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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Light Blue Screen of Censorship

Etisalat yesterday unblocked a bunch of big-name websites. Things like youtube, hi5, orkut, myspace, friendsreunited etc.

We are supposed to be grateful.

Although Etisalat has made no official comment on the unblocking as yet, there is speculation that it has something to do with the impending launch of rival telco du. And while some insiders are saying that du is unlikely to be 'better' than Etisalat, I'm inclined to wonder how they could actually be worse.

Plenty of sites are still blocked, however, and some are suffering from terminal tcp_errors - this is Etisalat's other kind of blocking strategy where you don't actually get to see the light blue screen of censorship...

Etisalat blocked site notice

you just get this...

network error message

Which makes you think that the site is not actually blocked, there's just some kind of technical problem that might go away if you come back later. Except it doesn't go away. This strategy is still applied to flickr.com and clickatell.com. Clickatell is interesting because it doesn't 'contravene the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the UAE', it's simply a competitor to Etisalat's overpriced SMS service.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Prometheus said...

Ah! The pleasures of being the Lord of a fiefdom. Prometheus feels Dilbert gets inspiration from Itisalot.

6:04 pm  
Blogger Jin said...

Nice post Keef & thanks for telling us about the unblocking. I wonder if the new rival to Etisatwat will be any better. Somehow, I just don't think so.

10:42 pm  
Blogger DesertNorm said...

'Etisalat to double foreign investment
United Arab Emirates: Thursday, August 10 - 2006 at 08:02
UAE-based telco Etisalat will double its international investment from $13.6m to $27.2m over the next five years, despite facing domestic competition for the first time, according to Gulf News. CEO Mohammad Khalfan Al Qamzi told the daily that under a new business strategy, the company will concentrate on expanding into regional and international markets.'

Hooray for plucky Etisalat. They must be a truly excellent company, proven in the cut and thrust of the competitive international telcoms market to be able to take on the big boys on an international level.

11:46 am  
Anonymous dubaibilly said...

I don't suppose that today's Customor Satisfaction Survey 2006 will make things any better either!

4:15 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Dubaibilly: no, but it was nice to have a good old rant at them!

5:02 pm  
Blogger Ish Sagar said...

See the other part of life...

People who get in touch with their old friends, schoolmates, relatives....

there are more than 30,000 people who are using ORKUT....

and Etisalat bans it...

Etisalat and the government should ban the clubs and prostitution first...
if they cant do this... they cant do any better...!!!

2:31 pm  

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