Egypt Court Order Blocks YouTube
An Egyptian court issued an order on Saturday to block access to YouTube for one month for hosting an anti-Islam film called “Innocence of Muslims.” According to Judge Hassouna Tawfiq, the website “insisted on broadcasting the film insulting Islam and the Prophet, disrespecting the beliefs of millions of Egyptians and disregarding the anger of all Muslims.” Mohammed Hamid Salim, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit that led to the ruling, claimed the film is a threat to Egypt’s security. The film initially sparked riots that resulted in 50 deaths across the region in September.
Google, YouTube’s parent company, “declined requests to remove the video from the website last year, but restricted access to it in certain countries, including Egypt, Libya and Indonesia, because it says the video broke laws in those countries.” Egypt’s new constitution prohibits insulting “religious messengers and prophets.”
The ruling can be appealed and may not ultimately be enforced based on precedent.