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Saturday, October 08, 2005

We Love the Proxy!

According to a feature in today's Gulf News, around one in six (16.6%) websites are blocked by Etisalat's proxy. This compares with less than 1% in Bahrain.

The plain fact is that Etisalat blocks numerous sites that cannot be considered offensive in any way. They have on occasion blocked commercial rivals, eg Skype and various SMS gateways. For some bizarre reason translation sites are also blocked. Almost every day I come across a blocked site.

Now, I know that a lot of people in the Emirates appreciate Etisalat's proxy as a kind of free kid-filter service. But I also know that it drives me crazy (and most of the serious adult web users that I know) . If you want to see dodgy sites, there are numerous ways to do it, proxy or no proxy. If you just want unfettered and speedy access to the Internet, then you should have the option of not using the proxy.

The Gulf News feature mentions the possibility of TECOM, Nakheel and Emaar subscribers being brought into line with Etisalat (ie the first lot get a proxy). And the less likely scenario of Etisalat being aligned with the others (no proxy).

But, for sure, if TECOM gets a proxy it will do enormous damage to the global reputation that the Internet and Media Cities have worked so hard to cultivate.

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5 Comments:

Blogger desertblog said...

According to Etisalat, VoIP software like Skype are against the cultural, political and moral values of the UAE. I wasn't aware VoIP was such a dangerous societal-fabric damager!

4:55 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Well, it's certainly an Etisalat-revenue damager, until they figure how they can use it themselves and charge us a fortune for it. And Etisalat seems to be an essential part of the fabric of UAE society, so hmmm.

5:03 pm  
Blogger kaya said...

Yeh their choice of blocking sites is ridiculous.I mean how inane and paranoid can one be.I had to help my kid do a project on watermelons at school and I couldnt access that one site that had everything you ever wanted to know about watermelons.You know the one, MAJOR MELON"!!!! heeehehehehehehe

9:45 am  
Anonymous mr steve said...

let's be honest, there r a lot of bad sites out there in the wonderful world we call cyberspace,don't u agree? however, blocking them is NOT the answer, if the UAE wants 2 be a first class country,it really needs 2 drop this proxy and let any site in,yes even the naughty ones, come on people,let's not kid ourselves,pulease!
what do other people think?

11:43 am  
Anonymous Ratgod said...

On this day ETISALAT proxied www.hi5.com what a shame!!! myspace , youtbe all proxied whats next Friendster?? Even online penpal sites are proxied.. we are living in a dictartorship NOT a democracy screw our ISP...

9:26 pm  

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