Google blocks anti-Islam film in Indonesia and India
JAKARTA - Agence France-Presse
Indonesian Muslim activists hold placards during an anti-US rally outside the US embassy in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia 15 September 2012. EPA photoYouTube has begun restricting access to videos of an anti-Islamic film in the world's most populous Muslim nation, a government official said Sunday.
"Google, which is YouTube's parent company, emailed us on Thursday evening to say it had blocked Indonesia's access to 16 URLs related to the "Innocence of Muslims" videos on the site," Communications and Information Ministry spokesman Gatot Dewa Broto told AFP.
Extracts of the film were still available on the video-sharing website on Sunday, but Broto said Google was "making special effort" to prevent the film from being watched in Indonesia.
"We understand that it takes time for Google to block everything as people continue to upload those sensitive videos. We appreciate Google's cooperation," he said.
Broto said the government also wrote to Blackberry maker Research In Motion on Friday to filter the videos on its smartphones.
Indonesia is the Canada-based company's biggest market outside North America, with subscriptions expected to almost double to 9.7 million by 2015.
"We could access the videos on Blackberry too so we wrote to RIM to ask that it filter them, and RIM has been very co-operative," he added.
Besides Indonesia, Google has denied access to the video in Libya, Egypt.
India labels anti-Islam film 'offensive material'
India on Sunday said that Google had blocked access in the country to an anti-Islam film which has triggered protests across the Muslim world as it condemned the "offensive" movie.
"Google India has, in compliance with Indian law, blocked access to the offensive material," foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
"India has always strongly condemned all acts that disparage religious beliefs and hurt religious sentiments," he said in a statement, adding that authorities were also "in touch with US officials who share our concerns on the matter".
A Google executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that it had blocked access to Internet users trying to watch the movie via YouTube which it owns.
More than 80 people were arrested in the southern city of Chennai on Friday after an attack by Islamists on the US consulate during a protest against the film.
India has reinforced security at the US embassy in New Delhi and consulates and diplomatic interests in other Indian cities as a precaution against possible protests.
India is home to world's third largest Muslim population after Indonesia and Pakistan.
In cities across the Muslim world protesters have vented their fury at the "Innocence of Muslims" -- an amateur film produced in the United States -- by targeting symbols of US influence ranging from embassies and schools to fast food chains.
Hundreds of Indonesians staged rallies against the United States on Friday and Saturday over the film, which portrays the Prophet Mohammed as an immoral sexual deviant.
In the worst violence triggered by the film, the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three other Americans were killed late Tuesday when suspected Islamic militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at the US consulate in Benghazi.