Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of UAE bans YouTube content

The content on the popular video sharing website came under the scanner when a cartoon hurting religious and nationalistic sentiments uploaded on the site resulted in heated public debates and discussion across the country.
The cartoon in question shows two young Muslim characters who are constantly coerced by elders to become suicide bombers. It has Hebrew and English subtitles.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) justified the part ban imposed on YouTube content in an official statement released yesterday.
Earlier in February, the TRA banned access to the cartoon clip, citing breach of prohibited content categories stipulated by them.
“The Internet Access Management (IAM) policy, published by the TRA clearly identifies prohibited content categories, which both UAE Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have published on their websites. Therefore, no content on the internet is blocked unless it breaches IAM policy”, reads the statement.
“As for YouTube, the TRA has instructed to block “part of its content” that breaches the prohibited content categories of the IAM policy. However, there are clear and specific procedures to that, and both ISPs are compliant to these procedures”, the statement said.
An official said: “It happens that some things can escape the proxy, especially clips with tags like a cartoon which in normal cases do not need to be blocked. But when the authority receives comments or feedback on a particular case, necessary action is taken promptly.”



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