Egypt's Telecom Ministry Fights YouTube Block

The ministry argues that blocking the site is unenforceable

It's taken a while, but recently Egypt, moved to block YouTube over the "Innocence of the Muslims," like many other countries before it. A judge ordered that the site be banned for 30 days.

But the decision is seeing some opposition, not just from the regular groups, but from Egypt's Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, which was supposed to implement the ban.

Ironically, the actual video has already been blocked in the country months ago, Google itself blocked it in countries where it would have been labeled as illegal.

But the judge wasn't satisfied and wanted to punish YouTube and Google for not removing the video altogether. The site has been accessible since the decision was handed out and the authorities are appealing it.

The ministry argued that blocking YouTube would affect other Google sites and could impact jobs and end up costing a great deal. That is not strictly true, a domain-name block is relatively simple to implement, but it's just as simple to circumvent.

From the outside, it looks like at least some groups in Egypt are more rational, but, unfortunately, all of this probably has more to do with the internal power struggle and unrest which is still high two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

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