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27 July, 2006

Our favourite things

YouTube and MySpace and Orkut and Flickr
BoingBoing and Vonage and UAEprison
Friendsreunited and Metacafé
Please keep the evil corruption away!

Girls in bikinis with bits that are rudey
Ladies of Lesbos and good friends of Judy
The Empire of Zion and poor pussycats
Save us from moral perversion like that!

When the road roars, when the rent soars
When we're feeling shit
We simply remember the sites that are blocked
And then we don't mind a bit

Sites inconsistent to UAE values
Sites that could threaten the delicate family
Sites that let girls and boys flirt and hook up
These are few of the things that are blocked

Religious discussion and mags that are foxy
Sites that explain how to get round the proxy
Internet phonecalls and expatriates
We really cannot be confronted with that!

When the Palm sinks, when Modhesh winks
When we could slit our throats
We simply remember that everything's blocked
And then we sit back and gloat

Labels: , ,

50 Comments:

Blogger i, Bobo said...

You go, Girl!

27 July, 2006 03:17  
Anonymous Mariam said...

How I hate that, I just figured out that they blocked youtube I am a member there and I was creating videos and uploading them. That was a lot of fun, but now, thanks to Eisalat, I can not do such a thing. So what do you think the next site will be blocked? I am 100% sure it will be blogger.com.

27 July, 2006 03:30  
Blogger secretdubai said...

I am 100% sure it will be blogger.com

If it is, and I wouldn't be at all surprised, I will just start posting some of the entries I have written but not published for legal reasons. After all if people in the UAE can't view it, they won't be able to get upset by it, will they?

Currently my blog is published from the UAE, so I abide by UAE law. The minute they block it, it's an international publication, and I will probably revert to UK media laws since that's what my background is.

27 July, 2006 03:37  
Anonymous Mariam said...

I do email them and complain about some of the sites they blocked, butI do get the same reply from them.

I do enjoy blogs, so I really hope they dont block them as well :(

27 July, 2006 03:47  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Mariam - if you get an RSS reader (either an application, or a web-based reader such as Bloglines, you can add your favourite blogs to them and still read them if they are blocked. The only downside is you can't comment on a blocked blog, but you can still read its content if it publishes a feed, which nearly all blogs do.

27 July, 2006 03:51  
Anonymous Mariam said...

Thanks for the tip, but dont worry about me, I can get my way around the blocked sites (IT student) ;), but I just want to view them - you know - normally like everyone else outside the UAE.

I dont know why I am doing this, but everytime they block a site, I visit that site and create an account. I dont know why I do such a thing, but maybe coz I am not allowed to do that.

27 July, 2006 04:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am furious about youtube...it may well be the straw that breaks this camels back

27 July, 2006 09:09  
Blogger SIN said...

Oh the joys of working in the Freezone...

27 July, 2006 09:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm livid about youtube as well.

Absolutely ridiculous!

If they are blocking sites like this then it is inevitable that the local population will grow up ignorant and naive in the ways of the world just like the previous generations.

27 July, 2006 12:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess the one thing I have going for me with my recent move to Doha (from Dubai) is that You Tube, Flickr, MySpace and such are all still allowed. My handy, dandy Tor software still gets broken out occasionally for BoingBoing, TuckerMax.com and anytime I get the overwhelming urge to see a boob during office hours.

The stupid thing about all this censorship is that newest technology will always favour the people rather than the government. Governments like China, the UAE and many, many others can pay millions to develop ways of keeping their people safe from the evils of the net, but human curiosity (often fuelled by the desire created for the forbidden fruit) always wins out. I’m no anarchist, but the great thing about humans is that we have the ability to stay one step ahead of suppressive governments. Just tell me what you don’t want me to see, and rest assured that I’ll find a way to see it.

27 July, 2006 12:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic spin on that Sound of Music song.
I can see Julie Andrews skipping gaily through the mountains now singing her lungs out. In her abaya.
How soon before they block the whole internet? What then? Can anyone tell me how i can get youtube back without upping sticks and going to the FreeZone?
And how come the FZ people dont get blocked? More like the FreePornZone I bet. Perhaps the UAE govt could build a city based on that? A whole new city which is filled with cnuts, dicks and tits - oh they have already its called Dubai. Ho-hum

27 July, 2006 12:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out www.bentlads.com to see what dubai guys are up to....this site was www.manjam.com, which got blocked, and then the guys here discovered it was www.ohlalaguys.com, which got blocked, and then the site became www.bentlads.com....so point being, no matter how much you block, people will find their ways around the blocked sites...

27 July, 2006 13:32  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...

Great stuff SD.

This blocking is getting out of hand.

I would like to appeal to all people to start a letter campaign to all the newspapers (you can open a new email account using an alias if you fear repercussions) and bombard them with criticisms about Etisalat's idiotic blocking policy.

27 July, 2006 15:20  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

For shame.

I lurve your Etisalat slogans, especially 'more blocked sites than China' - if that doesn't shame Etisalat and the Government then I really don't know what will.

