UAE users face part-ban of Facebook

Elements of the popular social networking website Facebook could be blocked to UAE net users next year as part of the telecoms regulator's rollout of its forthcoming new Internet Penetration Policy (IPP).

  • E-Mail
By  Matthew Wade Published  February 21, 2008

Elements of the popular social networking website Facebook could be blocked to UAE net users next year as part of the telecoms regulator's rollout of its forthcoming new Internet Penetration Policy (IPP).

The country's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) claims that this detailed policy will liberate web access by more specifically defining which types of online material can be accessed and which should be blocked to surfers.

"The penetration policy will be liberalised in the sense that it will be more specific," a TRA spokesman told UAE newspaper Emirates Business 24-7. "We do not want to deny access to websites that are social portals and encourage cultural interaction in today's globalised world. At the same time it has to be done without losing our identity, traditions, ethics, morals and culture."

According to the TRA, the likely changes will open up many sites - or at least sections of those sites - that are currently blocked in the UAE.

However the spokesman added that sections of social networking websites, such as Facebook's dating-related sections (or, more specifically, downloadable applications) would be banned, which is not the case at present.

The spokesman also took a swipe at the site-blocking approach of the UAE's second telco, du, which he suggested was using a less advanced software system to apply the TRA's Telecom Law than its competitor Etisalat.

"Before the creation of the TRA it was more or less a case of whatever was banned on television - and sometimes more - was blocked on the internet by Etisalat. We looked at international best practices and approved the software used by Etisalat to censor the internet. Now a new player, du, is in the market and it also uses software that automatically bans certain websites. But du's software is not as effective so we will introduce the penetration policy to include or exclude content," he was quoted as saying.

2913 days ago
ZigZag&SchiZo

We use facebook as a way of communicating to our love ones back home. Try to look at the things in a nice, open your eyes and listen to the things in your surroundings, surely you'll find better things to ban than facebook.

2913 days ago
rabia

im totaly agree with Sharbeen...

3581 days ago
Nadia

I am using facebook in a daily basis, i think it is very useful site, for example many groups concern about the Job Search, Certifications,education,and many other useful things, Why we always want to take the negative part of the thing and and iqnor the positive part. Ok to be fare, bane the stuff ,you think it could conflicts whith the roles in the facebook site and keep the site open . NO FOR FACEBOOK BANNING

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code