YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing website, has been temporarily suspended for one month in Egypt. A Cairo Court ordered the Ministry of Communication and Investment to block access to YouTube for 30 days as the site has failed to completely remove an anti-Islam film. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq presided over the case and said that the ban would also be imposed on other websites that circulated the video on the World Wide Web. Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter are other sites that have been suspended in response to the ruling of the court. Tawfiq said, “This is a temporary punishment, you could say, for these web sites for participating in this.”
The decision to block YouTube comes five months after anger first erupted over the 14-minute video titled “Innocence of Muslims”. This American-made video has sparked a strong reaction worldwide in the last year for portraying Prophet Muhammad as a pedophile, womanizer, and a religious fraud. The suspension will go into effect after it is approved by the Prime Minister and Communication Minister which is still not confirmed. Even Google, the parent company of YouTube, has told reporters that they have not been served with any kind of orders related to suspension for one month. A Google spokesperson said, “We have received nothing from the judge or government related to this matter.”
Although the video is still available on this popular video site, access to it is restricted in certain countries such as Libya, Indonesia, and now Egypt. In response to the same video, YouTube is already restricted in Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.
It is not clear yet how the Egyptian public will react to the order after its implementation. Activists and human rights correspondents have been using YouTube as a tool for awareness and protests against government policies and police brutality during this time of political turmoil in the country. The court order may be favored by some but it might fuel the growth of conservatism in Egypt and could put freedom of expression and religion in danger.
The news will now cause YouTube lovers to look for solutions to unblock YouTube in Egypt when it becomes banned in the country. Not only will this affect Egyptian citizens, this will affect those people who visit the country as tourists as well.
Fortunately, VPN technology can allow Egyptians and tourists to remain connected to the most popular video site and with complete privacy. Hotspot Shield is the most trusted VPN worldwide that also helped people unblock YouTube in Pakistan when the authorities recently banned access to YouTube. Those who want to access YouTube in Egypt can install this free VPN software to browse their favorite videos in complete anonymity away from the eyes of the authorities. In fact, Hotspot Shield VPN assigns users a US IP address that not only anonymizes them, but also empowers them with the ability to unblock YouTube in Egypt. The people of Egypt can also access popular US internet TV site Hulu or US radio service Pandora or movie service Netflix that are otherwise only available from the US using this revolutionary free VPN.