This has gone way beyond a joke.

27 July, 2006 16:10  
Anonymous bhumika said...

lol... check it out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etisalat, already hit wikipedia... good work secretdxb

27 July, 2006 16:31  
Blogger samuraisam said...

Realistically I don't think "The great Middle Eastern monopoly of Etisalat" will ever trump over "The great communist firewall of China"

Though they do both block skype from what I recall; they should join forces and take over the world!

27 July, 2006 16:42  
Anonymous saeed abdul mansoor ahmed saif bin tal la la la la la la la la mohammed junior said...

effing etisalat

27 July, 2006 16:58  
Blogger The Lady said...

You have too much time on your hands! :) Anyway, love the post. I promise not to sing it this time.

27 July, 2006 17:39  
Anonymous Funktastic said...

What I cannot fathom is this internet censorship practiced over here.

In an emirate where I can have my pick of h@@kers from anywhere in the world, to engage with them in acts that are supposedly "inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates", and where I can pick-up as many women as I want in any of the over one hundred clubs in this town, why do I not have the full freedom to access the web?

What hypocrisy. There is no consistency of message here. If the 'moral' values are so disturbed by one adult internet user accessing whatever information he/she wants to, and that too in the privacy of their own home, then one wonders what the detrimental effects of all those h@@kers and nightclubs are having on the 'moral' people of this emirate? I don't see the authorities banning prostitution or clubbing.

27 July, 2006 18:20  
Anonymous Kenneth Ryan Jones said...

Jeeez Louise. Youtube was like the only good thing left to see on the internet. Seriosuly I'm so fed up with this country and its rules. People always say "if you're so unhappy here you should just leave". Well folks, I am!! I've had enough of this. I've earned enough tax free money and now I'm gonna blow it all off in a casino back home.

Screw this, I'm going home to a land of free speech, where it's LEGAL to publish offensive cartoons. Yes taxes may be high but at least I get to watch all the internet porn I want.

-Ken

27 July, 2006 19:44  
Blogger Mise said...

Great post..perfectly summed up (and with music optional) :-D

27 July, 2006 20:26  
Blogger Dubai Sunshine said...

Love it:) Great post SD! I still can't believe they blocked Youtube!!

27 July, 2006 22:16  
Anonymous Mahmood Al-Yousif said...

Done! and good luck with your campaign.

27 July, 2006 23:04  
Blogger nzm said...

Excellent prose!

I hope that everyone has filled in their request forms to Etisalat to request thet these sites are unblocked.

28 July, 2006 00:43  
Blogger dangermouse said...

you are so cool!
my parents live in dubai and but i dont (thank the lord) though i do come in for my occasional fix of luxury. i usually get bored out of my brains thanks to the lack of anything fun to do for free and the very gloomy prospects of meeting anyone with half a brain. your blog is a great place for the regular people in dubai to unite!

28 July, 2006 00:53  
Blogger A world of Symphony said...

Thought I'd offer a tag of my own, here goes:

ETISALAT
catch us if you can

28 July, 2006 08:06  
Blogger samuraisam said...

sympothy: mleh, that isn't very interesting.

My personal favorite is..

Etisalat: We are up your service

28 July, 2006 08:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in Vus last night (top of the Emirates Toweer hotel for those not in the know) celebrating a friends birthday - Digital Cameras were plentifull... until a couple of locals complained and the manager asked to stop taking photos. We left.

So these locals were surrounded by a number of Eastern European women and alcohol and were worried that we might have caught them in the images - we checked our cameras and there was not one - we couldn't care less about them, we were taking photo of our freinds.

If they don't want to be seen as whoremongers and drunkards...

28 July, 2006 14:21  
Blogger unJane said...

With 2 daughters in uni in the US, the blocking of vonage is a great loss to us. Any back-door suggestions?

28 July, 2006 17:04  
Blogger anonymous lurker said...

looking at this blocking-fiasco from the outside in as an ex-expat, my mind wanders to another 'theory' about why these sites get blocked...

...to keep information in the country and not let the voice of dissent be heard via the internet.

i don't believe that protecting the delicate moral code of the uae is as important as protecting the highly polished image of the uae.

28 July, 2006 18:23  
Blogger marwan said...

Oh youtube, how you tease and corrupt our youth so with your endless 30 second videos of emo teens blabbing and kids playing with lightsabers!

And your insanely comprehensive list of 80s pop videos! The youth, they'll get burned by those filthy legwarmers.

And all that other stuff which isn't endorsed by a corporate sponsor or any kind of fancy local initiative.

As opposed to Nancy freaking Ajram shaking her chipmunk ass in every coffee shop I visit, which is so much more desirable.

As opposed to men throwing their numbers at women when they walk by.

As opposed to prostitutes being the most permanent thing in my neighbourhood in the last two years.

As opposed to any kind of meaningful locally produced TV which doesn't have SMSs scrolling along the bottom.

Yeah, what a tradeoff.

