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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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Clarifications about Islam
By UzairH on 2/26/2008 4:59:02 AM , Rating: 5
I am a practicing Muslim and I would like to reply to the snide attacks made here on the Muslims:

1. In lands where Islam is practiced today there are many, many tradations of old, which are practiced in the guise of religion. This is NOT true Islam, but machinations by those in power (men over women, dictators over the populace, mullahs over the populace) to _control_.

2. Classic Islam was a pluralistic society where scholars and professionals of other faiths were welcomed. Saladin's personal physician was a Jew. Hell, the Muslims tolerated and lived in peaceful coexistence with the Jews since its beginning, while it was always Christian Europe which had a problem with them.

3. Islam was the first religion to give women their full rights: inheritence, right to property ownership and business, right to divorce, even the right to vote. When did the US give its women suffrage?

There is nothing in Islam about a woman covering her face. It is a modern invention of the extremists, the pseudo-scholars. In the Koran women and men are _equal_ in the eyes of God, and there is nothing stopping women from going outside their homes, educating herself, or conducting business (as men do). But it is the explicit duty of the husband to provide for the wife, anything the wife earns is hers and hers alone to do with as she pleases.

4. The state of Islam as practices in countries like Saudi Arabia today has _nothing_ to do with the teachings of Islam. For starters, the very concept of monarchy and absolute power in the hands of a few is anathema to Islam.

5. As far as my country Pakistan is concerned, the people have spoken and the Islamist parties have been utterly routed; even in the supposedly fundamentalist north they have been badly defeated and the openly secular ANP and PPP have secured all the seats.

6. The stated reason for this blockage of youtube by the Pakistani government might be the 'blasphemous' videos posted there, but we know that it was in fact to stop us from seeing videos of blatant rigging conducted, sometimes under armed force, by the pro-Musharraf parties.

Ultimately the message of Islam is peace, anybody can read the Koran to see the instructions about jihad etc are only for self defence. I hope that people of the world, across all faiths (which includes atheists) recognize that we are all equal human beings. It was chance, pure luck that you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim or whatever. The question is, how do you choose to live your life? Speaking as a Muslim, what angers me the most is the corruption in our lands, and this is my responsibility to correct as best as I can.


RE: Clarifications about Islam
By sld on 2/26/2008 6:01:48 AM , Rating: 3
There are a few corrections I will like to draw your kind attention to:

1) In your post, you mentioned Christian Europe. In this year of 2008, there is no longer 'Christian USA'. Most of USA worship consumerism, Darwin, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or superior aliens in space which haven't made contact with them yet.

2) Most of the posters here making snide remarks against Islam are NOT Christians. They are atheists and proud of it, just as you are proud of being a Muslim.

In a big way, you are preaching to the choir. If anything religious pops up here, the same crowd will be ready to piss on it.

Just ignore those comments, surely there are more sensible things to read on a good tech site like Dailytech.

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By tedrodai on 2/26/2008 11:33:36 AM , Rating: 2
He made no mention that it was Christian posters that were bashing Islam--the only semi-negative remark regarding Christians was "it was always Christian Europe which had a problem with them". And let's face it: Christian Europe has in the past been in states of corruption at LEAST as bad, if not worse, as many of the Muslim-governments in the middle east today. Therein, he was speaking historically rather than trying to stir up anything about the argument being 'Christain vs. Muslim'. You're reading into the post a bit too much.

It is good to know that the Christian crowd (I assume that's who you're speaking for) is above making such insensible comments. --Except for one or two rats that slipped through the cracks.

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By robinthakur on 2/26/2008 8:22:35 AM , Rating: 4
Uzair you speak very correctly and knowedgeably, however I don't think even you as an individual could claim to speak for all muslims. Its unfortunate that fundamentalists scream louder than moderates ever do and that the things which Islam is most known for (in the UK at least) are the London bombings, the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban's enslavement of and abuse of women and that Saudi woman who was publicly lashed for being gang-raped. Oh and the Teddy incident, Hateful firebrand preachers, homophobia, the international rampage of violence trouble caused by that cartoon and people walking around with Niqwabs and Burkhas(spelling?)on. This is off the top of my head here...its not a 'snide attack' but a statement of truth.

Until far more positive and moderate views of Islam emerge from hiding, this does far more damage to Islam than anything on Dailytech.

It was chance, pure luck that you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim or whatever.

Actually all people are born free of the contagion of religious indoctrination. It is only what they absorb through their environment, parents, teachers etc which turns them into Scientologists, Evangelical Christians and Muslims. There is possibly a bigger number still who choose not to subscribe to any of these *beliefs*, and are GREATLY better off because of it because they get on with their lives.

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By rykerabel on 2/26/2008 9:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
I feel for you.

We have the same problem with fundamental Christians.

picketing American Soldier's funurals, bombing abortion clinics, heck, even burning other denominations churches.

The hardcore freedom of relegion stance in the US is the only thing keeping the fundamental Christians from making the same mess the fundamental Muslims make in the middle east.

(bombing abortion clinics is still terrorism)

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By rcc on 2/26/2008 1:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
It was chance, pure luck that you were born a Christian or a Hindu or a Muslim or whatever

Perhaps this is a fundamental misunderstanding, but here in the US, and in most of the "Western" countries that I've been to, you aren't born to a religion; you are trained to it. Usually by your parents, family and society. But after a certain age, it's a choice. My mother was Presbyterian, my Father was Mormon, I'm an individual that believes my relationship with God is between him and me and is no one else's business. But I respect their beliefs, and yours, and am not going to waste your time and mine trying to shove my beliefs down your (or anyone's) throat.

Thats probably just a windy way of saying most of us really don't care what religion a person is, as long as they aren't trying to blow us up, or preach to us.

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By Tacoloft on 2/26/2008 2:18:20 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your post. I just hope that everything you say will become more prevalent in the Muslim culture and throughout the U.S. I have no qualms with any religion that promotes peace and equality and freedom. I have made no snide comments directed towards the Muslim religion practiced peacefully but to terrorists that "assume" to be practitioners of the Muslim religion and give it a bad reputation. It's a shame that peaceful Muslims have to put up with terrorists that assume the Muslim name as I am sure there are hurtful things said and misunderstandings. But it also emphasizes that the cleanup and clarification has to start and end with the Muslim community.
Have you seen the movie Kingdom of Heaven?

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By ShadowZERO on 2/26/2008 2:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
"...while it was always Christian Europe which had a problem with them."
"anybody can read the Koran to see the instructions about jihad etc are only for self defence."

So basically, any Muslim can justify "Jihad" against Christianity as "self-defense" against what happened in the Crusades? Sort of how Bush justified the invasion of Iraq as "self-defense"?

I'm going to become a Muslim, and start slaughtering Christians everywhere I see them. When I'm arrested, I'll claim I gave my life to Allah and that he told me to.

"Officer, its was SELF-DEFENSE!!! Haven't you ever heard of the Crusades???"

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By Spuke on 2/26/2008 3:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
Sort of how Bush justified the invasion of Iraq as "self-defense"?
He used WMD's as the reason for the invasion. Nevermind that, US presidents can't nor do they have the power to declare war. Congress declares war and basically hands the operation over to the president. I always find it odd that people blame the president but not Congress. They are both to blame. And indirectly, we, as citizens, are to blame too.

RE: Clarifications about Islam
By Spuke on 2/26/2008 3:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a funny, two of the people that declared war are running for president.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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