It's all a little weird. If you don't like it or don't get it, then ban it. Monsieur McNabb posts an articulate post about censorship and specifically the blocking of Google Voice
. In summing up, he says:For what it's worth, as far as I can see, the move is unlikely to affect Gmail or any other part of Google's services unless Google starts to integrate the voice platform with other Google properties - which is something you could actually see makes a great deal of sense in the long run. Don't forget, bits of Google (Orkut) have long been blocked here without losing the rest (see also Yahoo!'s Flickr). So it's not time to hit the panic button quite yet... Meanwhile, I have to say I think the TRA is looking increasingly Canute-like...
ie - it's all a little annoying. Indeed it is. Yesterday PC Pro talked through the frustrations and the journalist talked through how the authorities helped him get around the regulations:She calmly recommended that I install Hotspot Shield, a free piece of software that ensures your computer flashes a US IP address to any website that comes asking. Unfortunately, Dubai was wise to this particular scam and had blocked the website so I couldn’t download it, along with all other websites offering a similar service. Undeterred, she pointed me towards The Pirate Bay, which somehow remains open for business. I mean how, just how? The UAE has blocked Flickr because there are bottoms on it, and just occasionally, the suggestion of other dangly bits. The Pirate Bay – which offers a range of bottoms to suit every need, including midget and donkey bottoms for anybody having a really slow afternoon – remains blissfully undisturbed.
It boggles the mind. If you’re going to throw up a firecurtain at least do it properly. It’s been a long time since I tried to look at, erm … Flickr in China, but I like to believe that the second you try somebody abseils through your window, kicks you in the unmentionables and shoots out your screen. That’s what censorship should be. That’s censorship we can all get behind. Dubai’s efforts just seem clumsy, like I’m being blindfolded with an eye patch made of cling film. The very fact that my ISP was telling me how to circumnavigate Dubai’s ridiculously inept restrictions was one thing, the fact that my local friends thought this advice odd only because Hotspot Shield is rubbish, was quite another. They swiftly offered a list of their favourite alternatives, at which point I discovered that when you live behind a wall, everybody has their own favourite shovel.
An amusing little story, but the fact of the matter is this - if you block and ban, there are ways around such regulations. As with parenting, when you tell a child not to do something, that's all they want to do.
The TRA should ban NOT using google voice. This would send up usage at etisalat and du, for sure.Dubai’s dubious internet “censorship”Fake Plastic Souks: UAE Blocks Google Voice
Labels: censorship, Dubai, internet