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07 January, 2006

Don't fiddle with our freedom

Does anyone else find this increasingly unlikely, now the founder of these free zones, who has long extolled the virtues of their freedom, is the Vice President of the UAE?

"[UAE Telecoms Regulatory Authority director general Mohamed Al] Ghanim warned that [TECOM] must abide by UAE censors, who last week banned access to the online version of Britain's popular The Sun newspaper.

"The Internet will remain censored for cultural reasons. We have to keep our culture protected," he said. TECOM "will have to abide by the rules".

Dubai's free zones have lured scores of media brands, including CNN and the BBC, on the promise of freedom from censorship, which is the norm in the Arab world. Some observers fear online censorship within the zones could undermine their reputation as creative hubs."

Labels: , ,

55 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes we have to protect the same culture that disallows adultery for some and allows it for others, something wrong with that?

07 January, 2006 22:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The proof is in the pudding, who is sharing porn picks via blur tooth mobile?

It would not be the expats would it?

That's the culture!

07 January, 2006 22:51  
Blogger sheikha cheryl said...

Censorship will be a problem in the future, but business will triumph. Commerce will always rule in Dubai.

07 January, 2006 22:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

07 January, 2006 22:55  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Sorry - but for fairly obvious reasons, any overt references to methods to circumvent the proxy will have to be deleted.

Providing that information is illegal, and as most people here are aware, nearly all sites containing it are blocked.

07 January, 2006 23:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best way to circumvent the proxy is.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................taking the first plane out!

07 January, 2006 23:20  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

The problem is not porn, as far as the Free Zone is concerned. It's not even the question of what is being censored, it is the entire concept of censorship's existence.

I don't know why, but I feel that this is not going to go the way it should. My gut feeling is that the free zones will have to abide by the ridiculous censorship regulations imposed on the rest of the country. Commerce does not always prevail, not even in Dubai. Truth of the matter is, Dubai does favor business over most issues and it does make it a good place to be. However, there are instances where things don't go that way. This particular issue is going to be one of them.

I hope I'm wrong. I really hope I am.

07 January, 2006 23:31  
Blogger nzm said...

I work in the DIC.

Don't know if it's just me, but I seem to be getting more and more warning notices telling me that I am forbidden access to certain servers.

Usually, I click in the link again and then receive access, but the warning is frequently coming up.

08 January, 2006 00:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic! After having solved all the country's other pressing issues, curing AIDS and achieving world peace, we have began waging a war on pornography.

/sarcasm

Listen people, if someone has to "protect" the UAE culture, they are essentially saying the culture is not mature enough to protect itself from the "evils" of porn. That is insulting.

In addition, it is insulting to say that the Emirati culture is being threatened by a few online photos of triple stuffed women.
Give us a bit more credit, not all Emiratis are porn fiends who will lose the ability to function in society if they are exposed to porn. (Except for me that is--bring on the kazaa porn!)

08 January, 2006 03:13  
Blogger moryarti said...

Aiight .. SD's post is about web access for businesses, not individuals..

SD's point is a valid one. Media (and some other businesses) can NOT work with a proxied internet. I am sure TECOM is aware of that..

I am a believer of 'Change by Evolution not Revolution" .. for that, I could imagine (or suggest) a scenario to manage that proxy-in-the-freezones issue: Introducing a selective permission program for "FULL" internet access granted only according to specific criteria.

For example, organizations that depend heavily on information gathering and the web for their core business (media, reseach...etc) can apply for full access. And if approved, they will have the proxy switch turned off for their Internet link. This way, giving full intenet access to parties that will use it responsibly.

I know it may not be the ideal solution, especially for the ones calling for the full liberalization of the web. But again, don't forget this is the UAE and its the will of its rulers.. If we are gonna live here, we have to abide by em ...

08 January, 2006 03:32  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

moryarti,

All businesses rely on information. Okay, every individual relies on information. Can you imagine the kinds of problems we faced attempting to localize and Arabize the Linux operating system when I realized that I cannot access important .il sites (well, all of them).

However, I do agree with you that this could be brought about gradually, by introducing uncensored web access to all businesses. What business has an interest in its employees watching porn anyway? What business wants its employees spending countless hours reading material that is 'objectionable', or rather -- unrelated to its business?

I believe that the proxy does some good for families with children. So, let's start by giving businesses (in the entire UAE not just free zone companies) unhindered access. Then, we can extend that to individual access being 'optional'.

