Govt Partially Blocks FB, YouTube

Govt Partially Blocks FB, YouTube

1 October 2012
Rising Kashmir
Sana Altaf

Srinagar: After ban on SMS and MMS services, the government has now partially blocked Facebook and YouTube in the state. “We have received directions from Home Department to block Facebook and YouTube,” General Manager BSNL V K Chopra told Rising Kashmir. He said all the internet service providers in the State have been directed to block Facebook and YouTube because of some objectionable content posted on these sites, which was being downloaded and circulated. “The step has been taken in the public interest,” he said. An official of TATA Indicom said they received government orders on September 24 calling for blocking of Facebook and YouTube services. Aircel communication spokesman in Srinagar, Javed Ahmad said the company has blocked the services as per directions of Home Department. However, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ali Mohammad Sagar denied having any information in this regard. The ban has been widely condemned by the net users across the Valley. “Banning social networking sites in 21st century sounds a sarcastic joke. Government is trying to isolate us from other parts of the world,” said Munaza Rafiq, a B A student, who has been unable to use Facebook for last two days on her mobile. She said social networking sites not only helped them to stay connected with friends and family but also served as a platform of information. “At a time when the world is moving ahead, our State is moving behind times,” added Munaza. Gul Nawaz Khan, a law student said the ban is against freedom of speech and expression. He said there is no justification in imposing ban on social networking sites. “Government must reconsider the decision.” Despite repeated attempts, concerned officials in Home Department could not be contacted. Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani did not respond to calls.