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Pakistan lifts YouTube ban

PTA and PCCW both deny involvement

YouTube has reported that a ban on access, which was imposed by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) last weekend, has now been lifted.

The Pakistan Telecom Authority was alleged to have 'hijacked' the web server address of the popular Google-owned video site and re-directed access to a different address. It was reported that the ban concerned a trailer for a forthcoming film by Dutch politician Geert Wilder, which portrays Islam as a fascist religion prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.

Read our story: 'Pakistan implicated in YouTube blackout', here

Unfortunately when details on the ban were leaked ISPs worldwide blocked access to the site.

"We are pleased to confirm that YouTube is again accessible in Pakistan," said a YouTube spokesperson, although they wouldn't speculate on why the ban had been lifted.

ISP PCCW was rumoured to be involved but in a statement to ZDNet.co.uk, the company denied it had been responsible for the outage.

"One of [PCCW's] downstream customers erred in routing configuration in a manner that apparently affected YouTube traffic. PCCW Global acted swiftly to correct the problem by disconnecting the source network which allowed immediate traffic normalization," a PCCW spokesperson said.

The PCT has also since denied its involvement, telling the BBC it had been caused by a "malfunction" elsewhere.

"We are not hackers. Why would we do that?" Shahzada Alam Malik, head of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, told the AP news service.

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