There, you have your evolutionary change!

08 January, 2006 08:16  
Blogger samuraisam said...

it's not so much about the internet being censored that angers me, it's that their proxy servers are always over loaded. google takes on occasion 5-10 seconds to load!
They block flickr, they block other sites which don't have anything wrong (for instance the best page in the universe)
argh.
but now i live without the proxy.
and the internet is so much faster.

08 January, 2006 09:49  
Blogger Balushi said...

Ok,

I cant understand that their are all semi-naked females crawling all over Jumeira roads for every kid to see but they have to censor website to mature men to protect the Culture???


ARE YOU KIDDING ME OR WHAT?


Isn't the youth of the UAE clever enough to understand the right from the Wrong or the Truth from the Myth??

IF NOT, THEN THERE IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.


Censorship only hides what exists but doesn't wipes it out! Secret Dubai was banned by Etisalat because it was against our Cultural social and Political Values, But they cant understand that by Blocking the website doesn't mean that the SecretDubai doesn't Exist anymore.


Its like a Man who wants to give the nature's call and closes his eyes and Thinking no one is watching him.


How can the Gov. of UAE or any other country get any credibality or its Citizens If we still wanna live the Lawerence of Arabia Era???


Etisalat or the regulatory whoever they are Must Understand That This is the AGE of KNOWLEDGE and Technology!!! If they deprieve their people from it than they deprieve them from Civilisation.


Today we Wifi, wireless internet connection on hand held devices, Techonolgy is closing in on the Freedom of Speech Opressor! - This is something they have to learn. I hope its not too late.



BY the Way, Why are they allowing us to travel to Germany or other Countries???????????????????

08 January, 2006 10:02  
Blogger samuraisam said...

But they cant understand that by Blocking the website doesn't mean that the SecretDubai doesn't Exist anymore.

i'm sure after setting up the proxy, setting up an ISP, setting up GSM networks, setting up hosting centres, etisalat is dumbfounded.
you really think they don't know everything is accessible outside of dubai?

08 January, 2006 10:18  
Anonymous Archer14 said...

Other than .il domains...why would businesses need access to other sites? The popluar ones that are banned are ones like 'flickr', and I doubt such sites are of any use during business hours. In one way, it does help to increase productivity. But the downside is that many innocent sites are axed too (again, none relating directly to business). So would anyone please clarify the point I'm missing?

Samuraisam--the proxy is really fast at all times, the only lag I've experienced is a second at the max on a 1MB conn.

//completely out of topic/ secretdubai - why not write a post on those anonymous letters in GN? Even letters of thankfulness...What is the mindset of such people? Are we missing out on some stories that emerge after one discloses his identity in a local paper?//

08 January, 2006 10:28  
Blogger Dubai Media Observer said...

Restriction of information is bad for business. Pure and simple.

08 January, 2006 10:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So information is against local culture but alcohol, racism and prostitution are not?

Since when was voice-over-IP and online SMS 'haram'? Dubai is great as long as you just shut up and never ask any questions.

08 January, 2006 11:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK here is my 2 cents:

I think it is a good idea to have proxies for blocking obscene content, but I do realize it is a double-edged sword, this proxy thing. Balushi and some other folks make valid arguments about how we have way too much vice in the society and somehow the policing only happens to be enforced online!

I was at the Deira City Center a couple of months ago and noticed a European couple (they were pretty young - I would say barely out of their teens) smooching right outside the entrance from the parking lot!! There was a group of local ladies cladden in burqa who found it very insulting and tried to make their displeasure clear to these 2. The police could have helped here I guess? Needless to say, those 2 just kept at it with no care in the bloody world! But, there are so many other vices around in Dubai that have absolutely no check. I think the authorities need to crack down on these obvious vices before anyone will start taking internet proxies seriously. As it is, I dont think many people would log on to watch porno from work, if anyone does at all! But, is it just porno or does political satire hurt the "culture" more?

Culture reminds me, how is belly-dancing a bedouin/Islamic culture??

08 January, 2006 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to all who are posing questions here....... " ask no questions and you'll hear no lies"

08 January, 2006 12:53  
Blogger samuraisam said...

you know what i find interesting? from a consumer point of view (no i'm not microsoft),
people in Dubai think we should pay extra for uncensored internet.

Get a clue.

We're getting ripped off. we have to pay extra for etisalat to block the internet, it isn't free.

we deserve a discount if we want access to porn.

