Censorship in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)

Back in November last year I wrote about censorship in Saudi Arabia. Well, today I am sitting in the very modern and very commercial city of Dubai – in the airport to be exact. I picked up a new PC in Bangkok last week – yes, a new Widget but more about that in a later post.

Whilst sitting here and enjoying a coffee and a 10 hour lay-over, I went about configuring software for Widget-Major. I had just installed the Gimp so that I can make myself look younger and prettier (OK, so I can’t be any more pretty) and had just installed Skype and was about to check the IE addon Skype Settings and such from Skype when the following message was returned to me on a page noting that it was a blocked site:

We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.

This was posted by Etisalat, the only mobile phone network service provider in town
and the ISP I am using at the moment for the Internet connection. Interestingly, Skype is not banned in Saudi Arabia for religious, cultural, political or moral values but then again, in Saudi Arabia, a more strict environment, they at least have competition in the telecommunications industry.

So Etisalat, don’t lie on your web pages and try an blame someone else. Be honest and say:

We apologize the site you are attempting to visit has been blocked due to its content being inconsistent with the commercial aims of our organisation as a monopolistic provider of services within the United Arab Emirates and our fear that to allow you access to this site will result in us making less filthy lucre than we already do.

At least this way, Etisalat, you will earn some respect for honesty.

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