Cyberpunk Review » Pakistan calls jihad on YouTube… and fails life

February 25, 2008

Pakistan calls jihad on YouTube… and fails life

How dumb are these people? Only last week did swiss bank syndicate Bank Julius Baer learn (we hope) that Internet censorship is FUTILE in their lame attempt to censor WikiLeaks. Now, Pakistan is taking a limp-penis poke at net-censorship by attempting to block YouTube, only to screw themselves off the net.

These blogs from ZDNet’s Richard Stiennon shows the brief timeline thus far:

3:16 PM Eastern US time:

Pakistan takes out YouTube by ZDNet’s Richard Stiennon — Like I said in a recent post, the Internet is a series of tubes. Sometimes that helps route around malicious legislation and regulators, somethings it causes big problems. Like today at 2 PM eastern when someone in Pakistan announced a more specific BGP route announcement for the block of IP addresses that YouTube uses. Routers […]

3:36 PM:

Pakistan declares war on YouTube by ZDNet’s Richard Stiennon — What could at first have been just one of those days on the Internet where some newbie engineer accidentally announces a spurious route and takes out a segment of the network has turned into an international fiasco. But no, Pakastan has ordered all ISP’s to block YouTube. From Yahoo news: ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan has […]

4:40 PM:

Pakistan removed from the Internet by ZDNet’s Richard Stiennon — 4:30 PM Eastern (US). The telecom company that carries most of Pakistan’s traffic, PCCW, has found it necessary to shut Pakistan off from the Internet while they filter out the malicious routes that a Pakistani ISP, PieNet, announced earlier today. Evidently PieNet took this step to enforce a decree from the Pakistani government that ISP’s […]

Richard’s third blog has his comment that pretty much puts the Pakistani zealots in their place:

A religious state, Pakistan, identifies a content provider, YouTube, as the source of blasphemous, seditious content and orders, King Canute style, that the Internet tides be stopped. A zealous ISP ignorantly decides the best way to comply with the decree is to re-route all of YouTube’s IP addresses to whatever site they thought was more appropriate. The first repercussion was that YouTube disappeared from the Internet for almost an hour. I suspect the second repercussion was that Pakistan’s Internet access crawled to a halt as all of a sudden they were handling IP requests for one of the busiest sites in the world. As of this writing YouTube has announced more granular routes so that at least in the US they supercede the routes announced by PieNet. The rest of the world is still struggling. So, while working on a fix that will filter out the spurious route announcements, PCCW has found it necessary to shut down Pakistan’s Internet access. The leadership of Pakistan just created a massive Denial of Service on their own country.

Pakistan took itself offline… SMOOTH MOVE EX-LAX!

Musharraf calls “blasphemy,” someone else calls “shenanigans.” The Islamabad zealots called for the blockage of YouTube for “containing ‘blasphemous’ content and material considered offensive to Islam.”


There may be another reason for the god-squad’s knee-jerk reaction, as shown in this post on Blogger News Network:

Musharraf’s Inquisition: Reason Why YouTube Was Blocked In Pakistan
February 24th, 2008 by Farrukh Khan Pitafi

The telecommunication authorities are claiming in Pakistan that YouTube was blocked for featuring allegedly blasphemous documentaries. While this move if triggered by this motive is as foolish as burning an entire library just because on a page of one of the books someone has scribbled a couple of words against you, it is far from truth. Actually Musharraf is a very self centered and insecure man these days and has recently learned from his sycophants that YouTube carries many videos critical of his government especially his torture on lawyers and political captives and since during this campaign technology played critical role in influencing people he wants to block out every kind of criticism. Again many citizens have reportedly uploaded video clips showing rigging under process in the constituencies where his allies either won or managed to dilute the verdict. There is distant though connected evidence why this must be true.

The day when the government decided to block YouTube two things happened. First AAJ TV brought back on air two of its anchors banned by Musharraf. The channel was immediately blocked by the satellite operator. The crime of the two anchors (Nusrat Javed and Mushtaq Minhas) was only to doubt Musharraf’s previous claims thinking out loud on television. Musharraf’s this ban has affected many of Pakistan’s leading anchors and opinion leaders of which I am aware of Dr Shahid Masood, Hamid Mir, Asma Sherazi and Kashif Abbasi apart from the above two.

The second thing that happened was the airing of an investigative report by Geo television which showed footage of rigging in the constituencies of Musharraf loyalists made through hidden camera. This too has reportedly not gone down well with Musharraf. Since in the past the regime also tried to block google’s weblog hosting service in the name of countering blasphemy, the ban on YouTube does not seem anything different. But Musharraf’s toadies are not happy with Pakistani blogs and cable channels too. So a similar ban may follow on these outlets too unless the west pressures him not to do so. This episode however has exposed Musharraf’s liberal credentials and committment to fighting extremism yet again.


