Anti-Islam film blocked by Google in Indonesia and India
YouTube has begun restricting access to videos of an anti-Islamic film in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, an Indonesian government official says.
“Google, which is YouTube’s parent company, emailed us on Thursday evening to say it had blocked Indonesia’s access to 16 URLs related to the Innocence of Muslims videos on the site,” said Communications and Information Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto.
Extracts of the film were still available on the video-sharing website on Sunday, but Broto said Google was “making special effort” to prevent the film from being watched in Indonesia.
“We understand that it takes time for Google to block everything as people continue to upload those sensitive videos. We appreciate Google’s cooperation,” he said.
Broto said the government also wrote to Blackberry maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Friday to filter the videos on its smartphones.
Indonesia is the Canada-based company’s biggest market outside North America, with subscriptions expected to almost double to 9.7 million by 2015.
“We could access the videos on Blackberry too, so we wrote to RIM to ask that it filter them, and RIM has been very co-operative,” he added.
Besides Indonesia, Google has denied access to the video in Libya, Egypt and India.
In cities across the Muslim world, protesters have vented their fury at the Innocence of Muslims – an amateur film produced in the United States – by targeting symbols of US influence ranging from embassies and schools to fast food chains.
Hundreds of Indonesians staged rallies against the United States on Friday and Saturday over the film, which portrays the Prophet Mohammed as an immoral sexual deviant.
In the worst violence triggered by the film, the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed late on Tuesday when suspected Islamic militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at the US consulate in Benghazi.