Services To You Tube Taken Down By Pakistan Government

Services to Google’s YouTube website have reportedly been taken down by the government of Pakistan following the former’s refusal to remove a movie video made in the US, which is a spoof on the life of Prophet Mohammed.

Enraging the Islamic world, the anti-Islam movie, called ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was termed ‘blasphemous’ by Pakistan officials and was seen as a possible medium for a deadly attack on the US embassy in Libya and protests in Egypt, India and Bangladesh.

In a statement by Raza Parvez Ashraf, Prime Minister, Pakistan, he said “Blasphemous content will not be accepted at any cost.” The site was blocked following orders of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).

Users in Pakistan who tried to visit the famous video-sharing site were welcomed with a shut down message that said the website contains ‘indecent material’.

The access to the movie clip, which caused a rage, is now blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan, which has more than a quarter of the world’s Muslim population of 1.6 billion.

Trying to clear its stance on the matter, Youtube said the video was made inside the community guidelines. The firm also said that due to the sensitive situations in Egypt and Libya, the access to the movie clip was voluntarily blocked.

However, the governments of India, Malaysia and Indonesia asked Google to block the video from YouTube. People trying to access the video in India get a message ‘This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request’.

YouTube services are also blocked in Afghanistan. However, YouTube made no comment on its domain being blocked in Pakistan.

Following the protest over the website, thousands of Pakistanis took the streets, burning effigies of Barack Obama and the US flag. As many as 40 students were arrested. Many Muslims also protested near the US Consulate in the northwestern city of Wari on Sunday, where at least one demonstrator was killed, while several others were wounded. Till now, a total number of 19 people have died in violence over the anti-Islam movie.… Read the rest

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“Tweets Should Be Private and Entitled To Constitutional Privacy”: Twitter

Twitter on Monday filed an appeal in Occupy Wall Street court order, which told the former to turn over three months tweets of one of its user, who is being prosecuted for the protests over Occupy Wall Street.

In an ongoing court fight to identify users’ rights in social media accounts, Twitter Inc. said that tweets should be private and entitled to constitutional privacy protections as they are no longer visible on the social site.

The San Francisco-based company called its role as a “voice of liberty around the globe”.

The case is related to the Twitter account of activist Malcolm Harris, who was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge during a 2011 protest. The brief is filed in the New York State Supreme Court.

Early in 2012, prosecutors issued warrant against Harris, asking Twitter to turn over information for two names associated with Harris: “@destructuremal” and “@getsworse.”

Twitter responded by telling Harris about the warrant who then asked a court to cancel them. The social site said that users own their tweets and should have the right to fight such invalid government request.

In an April ruling, Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. found that Harris couldn’t be sued as his tweets belonged to Twitter.

However, Sciarrino Jr. also rejected Twitter’s efforts to nullify the warrant. He ruled that Harris had no privacy rights in his tweets.

In key arguments from Twitter’s appeal, the firm said that Twitter users have a property right in the content they post. It also argued that Twitter users should have the same right to challenge warrants as Gmail users.

Twitter further appealed saying that Twitter users have a Fourth Amendment privacy right in their accounts. It also said the judge made an error by ruling that all of Harris’ tweets, including the deleted ones, were public.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it would file a brief in support of Twitter’s appeal.

Harris’ criminal trial is set for December 12 but is not likely to go ahead until the New York Supreme Court rules on Twitter’s appeal first.… Read the rest

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