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Sudan7 August 2008

Letter to National Telecommunication Corporation about YouTube’s inaccessibility

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http://www.voanews.com

Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard has written to the head of the National Telecommunication Corporation voicing concern about online free expression in Sudan and the fact that his clients’ access to the video-sharing website YouTube has been blocked since 22 July.

Dear Sir,

Unlike the clients of other Sudanese ISPs such as Canar Telecom, your clients have not been able to access the video-sharing website YouTube since 22 July. Reporters Without Borders, an organisation that defends press freedom worldwide, would like draw your attention to this situation, which violates your clients’ freedom of expression.

This is the first time that YouTube, one of the country’s most popular websites, has been blocked in Sudan and we find it hard to image that this is just a technical problem. We strongly hope that it is not a deliberate act of censorship that you have carried out on the grounds that certain videos could be regarded as shocking. If this were the case, it would suffice to ask YouTube to withdraw the videos that pose a problem. We call on you to explain why YouTube has been blocked.

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YouTube is a website on which information of a visual nature is exchanged. It is censored in countries such as China, Turkey and Pakistan, which try to control sensitive subjects on the Internet. Some of YouTube’s videos may be violent, and it could be necessary to request their withdrawal. But blocking the entire site is a disproportionate measure.

We look forward to your reply,

Respectfully,

Robert Ménard

Advice for Sudanese Internet users who want to access YouTube before it is unblocked:
-  use a proxy such as Megaproxy (https://www.megaproxy.com/freesurf/)
-  try connecting to the site via au.youtube.com

Ask the National Telecommunication Corporation to unblock YouTube.



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