When Bans go wrong. Pakistan vs. Youtube

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 25, 2008
Updated • Aug 9, 2010
Internet, Youtube

Once again the leaders of a country decided to ban a website because of (pick one: religious beliefs, political beliefs, constitution, local laws, medieval mindsets) which reminds me a lot of the kid that goes crying to their mama if another kid is mean to them. The other kid being Youtube in this case and the crying baby Pakistan, or more precisely the leaders of Pakistan.

An order was given to ban Youtube in Pakistan and instead of banning the IPs of the Youtube servers they decided to do this the clever way. Rerouting all Youtube IPs to appropriate content was the way to go they thought. What they did not realize at this point, or maybe they did, was that this affected ALL of the Internet because of their meddling with BGP routes.

The effect was that all Youtube traffic was redirected and that the Pakistani Internet providers had to handle all IP requests. Youtube was gone for a time and so was the Pakistani Internet not capable of handling all those incoming traffic of one of the busiest websites in the world.

This is obviously a huge flaw that there are no security barriers for something like this to happen, that an ISP in one country can affect the Internet on such a large scale.


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  1. saad said on February 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Martin.i am from pakistan.i am seriously against this.I dont want this.You cant say the leaders but the dictators of the country are aginst this.The time has come and they have to go.Although Prophet muhamaad’s issue hurts me badly but i dont think that ban on you tube is right

  2. Chris said on February 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Found the entry to be quite interesting or at least somewhat amusing in a disturbing way and didnt mind that you posted it at all. Sure, I also come here for the hacks, tweaks and tips but never mind some distractions and general reading to have inbetween.

    If you dont like a headline you can just skip reading it.

    Keep up the great work

  3. Alan said on February 26, 2008 at 11:27 am

    HEY MARTIN! I read this site for “hacks”. Useful links and information that enhance my PC/Online/Tech experience.

    I do not read this site for comment on news events, even tech news. I can get that at umpteen sites elsewhere.

    Please stick to the hacks.


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