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ISP mistake cuts off YouTube, Pakistan from the internet

The world was cut off from YouTube and Pakistan was cut off from the world, due to a series of mistakes in handling Pakistan’s decree to block the popular video-sharing site.

It all started on Sunday, when Pakistani officials announced that the country will begin censoring YouTube, citing videos considered blasphemous to the country’s Islamic values.

According to Information Week, Pakistan’s ISPs were given immediate orders to block the popular video-sharing site. One such ISP, PieNet, blocked YouTube in such a way that requests to the site were routed to a webpage that they saw fit. Trouble set in afterwards, when the block was propagated to Hong Kong-based telecom provider PCCW. Technical errors caused PCCW’s changes to propagate throughout the entire world, sending the world’s YouTube requests to PieNet’s block page.

Details of what happened next are unclear, but it appears PCCW spotted the error and saw fit to cut off Pakistan’s internet access until it resolved the issue.

“The leadership of Pakistan just created a massive Denial of Service [attack] on their own country,” wrote blogger Richard Stiennon in ZDNet’s Threat Chaos.

According to YouTube parent Google, problems lasted for “about two hours.”

“Traffic to YouTube was routed according to erroneous internet protocols, and many users around the world could not access our site,” said Google in a statement, noting that it is “working with others in the internet community to prevent this from happening again.”

Speaking with the BBC, an unnamed networking expert thinks the blackout was “probably a simple mistake made by an engineer … there’s nothing to suggest this was malicious.”

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By thestain on 2/25/2008 9:04:17 PM , Rating: 1
I was setting up a PC for my folks and they thought it was all my fault when we could not get YouTube.. nice to know now after all the arguments and name calling it was the Talibans fault.

Three things come to mind..

1) While Google should be sensitive to needs of various regions, the world wide web really needs to be just that. Either people come onboard for the WWW or they stay off line and not have their government or e-policies mess with the rest of us, ok!!

2) Google needs to get away from other requirements, like Flash player to view their videos.. alternatives would be welcome. Does anyone know of any that work for YouTube?

3) It would be nice to see Google improve search engine.. that is their bread and butter and it has imo went downhill in an effort to be politically or world view or religiously correct.. let us search for anything with the most relevant results shown first again, rather than what is now taking place where it appears we are shielded for whatever reason from some very good results..

Lets get this WWW(World Wide Web) going strong and.. however YouTube got sunk by the Taliban... lets make sure this does not happen again.

The Stain

By Darkskypoet on 2/25/2008 9:28:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's called Google Experimental Timeline view :)

try this:

A Taliban search via time line view. Or simply search Google Experimental to see just how they are playing with search. Via the time line view you can set a date filter more easily, or hell, I suppose you could simply specify dates / use google news search, or many other ways of filtering the hundreds of thousands of results one can get through Google.

Oft-times I find that it is not Google's fault you can't find something... Its usually the user. (usually, not always).

By thestain on 2/26/2008 3:20:45 AM , Rating: 2

I have so far just used the default search and noticed over the past couple years my results of searches were not quite what i used to get. I will give the experimental a try.

By rykerabel on 2/26/2008 10:01:05 AM , Rating: 2
Flash used to work... until the anti-MS company entitled Adobe bought it and sabotaged the Windows versions. (flash still works great on Macs amazingly)

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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