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Etisalat unblocks banned websites

Access restored to popular websites in line with TRA directive.

Etisalat has unblocked access to a number of popular websites which were previously banned in the UAE.

Among the sites which have been opened in the past few days to Etisalat subscribers are blogging sites Twitter and Live Journal, music sharing service Last FM and teen social networking site Habbo.

The move is in line with a directive from the UAE Telecoms Regulatory Authority, reported in late July, to open access to 1,000 web sites as part of its revised Internet Access Management policy.

While the TRA did not disclose which sites were to be unblocked, the authority had set a deadline of 29th August for the blocks to be removed.

Many of the sites that have been unblocked were previously accessible in the UAE for subscribers to du’s internet service, apparently in contradiction of TRA regulations.

A number of popular sites in similar categories remain blocked, including image sharing site Flickr, social network Orkut, and Google’s web page translation services.

At the time the removal of the block was announced, the director general of the TRA Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim said that the move was being made to promote productivity.