28 July, 2006 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did see a few videos on youtube which might have pissed off the higher authority..
crashnburn(about the worringly increasing numbers of car accidents in dubai).and a short documentary on dubais um pleasure inudstry

28 July, 2006 22:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IS youtube ever coming back? (bieng unblocked?).

28 July, 2006 23:14  
Anonymous Eti-slack said...

unJane @ 28 July, 2006 17:04

Packet8 is still up and running. Jus tneed to play around with the setup.

29 July, 2006 11:02  
Blogger unJane said...

Thanks, eti-slack!

29 July, 2006 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, are those comments here reaching etisalat?.
Oh, and i wanna participate in the campaign too.

30 July, 2006 03:35  
Anonymous juan dela cruz said...

hi,

if you have sites that are blocked by etisalat and want to at least read its content, why don't you try this.

http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=[url]

replace [url] with the url you want to visit.

example:

http://www.google.com/gwt/n?u=www.youtube.com

it will work until etisalat will block google.com or all urls that starts with google.com/gwt.

30 July, 2006 12:18  
Anonymous dead hamster said...

Heyyy you guys chill .. it's just a website..
I'm sure others like youtube will open soon, (and blocked)

oh by the way SDd .. amazing poem lol .. and also.. very informative, especially the prison thingy..
I'm from kuwait, and before 95 I think we only had one ISP, so they used to control us just like etisalat (not as much tho) .. anyways, after 1997 other companies were established and Ncc.moc.kw no longer ruled.. my point is .. monopoly sucks.
oh and ... bypassing etisalat rules!

31 July, 2006 00:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys ive got an idea: Send an email to youtube and tell them what happened and tell them that we have many supporters. Then ask them to send an email to etisalat or do something about it. By doing that, we get many more supporters.
The email is service@youtube.com.
Please use the idea and dont ignore me. Oh and also complain in the feedback form of etisalat. If many people complain, youtube will be unblocked.

31 July, 2006 01:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Secret Dubai,

I work on a regional PC magazine and am currently researching a blocking/unblocking story.

If you could advise me what events occurred when your own site was blocked and then unblocked, I would very much appreciate whatever info you can provide (i.e. did the media exposure of the blocking in 7Days etc. do it? Was it unblocked because all your readers e-mailed the company's complaint address?).

I'm on matt.wade @ itp.com.

I hope you get to read this. A telephone chat would be perfect if acceptible to you. If so, just drop me a mail and I'll call you to discuss.

Thanks very much,

Matt.

07 August, 2006 11:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They blocked MSNSpaces!!! Bah.

09 August, 2006 06:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't believe it when they blocked Youtube. I was incredulous when myspace went the way of the porn sites, but Youtube really was the last straw. Video uploads on certain sites (Metacafe, Gorillamask) are largely pornographic in nature, but in all my time using the website(and that was a lot), I rarely came across anything vulgar or hugely offensive on Youtube, whom, if I'm not mistaken, controlled the material posted on the website quite diligently. Who the hell thought the citizens of Dubai would be better off if they didn't see a Death Cab For Cutie music video? What a load of bollocks.

I suppose I'll now be banned from the internet as a whole.

12 August, 2006 16:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the monopolists have shut down my only phone to home (P8).

Pull off one more stunt like this, and I'm leaving.

16 August, 2006 16:55  
Blogger Bladewidth said...

Hi ,

Hey anyone's got a list of the top websites like youtube,myspace,MSN spaces etc that are blocked in the UAE?

Also wud be great if you could lemme know wether the other GCC countries like Saudi,qatar,kuwait etc have this 'blocking' policy .......

17 August, 2006 11:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations etisalat.


you pissed off more and more people

whats next. we refuse to use your internet and we dissappear into the night................JUST LIKE THAT!

24 August, 2006 23:44  
Blogger falzaabi said...

one who knows,speaks not

one who speak, know not

plz help me

21 November, 2006 12:42  
Anonymous Clive said...

Just wondering from outside - can't you folks simply swap to an independent VSat system in the UAE and get rid of annoying service providers??? No more censoring!
Yeah most likely illegal, but who will know (good examples are Saudi, Iran, etc.)
Cheers, Clive

24 February, 2007 01:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

COME ON u guys think tht will stop spread the bad things all over the world if really stop sellin phone with bloototh come on am i member in myspace i had alot of frnds tht i didn hv b4 why now i hate that i hate u y plzzzz unblock myspace n hi5 n youtube damn u ppl like u dont do bad things oh plz

21 April, 2007 13:43  
Blogger fafa said...

huh stupid peaople thnks to stupid Eitsalat,now we cant do anything like publishing my poems or see my fav. vidoes wat u think tht this will stop spreadind bad things all over the world u sick ppl frst stop sellin phones with bloototh then talk abt blockin myspace u had so many frnds tht i didn hv b4 i HATE U

21 April, 2007 13:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried using proxies like these to unblock the sites?

http://www.kioya.com
http://www.bamozi.com
http://www.winosa.com
http://www.kisiama.com

18 May, 2007 06:07  

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