Users of YouTube in Egypt could face a month-long blackout of the service after an administrative court ruling ordered the website’s suspension. The ministries of communication and investment have been ordered to block the popular video sharing site, reports news agency MENA, for hosting the movie short Innocence of Muslims. The American-made film has caused strong reactions since its release in September, at which point the initial complaint about YouTube’s showing of it is said to have been made. Today’s decision is a result of that ruling, and while the service should still currently remain online, Egypt’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority has claimed it will uphold the suspension once it receives confirmation of the verdict. This isn’t the first time access to YouTube has been restricted by a government, and the very same film caused the Pakistani prime minister to call for a similar ban at the time of the movie’s release. The 13-minute video is still available on YouTube, implying that the site deems that it doesn’t breach its own guidelines, but it does come with a warning for user discretion due to possible offence. We’ve reached out to Google for comment.
Update: Google has responded with the following statement:
“We have received nothing from the judge or government related to this matter.”
Update #2: Our friends in Egypt tell us YouTube is working fine for now — at least as of 13.30pm today.