Then again, had they been able to search more freely on the internet in the UAE, perhaps they wouldn't have lost quite so much money on their ... Occasionally though, either a blank page, or Network Error type message will appear, leaving viewers confused as to whether a site has been blocked, or there really is a problem with the website.
It's not clear why the UAE telecom companies and/or telecom authorities are reluctant to let customers know about internet filtering for some sites. Etisalat seems to be more stringent than Du at blocking websites, so if you desperately want to access a website that's blocked when connected via Etisalat, one way is to use a Du connection - visit a friend or coffee shop in a free zone in Dubai for example (Du is often the ISP in Dubai free zones), or try using a Du hotspot.
He adds that the gang is careful not to talk online evading any voice recording system.
Or anyone wanting to do some research into gambling or casinos will find their web searches return no results.
One wonders how Dubai World (a Dubai Government owned company) ever managed to find out enough information to feel confident about investing in Las Vegas. Most of the time a message will appear when a website is blocked, that makes it clear the UAE authorities have blocked the site.
The country is very conservative (for Western standards), and the sites that exist are primarily marriage or friendship oriented.
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Censorship in the UAE is generally of subjects related to pornography, gambling, alcohol (words like "hops" or "grape beverages" are used instead of "beer" or "wine" in publications produced in the UAE), material which is offensive to Islam, material which is offensive to other religions, material which is critical of the UAE government and/or ruling families, and material which is critical of the UAE.
The last item seems to cause the most difficulty for UAE based media publications, which generally err on the side of caution when it comes to criticism of the UAE.
For many families, the blocking of porn might be seen as a plus when considering a move to Dubai.
And those who desperately want to access the blocked websites usually find a way eventually (using a VPN is one way to access blocked websites from what we've heard).
According to Colonel Dr Rashid Mohammad Bu Rasheed, Director, Department of Criminal Investigation, Organised Crime, 33 complaints of blackmail have been received in the first six months of this year.
Most involved videos of the victims in inappropriate situations.
This perception is possibly because there are some areas in the Du Telecom network that have no, or less, censorship of the internet, for example Dubai Media Zone and the TECOM area.