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Egypt’s telecom ministry challenges court ordered ban on YouTube

An Egyptian court's ban on the massively popular online video sharing portal YouTube was challenged by the country's telecom ministry on Thursday. The court-ordered ban was imposed last week over an amateur video that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. As per the court orders, the ban was temporary and was supposed to last for a month.

Judge Hassouna Tawfiq, who was hearing the case against YouTube, ordered the ministries of communication and investment to block the website inside the country stating that it had insisted on broadcasting a short film that insults the Prophet and Islam as a whole.

The telecom ministry, on Thursday filed an appeal against the ruling, stating that it had no power to impose an effective ban on YouTube inside the country without affecting Google's search engine's performance which may eventually incur massive cost as well as job losses.

The ministry further stated that only the US government had the power to shut down YouTube effectively.

"The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has presented an appeal to halt implementation of the verdict," read the statement from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Reuters reports.

"Blocking YouTube would affect the search engine of Google, of which Egypt is the second biggest user in the Middle East," the statement added.

Pakistan also placed a temporary ban on Youtube last year for similar reasons while Iran's answer to Youtube was actually to launch Mehr, a Youtube-clone.