08 January, 2006 13:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Google translate blocked???

08 January, 2006 13:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worrying about censorship for the sake of porn (is this just an excuse to block other political and religious sites as well?) will create an immature and sheltered population that will have little experience in the grittier side of life, able to handle critisism and generaly harden up! What happens when they leave the apron strings of the UAE? Will their head explode? Probably not.

Also, I find it incredible that Etisalat chuck so much time and research to have having 3G live TV being streamed to a mobile (which about 4 people will have) yet we still have a basic internet bill that is 5 times more expensive than anywhere else in the developed world.

Ahhhhh, there I said that by mistake - we're in a developing world, it's no quite there yet and with the apparent priorities, it's going to be a while yet.

08 January, 2006 13:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not culture that is being protected it's Etisalat and the sheikhs profit.

08 January, 2006 14:07  
Blogger secretdubai said...

It's not culture that is being protected it's Etisalat and the sheikhs profit.

Well, their point of view (which I find an outmoded business model) is that they are legitimately protecting their investment: ie the communications infrastructure that they installed.

VoIP blocking is a separate issue to censorship blocking, though of course both adversely affect internet speeds and experience.

At the end of the day, there is going to be another ISP here. Now it is not up to Etisalat to mandate whether or not that ISP allows VoIP. The TRA can mandate that, but of course it then raises serious questions about the independence of Etisalat and the TRA.

Who "owns" the internet here? Is it Etisalat? In which case, to protect their investment, they should pass the costs on to the new ISP in terms of leasing Etisalat's lines, rather than insist on a pan block of VoIP for any operator here. Is it the goverment? In which case, why is it passing laws protecting the profitability of what is supposedly an independent company - part government owned admittedly, but supposedly operating in an arena of fair competition.

Either way, the blocking of VoIP is like trying to block the internal combustion engine in favour of camels.

08 January, 2006 14:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a joke this has become.

The worst kind of people are the moral watchdogs who decide what is good and not good for people.


Just on another note:

Do you know who runs the TRA?? Who runs Etisalat?? So why the hell would anyone think that Etisalat is following TRA's orders. All that happens here is they pass the blame/buck onto the other when people complain/comment about the intertnet. (positiviley brilliant setup dont you think).

Oh by the way who do you think will own the new telecom company??

It is owned by the two top bosses of this country. Do you think they will not censor. And that comment on price wars being banned was just another way of telling us not to expect any price cuts in rates even though there will be "competition".

Oh by the way: The new telecom is being funded with loans from the banks. But these loans will be paid back by releasing an overpriced IPO. Something like 20% of the company but will return about 70 % of the money that was borrowed.

I would like to personally thank all those "blind" investors who make such madness on the stock market possible.

08 January, 2006 16:08  
Blogger Dengrous Boy said...

i am make internet

08 January, 2006 17:12  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Hmmm. I think the TRA may have spoken too soon here, given the hands-on role of our new VP/PM in setting up TECOM.

I've blogged about this before - the TRA should be protecting the interests of consumers against the big monopolizers, not the other way round. But the problem ultimately is that Etisalat (and its daughter) have to pay 50% of their profits to the Gubment every year. I'm told that this actually covers the entire payroll of Gubment staff. So does the Gubment want to see any kind of reduction in those earnings? No, they don't.

As for censorship, it has not existed in the five or so years that TECOM has been operating. Have we all gone blind / lost our moral values? I don't think so.

08 January, 2006 17:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Censorship. It's strange seeing it in all its manifestations. I went to the malls during the days of mourning, not sure if the movie theaters would be open or not, and found most of the shops open but the theaters and game areas for the kids were closed. When movie theaters did open on Saturday, the movie I wanted to see, Jarhead, had been removed from all the malls. One can only imagine why, the employees at the theaters would only say it was for "technical" reasons. We have to live with it here and find ways to work around it or go crazy.

08 January, 2006 18:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The culture of society here is basically 'don't do as I do' but do as I say'- Simple.
Prostitution, gambling (what are raffles?) etc are all out in the open- but two wrongs don't make a right. Just because we turn a blind eye to the vices around us doesn''t mean we should not keep things like porn sites in check and in accessible to the masses. The rich and influential will always have access to whatever they need- and the same applies so called fundamentalist countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

08 January, 2006 19:19  
Blogger qadi said...

What are you going to do about it, protest?

Now you feel the sting of living in a backwards country.

