YouTube Blocked

The big news over the weekend was that video-sharing site YouTube is no longer accessible through Maroc Telecom in Morocco. There has been no official statement, which means that no reason has been given, and no explanation provided. But since about Friday, Maroc Telecom users (of which I am one) cannot access the site, while customers who use rivals Wana or Meditel supposedly can.

I should point out that the vast majority of Internet users here go through Maroc Telecom, and that the bandwidth of the two rival ISPs is smaller. So in effect YouTube has been censored. It’s worth pointing out that Maroc Telecom is a subsidiary of Vivendi, so if there is censorship at the behest of the government, it is carried out by a multinational company.

The ban, of course, is completely useless. Bloggers have already begun sharing addresses of proxy servers, or suggesting the use of Dailymotion, which has many of the same material on Morocco as YouTube. And because the ban makes people curious, the offending material–whatever it is–will undoubtedly pop up on another web site.

Update: Please sign the petition asking Vivendi and Maroc Telecom to stop censoring YouTube.

Another update: YouTube is back on. Yay! Thanks to all those who spread the word out about this.