YouTube outage: When Pakistan forced the platform to go down for hours

    YouTube went down for over 30 minutes for users around the world this morning. But this is not the first time YouTube had experienced such issues.
    By KUL BHUSHAN
    | Updated on Oct 18 2018, 05:58 PM IST
    YouTube’s video streaming service went out for more than an hour on Wednesday.
    YouTube’s video streaming service went out for more than an hour on Wednesday. (REUTERS)
    YouTube’s video streaming service went out for more than an hour on Wednesday.
    YouTube’s video streaming service went out for more than an hour on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

    YouTube on Wednesday faced one of its longest outages in history. The world's largest video sharing network went down for over 30 minutes around the world. YouTube and its other products YouTube TV and YouTube Music also were impacted.

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    That said, it's not the first time 13-year-old YouTube has experienced an outage at this scale. Back in 2008 when YouTube was still at its nascent stage, the video networking platform was cut off for almost two-thirds of the world following a crackdown by the Pakistan government.

    On February 23, 2008, Pakistan imposed a ban on YouTube over "offensive material" on its platform. Inadvertently, the blockage was extended to other countries, ultimately leading to a blackout in several markets including Turkey, Thailand and parts of Middle East. YouTube then suffered an outage for about two hours.

    "For about two hours, traffic to YouTube was routed according to erroneous Internet Protocols," a YouTube spokesperson told CNET.

    "Many users around the world could not access our site. We have determined that the source of these events was a network in Pakistan. We are investigating and working with others in the Internet community to prevent this from happening again."

    According to a BBC report, it was believed that Pakistan Telecom (local telecom firm) had "hijacked" YouTube's IP in order to redirect traffic coming to the platform. Hong Kong-based PCCW which then provided Internet link to Pakistan Telecom, redirected traffic to a blocked network, misleading ISPs.

    The ban on YouTube, however, was later lifted by the Pakistan government, although some users had already been accessing the video sharing platform through virtual private networks.

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    First Published Date: 17 Oct, 12:08 PM IST
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