Kuwait orders YouTube block

Ministry of Communication issues memo to all ISPs to block access to the website due to offensive videos

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 22, 2008

The Kuwait Ministry of Communication has issued a memo to all internet service providers in the state to block access to the popular video sharing website YouTube.com

The decision was made after content offensive to Muslims was pointed out by the Ministry. One video showed a man singing verses from the Holy Quran while playing the oud, while another showed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

YouTube is popular in Kuwait with a search on the word ‘Kuwait’ generating 59,000 video results.

A source at Fasttelco confirmed to Kuwait Times that they received the Ministry memo. "It's supposed to be blocked right now. But due to technical preparations the blocking may take until tomorrow (Monday)," said the source.

The Ministry of Communication issues memos regularly to ISPs to block certain websites that contain pornographic content or offer VoIP services such as Skype.

Many question the decision to block YouTube in Kuwait as the website gives users the option of reporting offensive content, which will then be removed.

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