UAE - Etisalat Internet Censorship
Etisalat is a UAE-based electronic communications company that serves a total of 18 countries around the world. Ranked as the 13th largest communications provider on the planet, the 12th largest voice carrier in the world, it has a customer base 94 million people strong. This number continues to grow with each passing year, and Etisalat has expanded their communication abilities vastly to feed the growing demand. Their voice roaming contracts cover a much broader geographical scale, with a total of 186 countries using their standard voice, Blackberry, and 3G services.
With such a huge following, questions remain about the depth of Etisalat censorship efforts. The Internet has become a very dangerous place for your average businessman/woman. There are more loopholes and pitfalls attempting to lure unsuspecting business minded individuals than ever before. Along with UAE governmental authority, Etisalat effectively censors controversial and offensive Internet material before Internet subscribers have a chance to see it. With Internet filtering technology already in place, the offensive content never even has a chance to reach the target audience.
The range of content blocked by Etisalat include pornography, all of Israel's country code top level domains, media sharing Web sites notorious for copyright infringement, Anti-Islamic Web sites, Web sites that are critical of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and what they stand for, anonymous proxy sites, Gay and Lesbian groups/organizations/Web sites, and numerical IP address links that don't use a textual mask.
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There are some unproven claims that Etisalat is using their Internet censorship abilities to lessen their server loads at times. Online gamers, peer-to-peer users, and other Internet users who partake in using large amounts of bandwidth and server resources claim their service is affected by this "throttling technique". While these claims are unsubstantiated as far as evidence goes, there are a growing number of claims that may prove some validity to the complaints.
The censorship of offensive material is simply a way to keep the Internet used for what it's most effective at. You can't feasibly have sexual intercourse with your computer, as fun as it may be to watch it, so censorship is used to keep feelings based in real life situations where they can do more good. Getting sidetracked can possibly take away from the peace of mind and well being of others. Offensive material revolving around hatred/hate crimes can incite a highly volatile situation. These types of organizations have proved themselves to be detrimental and extremely dangerous groups to be a part of. Censoring the possibility of inclusion in these groups is one of the main goals of Etisalat Internet censorship. All in all, the censorship effort has been a beneficial inclusion in the Internet lives of their citizens.