out the unwanted material, instead of unblocking the site,” they opined. They said the growing computer literacy rate in Pakistan shows that such restriction will make no impact on internet users. “Every user is equipped with ample knowledge of computer and its internet applications,” they added.

Pakistan Press Foundation

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Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) is an independent media research, documentation and training centre working to promote and defend freedom of press.. Follow us on Twitter / Facebook.

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