08 January, 2006 19:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is UAE culture? 85% of the people that live here-many of whom are second or third generation UAE born are not 'locals'. Close to 70% are not even Arab. As the Economy continues to boom unless guest workers are naturalised as citizens the percentage of 'foreigners'will become closer to 90%. There will come a point when these 'guests' will drive the local 'culture'. The UAE already gives them plenty of freedom to booze and go to their respective churches. Christmas is fast becoming the biggest festival and the likes of Budweiser are already sponsoring radio programmes. Movies that were unthinkable just 5 years ago are now passing UAE censorship . The UAE can chose to remain an authororitarian big brother state but this will not help its aspiration to become a leading economic hub. Its leaders know this but they have to let change take its own time and course. It cannot be rushed. Remember what HH Shk Mohammed said? "Çhange or be changed...."

08 January, 2006 19:31  
Blogger The WC Blogger said...

What's wrong with censorship? Why should we stand up for the right of that minority of perverts and losers to download porn, child-porn and pictures of human degradation and cruelty?

I don't need it. I don't think anyone 'normal' needs it either. To allow it just feeds the abnormal sections of our society, and lets them contaminate the rest of us - especially the young and gullible.

08 January, 2006 19:34  
Blogger Krishna said...

I dont know about the value of Censorship of porn over the internet. From what i have noticed, those who want it, get it through various means. I really do not care if porn is censored or not, however I *do* care if the ISP blocks sites which have nothing to do with porn. The machanism for blocking sites is so premitive, i really dont think it changed from the year 1998 or so when ISP's were first launched in UAE.If they want to still block the internet, please update and make the process efficient!!

08 January, 2006 22:54  
Blogger qadi said...

The government in the US has in the last few years passed laws(patriot, etc) to faciliate spying on US citizens to improve domestic "security".

The federal government end up using these powers to intimidate political adversaries. It's a big joke. I don't see why it'd be any different there.

09 January, 2006 05:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love porn

09 January, 2006 11:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....erh what makes you think you have any freedoms here in the UAE? Is it the empoyer accountabiliy, transparency of decision making, ethical governance, protection of employee rights, taxation with representation....get real you can moan about freedom of information all you want, its just not up to you. Go back to your own country and enjoy those priviledges ( if you have them) don't expect it in the UAE. A country that is trying hard not to lose control of itself.

09 January, 2006 14:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh the good old, 'I you don't like it, go back..'

I'm so bored of hearing this as an excuse to try and hold on to the archaic way that government and the bureaucracies operate.

You know what, if all the external talent that helped build this country and continues to help it develop did actually leave, this region would be screwed. the only reason it has been dragged kicking and screaming so far is it's natural wealth and the political power that comes with it - look at Africa, as soon as it was 'used' it was abandoned.

The same will happen here. As it happens, I'm here for a distribution of wealth - they've got it and I want it - and I'm getting it. When I'm done, I'll return to civilisation.

10 January, 2006 00:12  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10 January, 2006 02:07  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10 January, 2006 02:11  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

Oh, and time to account thy shell if ye can re the directions ;)

10 January, 2006 02:12  
Blogger Stuart Friedman said...

Does anyone know what Sun said to trigger this response? The funny thing is the more someone tries to censor information, the more people try to find it.

I remember when the UK banned the book "Spycatcher" and only then did it hit the London Times bestseller list. It wasn't a terribly good book, but banning it made people want to read it.

11 January, 2006 02:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, so we are talking about how bad the UAE is for having censorship and proxies and SD goes around blocking 2 entries in this thread! I find this a little hypocritical. The fact about censorship (I am not really against it, just making a point) is that somehow one person's (or a group of individuals) judgement is shoved down others' throats.

So if SD can block and delete comments on her space, the government of Dubai has all the right to delete and block whatever websites they feel is obscene or offends their space (culture/religion).

By the way, has anyone noticed how for the white-skinned people in Dubai, freedom of media and other weird things are irritating and pending issues? For other "under-priviledged" communities like most sub-continentors, filipinos et al tensions that merit discussion and immediate attention are things like ludicrous rents and low wages at work. Goes to show how priorities are different for different groups in the SAME country. White people need to be more thankful instead of crying over how websites are blocked and all that other dandy stuff. Try being a sub-continentor or filipino for a day and you will know what I mean - there are more pressing issues to whine about! Try to help us come to your level of social standing and economic prosperity. Surely you guys can play a better role as the Arab somehow takes you white people more seriously. But, it seems at times as if white people are only obsessed with mundane things and are happy as long as they get their cut from Dubai.