Lessons NOT learned. Somebody didn’t learn from Bank Julius Baer’s idiocy in trying to get WikiLeaks shut down, but since they’ve cut themselves off the net it’s understandable. If Pakistan needs to learn a lesson, it is this:

You silence the TRUTH, it will become louder.
You blind the TRUTH, it will become brighter and clearer.
You suppress the TRUTH, it will oppress you.
You close the door on the TRUTH, it will open the windows.
You imprison the TRUTH, it will escape.
You devalue the TRUTH, it will become more valuable than you can afford.
You claim the TRUTH is a lie, it will prove YOU are the lie.
You strangle the TRUTH, it will slip through your iron fist like so much sand.
You declare the TRUTH is dead, it will live longer and stronger.

And as ZDNet’s Dana Blankenhorn wrote:

Censorship just makes the news bigger, and making it harder to get makes it more attractive. Successful censorship isolates entire countries, economy and all.

Congratulations, Musharraf. You just screwed the nation you’re supposed to lead.

This post has been filed under News as Cyberpunk by Mr. Roboto.


February 25, 2008

Hattori said:

Wow, they went as far as removing themselfs from the internet. Thats fucked up indeed.

Klaw said:

While censorship is wrong, it is within religious group’s rights (or in the case of religious nations) to block YouTube if they find it offensive. What we in the West are quite oblivious to is the assumption that all information all the time is good. We are in many ways innoculated against certain things such as porn and Goatse because we have been exposed to it and in many ways assume everyone can handle it… and they can’t.

While it is funny that a noob engineer redirected all YouTube traffic to themselves… I do think it’s important to understand we should not expect the whole world to behave as we do… and be exposed to the same things… especially frivolous vulgar video that although I enjoy and find amusing, isn’t for everyone.

Gigabyte Eschaton said:

Ok, this is reaching. I expect the Swiss banking fiasco and the judges involved to know better, but cmon, Pakistan?? Don’t expect a nation to be on the same page as us westerners when they have never shown themselves to be.

This is standard behaviour for a tribalistic theocracy. Wait for them to grow up and ground themselves on liberty, then we can harp on their abuses of human rights and their oppression when such are not the norm but the exception.

February 26, 2008

CorSaiR said:

i lol-ed on this one sooooo hard.

February 28, 2008

caprison said:

Nice article. If there was any doubt that Pakistan was messed up before let there be no doubt now. So if Youtube wanted to sue them what do you think they could get.. 324,456 goats??, 2000 pounds of opium poppies, a couple of fresh thermonuclear weapons?? I don’t know..

On a side note.. i heard PieNet is posting a new job opening for a network administrator. Requirements: being able to roll your tongue loudly and scream “death to the infidels”.

April 4, 2008

Soulmaster said:

Ones that discard the advantages of today, ones that do not take irreversible steps into tomorrow, are doomed to live in yesterday. And yesterday is where langoliers chew on the carcass of the existence.
Since Islam disregards technology, it’s a crossroads: either those people accept technology and Islam (traditional, at least) goes away, or the people become extinct and irrelevant.

I’ve heard of muslim asian/muslim african hackers involved in military espionage, so it figures.

December 23, 2008

Someone said:

To the poster and every one who thinks that these people are dumb and not him/her self..

Please see the Power of nightmares docmentary by adam curtis!


Matt said:

Klaw: I have to respectfully disagree with your analysis, siting that they had to REDIRECT the traffic from Youtube to State preferred addresses. The fact that their servers could not handle the load of all the redirects proves the people of Pakistan clearly wish to view frivolous and vulgar videos (which I, too, find very amusing), perhaps even enjoy porn and laugh/cringe at a goatse, tubgirl or lemon party. The problem here is a government obsessed with controlling information to keep a people oppressed as opposed to the populace somehow being under exposed. This is dangerous on many fronts; not the least of which being that the secular world views the actions of political leaders, who commit these autrocities against individual liberty in the name of a ‘religion’ that may or may not even support the notion, as the essence of the religion itself where as it is more than likely the essence of the powerful trying to maintain said power. This leads to a form of “Atheist extremism” on one side of the table and fuels genuine religious extremism on the other. There is the pressing issue that we in America recognize that freedom of information is essential to the well being of a free people and the defense of individual liberty. It was by no random chance that the subject matters addressed in the First Amendment were addressed FIRST.

I could pontificate all day about the importance of a deregulated World Wide Web and the absolutely vital role it plays on the stage of modern communications and transmission of information. So, I’ll sum it up in saying that while I agree that we must not assume all cultures on Earth are going to want the same things and think the same way as Americans, we do (IMHO) have the obligation to not defend tyranny by writing it off as the misguided or plebian preferences of a nation who is “not ready for it yet”. The people can chose for themselves what they are and are not ready for.

Free the information Pakistan!

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