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Egypt court rules to block YouTube for one month

The ban is in response to a 2012 video posted on YouTube that insulted the Prophet Muhammad and sparked violent protests
The ban on YouTube was originally ordered in 2013 but was stayed pending an appeal (AFP)

Egypt's top administrative court ruled on Saturday to block the video-sharing site YouTube for a month over a video posted on the site in 2013 that insulted the Prophet Muhammad, a judicial official and the lawyer who brought the case said.

A lower administrative court had ordered that the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology block YouTube, owned by Google, in 2013 over the video, but the case was appealed by Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and its ruling stayed during the appeal process.

The ministry at the time said it would be impossible to enforce the ruling without also disrupting Google's Internet search engine, incurring potentially huge costs and job losses in the Arab world's most populous country.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology was not immediately available for comment. YouTube was working in Cairo as of Saturday afternoon.

It remains unclear when the ban will come into effect and how it will be implemented. The ruling is considered final and cannot be appealed.

The film Innocence of Muslims, a low-budget 13-minute video, was billed as a film trailer and made in California with private funding. It provoked a wave of anti-American unrest in Egypt and other Muslim countries in which 30 people were killed when it appeared in 2012.

Washington sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by saying the controversial film was made privately with no official backing.

US officials said freedom of speech laws prevented them from stopping the production of inflammatory material.

Mohamed Hamid Salem, a lawyer who filed the case in 2013, said the ruling also orders that all links that broadcast the film be blocked.

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