Monday, March 21, 2005

Filtering in the United Arab Emirates

A bit late with this one, but the Open Net Initiative released a study last week on filtering in the United Arab emirates [PDF, HTML]. The country uses an American filtering software (SmartFilter) that leads to considerable overblocking.

Here's the small abstract of the study:
The United Arab Emirates filters Internet content extensively, with blocking targeted particularly on material viewed as culturally insensitive or interpreted as offensive to Islam. By contrast, political and news sources are generally accessible. Overall, while UAE filtered 15.4% of the 8713 Web sites that ONI tested, the state's regime suffers from overblocking, thus preventing its citizens from accessing a considerable amount of material unrelated to UAE's expressed goals.
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Here's on older paper on SmartFilter by Seth Finkelstein
SmartFilter company website


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