Communications in the United Arab Emirates

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{system, computer, user}
{company, market, business}
{city, large, area}
{law, state, case}
{government, party, election}
{group, member, jewish}

In the United Arab Emirates, Federal Act No. 1 of 1976 [1] establishes the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation as the sole telephone and telecommunications provider for the United Arab Emirates, freezones and modern housing developments are exempt from this and utilise a separate telecommunications company called du. However for the majority of the UAE (Non free zones), Etisalat has a monopoly on business and personal telecommunications services.


Telecommunications Regulatory Authority

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was established according to the UAE Federal Law by Decree No. 3 of 2003.[2] The TRA requires Etisalat to actively censor Internet sites. Material deemed offensive, or "inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates", is usually blocked, as well as pornography and gambling sites. For commercial reasons, there is also a total ban on internet telephony or VoIP. The TRA has released conflicting statements regarding when (if ever) the ban will be lifted. As of 2010, Skype became unblocked, but the call connection time is unusually long and the call quality remains irregular, raising the question of whether the related IP traffic is being filtered or monitored.

Internet restrictions

TRA [3] instructs Etisalat and du to block all VoIP services such as Skype and SIP based services [4] and some social networking services like hi5, Friendster, and all dating sites like Yahoo! Personals and[5] For political reasons, the entire Israeli internet domain, .il, is also blocked. Pro-Israeli content which does not use the "*.il" domain, however, is accessible (e.g. - the website of the Jerusalem Post).[6] A 2005 study, before du was established, also showed Etisalat sometimes block websites relating to the Bahá'í Faith.[7]

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