Peace!

11 January, 2006 19:25  
Blogger secretdubai said...

So if SD can block and delete comments on her space, the government of Dubai has all the right to delete and block whatever websites they feel is obscene or offends their space (culture/religion).

You have this entirely arse-about-tit. I delete certain comments BECAUSE there is censorship in this country, and I do not want my blog to get blocked. In an ideal world I wouldn't censor anything, except inflammatory race hate, kiddie porn and anything borderline defamatory. I don't want to be sued for some Anon commenter's libel.

And internet censorship is imposed by the federal UAE government, not the government of the individual emirate of Dubai. Dubai's new ruler is in fact the first person to introduce uncensored internet, in Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City free zones.

11 January, 2006 19:33  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous @ 19:25,
because SD is the administrator of this blog, and as admin, SD has the right to delete comments for any reason SD sees fit.

The UAE government however has far more limited powers, it can only delete websites hosted on its own servers and otherwise just censor foreign websites, it has no power over foreign websites and it never will.

As SD has already pointed out, deletion of comments is purely a pre emptive strike against censorship, which has already occured once.

Was your footer supposed to be for humourous effect? peace? after blurting out all that stuff.

You left one critical point out of your comment, the fact you didn't even read the original post, "censorship and proxies"; did you see proxies mentioned in the original article? Proxies are the speak of people who BYPASS the censorship of the government and Etisalat, so after all, it seems your comment was a load of crap.
You wouldn't know about proxies if you didn't have interest or didn't practice yourself bypassing their censorship, since they actively try to block sites containing such information.

please get a clue, and i say that after i sensed quite a lot of uninformed racial prejudice in your article.

11 January, 2006 20:00  
Anonymous wandering yank said...

I think that the UAE goes overboard on its censorship. The .il thing is just a legal fiction that the UAE feels compelled to perpetuate.

When I was in Dubai in 04, they blocked dslreports.com which is a site which deals with broadband issues. There are mentions to techniques which could bypass the proxy server and to voip, but there are volumes of information on networking in general.

I don't agree with the prior poster who suggests that anyone who refers to the proxy is advocating the circumvention of it. E-company itself uses this term.

I think the UAE is trying to walk a tight rope between competing values and it will prove a difficult rope to walk. China is certainly facing similar issues with Taiwan. I find it interesting that Kuwait doesn't censor the internet. I don't believe Qatar does. While Bahrain does have a proxy, they filter out far less than the UAE.

11 January, 2006 23:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I am the anonymous character whose comments SD and Samuraisam found disturbing. Samuraisam, you dont need to get worked up about nothing; I asked SD a legitimate question on her practice of blocking and deleting comments and she gave a good enough response. But, that is EXACTLY my point! Whoever it is who regulates internet content here in the UAE has the FULL RIGHT to do so as they wish. Perhaps they are in a situation similar to that of SD?

As per my racial "prejudice" I think the silence on that account speaks volumes about how much truth there was in my statement. White-people are too much into mundane stuff as their bellies are full. If they are so worried about freedom of information and social equality, why dont we see you guys echo issues that affect under-priviledged communities? Freedom of this and freedom of that... cool down and speak about more pressing issues before you even try to enter the realm of internet policies (which really doesnt make a difference to most people anyways).

12 January, 2006 13:23  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous:
I've met people from just about every conceivable race on planet earth who don't care about anything other than what affects them, they are usually referred to as humans.
Face it, if you gave a damn about anyone else, which you seem to think you do, what are you doing on a computer blabbering on about stuff you yourself claims no one cares about?
Kind of ironic you accuse certain people of caring about "trivial" matters, yet you're the one complaining about them complaining about "trivial" matters, making your argument stupid.
The internet isn't an appropriate medium to be going on about charity causes, that's because it is about as useful as Bob Geldof sitting in an air conditioned TV studio clicking his fingers and pretending to give a damn.
I'm sure all the starving children who aren't busy dying from malnutrition and famine are keeping up to date on SD's blog and are severely dissapointed about her talking about censorship and not why on earth they are dying.
Your comment doesn't make sense.
THIS IS THE INTERNET, talking about the internet and anything that affects it, such as censorship, is relevant.
I'm pretty sure anyone with access to the internet has been to CNN.com, read a newspaper in the last 25 years, and seen enough boring black and white slow motion charity ads of kids dying to fill several books.
Guess what?
People die, and so do you.
I'm very certain everyone cares about starving children, but this is a dog-eat-dog world, I love how you've targeted white people for being so damn supermacist, In every society on earth there are extremely rich people there are sometimes some people in the middle, and there are people who are in crap situations, It's just the contrast in each society that's the issue.
You know what? The rich people give a damn too, look at Bill Gates, he gives BILLIONS upon BILLIONS of dollars to charity, he's probably the highest individual donator to charity causes, you don't see him putting down his strive for improving windows XP security and going to africa to help the starving kids, no, he gives a damn, but only so much.
I'm sure websites like mafiwasta, which is solely dedicated to helping people that are being screwed over in the UAE is going to achieve a big fat 0.
The lack of coverage may also be atributed to the fact that SD doesn't want to get blocked again, seeing as it is a touchy subject.

