Ban on YouTube lifted

An eight-month old ban on popular video sharing website YouTube in the country has been lifted, BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told on Wednesday.On Sep 17 last year, the government blocked YouTube indefinitely to stop people from watching a controversial US-made film demeaning Prophet Muhammad.

Google Inc that owns the website was asked to delete the 13-minute video clip of the film ‘‘Innocence of Muslims’ but did not respond to government calls.

But people are now able to visit the site.

The video clip sparked off violence across the Muslim world and tensions began to rise in Bangladesh as well.

The BRTC official also said the International Internet Gateways (IIG) were being informed about the decision verbally and through e-mails.

Asked whether the film had been taken down from the site, Bose said, “We are still discussing the matter with the Google Inc.”

He, however, reminded that anyone visiting the site from Bangladesh for watching the film will get a warning message.

An IIG company Fibre@Home Chief Strategic officer Sumon Ahmed Sabir told they unblocked the site after receiving directives from the BTRC in the afternoon, Muslims across the world burst into protest after the film was released on the internet and violence killed several people later.

An executive of the Mango Telecom Services, an internet gateway, said Bangladeshis will henceforth be able to access the site.

He said BTRC also informed them of the decision through a phone call and will later send an official letter. The website can be accessed from this evening onwards.

Earlier Bangladesh had said it would lift the ban on the YouTube if access to the anti-Islamic film was blocked. But BRTC complained of not receiving a positive response from Google Inc.

Youtube has been banned twice in Bangladesh.

Earlier, it was blocked in March 2009, after a recording of a meeting between the Prime Minister and army officers was posted revealing anger by the military on the government’s handling of the BDR mutiny in Dhaka. The ban was lifted soon after in the same month. (Source:

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