Egypt’s telecommunications ministry says that it can’t block YouTube, going against an order handed down by a Cairo court. Offensive religious content posted on the site prompted the court to issue a 30 day ban.
This move is just the latest in a country that is having problems finding its footing between law and order, and totalitarian rule. Since the removal of Hosni Mubarak as president/dictator of the Middle Eastern country, Egypt has been rife with protests and attempted power grabs.
The country has seen so many large protests that it recently decided to issue 100,000 new pistols to its police force. This move is an attempt to simply curb the violence that has gripped the country. Computerworld is reporting that the Egyptian government can’t block YouTube without also affecting Google’s search, something the telecommunications agency is not keen on doing partly because they believe it could actually incur more costs.
The issue that the court has with YouTube is a series of trailers to a video called “Innocence of Muslims.” The video is said by some to depict the Prophet Mohammed, one of Islam’s holiest figures, in a derogatory manner.
ABC News is reporting that YouTube has already taken steps to censor itself, blocking access to the film because it broke local decency laws. Just in case the agency’s stand against blocking YouTube is circumvented, a civil rights group has filed an appeal on the ruling.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression in Egypt says that the court’s edict is basically “collective punishment” and far too harsh. With the announcement that Egypt can’t block YouTube do you think this will be the end of this fight? Can Egyptian YouTubers go about their business knowing the service will be there, or are they bound for disappointment when the government finds a way around this roadblock?