SD applied for secretdubai.blogspot and SD controls the content itself as in the physical content, as any website administrator does, SD can delete and add content at will, all etisalat does is pretend stuff doesn't exist.

12 January, 2006 16:17  
Anonymous mohamed Elzubeir said...

I think it would be hilarious if Etisalat would instead, display a page that looks just like the "Page not found" based on your browser, so the user wouldn't know if it is blocked or it doesn't exist.

(samuarism's comment on etisalat pretending things don't exist triggered that thought -- well, maybe a bit of rum too) ;)

13 January, 2006 01:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I run a large network of over 20,000 nodes. In a feeble attempt at protesting against Etisalats mentally challenged proxy system, i have prevented the users of my network from being able to access etisalat.co.ae. Instead they get an error saying:

'Sorry, Etisalat is down due to a fiber optic cable being cut in Thailand (again). We are up your service.'

I can buy alcohol in Dubai, why can't I read about breast cancer? I'll tell you why: CHIMPS.

Have a nice day. I am so glad I don't live in Dubai or anywhere close. :)

13 January, 2006 07:07  
Blogger samuraisam said...

mohammed, i think that's what happens in china, you don't actually know if anything is blocked, requires a bit of guess work (:

13 January, 2006 11:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with censorship, in my opinion its good as i do not want my daughters to netsearch for "tom and jerry" pictures and instead view aldultery crap.

15 January, 2006 09:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuraisam:

If you think I am blabbering over here trying to "pretend" to care about under-priviledged people then pray tell me why you and others blabber about silly things? You obviously have no idea about how powerful the internet is and maybe that is exactly why the UAE and some other countries try to regulate it (lest it educates the public and coordinates them into taking some action against ludicrous laws here). Let me re-iterate that I was never against SD's initial argument/concern. I simply asked people to reflect how internet and other media-related freedoms merit more attention than more pressing issues. Unfortunately, it is also true that media-related freedoms are echoed by white people almost exclusively.

As much as you might think that I am racist, I hope you also realize how I appreciate the influence you people wield with Arabs here in the UAE (and other GCC countries). You can easily press them to be more fair towards sub-continentors/asians/filipinos et al, but somehow white people are least bothered. In fact, I can see how white people, in responsible positions, themselves discriminate here by giving fellow white employees better packages than brown people.

15 January, 2006 11:23  
Blogger samuraisam said...

"you people"

I appreciate the fact that a lot of white people are racist, so are a lot of other people.
You aren't going to fix racism by being racist yourself.

Trivial matters have always been given more attention traditionally by the media. 5000 people die through starvation vs 30 people in a car accident, guess which one makes the front page?

15 January, 2006 11:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should start to take in consideration that we the expats are the people that make 2/3 of the population and should stop making actions that could be hated by most of us. Without all of us Dubai would not be what it is now, it would still be a small desert town which is rich in oil, but has never evolve.

When they make polls asking people on there opnions they should ask the population, not the small group that don't want any changes.

I have lived here for many years and I have seen the gradual increase of proxing an know they should stop at were they are. What would be even better would be that they start to reverse the trend.

Etisalat if you read this I have an idea for a new product. Since you think that the emiraties need to be protected then you should create a new adsl plan which would a proxy lite version. Since the emiraties want to be proxied, then they would just be forced to use the current option. Expats would have the choice between the two, since they are not the ones asking for stronger proxies.

30 January, 2006 21:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading above someone talking about tom and jerry pictures and that you would not like your daughter to find adultery pictures.

If that what you want, then etisalat is not doing a good job. If you were to do a search on any search engine in the image section then you would find your worst nightmare....

30 January, 2006 21:34  

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