Police chief to discuss web 'smut' words with Etisalat

EXCLUSIVE: UAE's plan to ban access to 'offensive' internet sites moves forward.

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By  Soren Billing Published  May 11, 2009

The chief of Dubai’s police said on Monday he would be meeting with Etisalat officials later this month, to discuss the 500-strong list of offensive words that will be used to block access to internet sites.

Speaking exclusively to Arabian Business Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said that he would be meeting with the telecoms provider in the next two weeks.

He added that Etisalat, the UAE's largest telecoms provider, had compiled the list of words, not the police, or the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as had been previously reported.

“The 500 words were composed by Etisalat not by me. I will talk to Etisalat in the next two weeks,” Tamim said on the sidelines of the Arab Media Conference in Dubai.

The 500 word list came to light last month when it emerged that the deputy chief of police had met with a Google official in Dubai to discuss their use as a means to bar internet searches.

It is part of a plan to protect the UAE's young people from "pornographic" and "anti-religious" content on Google and YouTube, Tamim added at the time.

What words make up the list is still unknown, but they are described by Tamim as “smut” words.

“These (500) terms open the door into the smut in the cyberspace bringing in devastating effect on the young generation as the studies had shown,” he said in a statement published by state news agency WAM said on April 13.

Google, the world's largest search engine, has denied it is in the process of drawing up a censorship plan for the UAE.

Etisalat were not immediately available for comment.

2990 days ago
Khalid

Actually this is just the start of Tamim's commendable campaign of reform. To reach the highest form of society, we need to ban internet altogether, which is Tamim's next step. Only then will we be able to eradicate vice altogether. This guy is a genius.

2990 days ago
Harry Winston

DP should stick to policing the real world and not the internet. Only child pornography should be their jurisdiction so they can focus on these two words. Leave the rest to the TRA and parents.

2990 days ago
Ali

1. The effort of DP is apreciated in protecting the culture, but some "realiies" in the streets and hotels need to be monitored as well. 2. Internet access can't be blocked. There are many ways of bypassing Etisalat. 3. Google's interest, of course, is making money out of the whole issue. So watch out.

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