Pakistan monitor Google, 6 other sites for un-Islamic content

Islamabad : Pakistan has put seven major websites, including the Google search engine, under observation for hosting alleged un-Islamic material, officials said Friday.

The decision to monitor the leading sites was taken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), after a court in eastern province of Punjab ordered Thursday to ban websites showing blasphemous matter.

PTA also blocked 17 lesser known websites, saying they present un-Islamic content.

An official of PTA, Kurrum Mehran, said that the authority would monitor Google, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail, Amazon, Bing and the video-sharing site YouTube.

“PTA will watch out these websites and their links for any blasphemous material and act against them as has been directed by the court,” Mehran said.

It is for the second time that Pakistani authorities, following directives of courts, have acted against the websites.

They temporarily blocked Facebook last month after a group announced an online competition for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, an act that Muslims to be sacrilegious.

Pakistan, a conservative Muslim country of over 180 million, witnessed riots in 2005 and 2006 after publication of cartoons of the Prophet in a Danish newspaper.

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