Blocked websites in Bahrain

Since Ministerial Order #1 of 2009 by the new minister of Information was issued, this list is woefully inadequate as the blocked sites in Bahrain now number in the hundreds if not the thousands due to the method of blocking employed (keyword, URL, description, etc). A campaign has been mounted by active bloggers in Bahrain who need your help to help yourself. Please go and sign the Petition Against Internet Censorship. The more people sign it, the more of a chance there is that this order will be rescinded.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!
Go sign the petition against Internet censorship in Bahrain
censorship-h
Mahmood Al-Yousif
10 February 2009


[table “” not found /]
[update 6 Aug, ’08]
UNBLOCKED: ba7rainss.com blocked originally under Administrative Order number 2008/16 has been unblocked by the MoI on 24 July, ’08 “after the site owners agreed to abide by the law and not spread sectarian hatred” according to a report in Alwasat newspaper on 30 July, ’08

UNBLOCKED: bahrainforums.com blocked originally under Administrative Order number 2008/16 has been unblocked by the MoI on 24 July, ’08 “after the site owners agreed to abide by the law and not spread sectarian hatred” according to a report in Alwasat newspaper on 30 July, ’08

BLOCKED: vob.org of the Bahrain Freedom Movement was added to the list as a verified blocked site.

[updated 31 July 08 – Tested the following sites through a [email protected] internet connection] 3radnet.com – works
aafaq.org – works
ahraralbahrain.com – abandoned
albawaba.com – works
aldair.net – works
aldemokrati.org – works
alduraz.net – blocked
alhiyak.net – abandoned
alialasghar.net – works
almahfood.com – blocked
althaqlain.com – works
alsaheefa.net – works
annaqed.com – works
arabchurch.com – works
arabtimes.com – works
awaal.net – blocked
bab-albahrain.net – works
bahrainonline.org – works
bahrainrights.org – works
bahraintimes.org – blocked
bander.allfreehost.net – abandoned
bchr.net – works
bintjbeil.org – works
benkerishan.com – blocked
benkerishan.blogspot.com – blocked
bhteachers.orgworks
eskanaali.com – blocked
freecopts.net – works
haaq.org – blocked
hrinfo.net – blocked
juffair.com – works
karbabadiat.net – works
karzakan.com – works
kurdtimes.com – works
ladeeni.networks
malkiya.net – works
members.tripod.com/bahrain3 – blocked
montadayat.org – works
nasr-b.com – works
playboy.com – works
rezgar.com – works
sex.com – works
shahrakkan.org – abandoned
shaheedbh.com – abandoned
tubli.netabandoned
vob.org – works
wattani.net – works
yahosein.com – works

[UPDATE 3 Aug 08]

Instructions to unblock both aldair.net and saronline.org has been issued on July 30th, 2008 under Administrative Order number 2008/193.

Instructions to block wattaninet.net has been issued on July 31st, 2008 under Administrative Order number 2008/193.

Admin Order for wattaninet.net updated in the table above. saronline.org was not listed in our table. aldair.net removed. Total known sites blocked now stand at 38.

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21 Comments
  • Hussain
    1 August 2008

    I have just tried aldair.net, bahrainonline, bahrain4u.com, and 208.100.39.36/index.php on Zain e-go and found them all blocked. I need to test the rest.

  • mahmood
    1 August 2008

    Thanks Hussain.

  • mahmood
    1 August 2008

    Can someone on Batelco’s network test

    bhteachers.org
    ladeeni.net
    tubli.net

    and as much of the list I’ve tested with Zain and let us know the result?

    much more important, we need to get the admin order numbers for as many of the above sites as possible.

  • Loki
    1 August 2008

    All three work, but the last one has a generic portal thingy on it.

  • mahmood
    1 August 2008

    Thanks Loki, so tubli.net has been abandoned or does it’s content seem genuine still?

  • Loki
    1 August 2008

    No its got generic content. Hotel reservations. get a car, etc. ONe of them auto-generated portals. Dead as a dodo if you ask me.

  • mahmood
    1 August 2008

    Thanks Loki, so it’s been abandoned. I’ll mark it as such.

  • Sam
    7 August 2008

    Thanks for putting this list together. It’s probably the most current and upto date ‘blacklist’ in the country!

    Perhaps at the bottom somewhere you can include instructions on alternative ways to view the sites? I remember you had a work around some time ago which was pretty nify, you had to simply add something to the end of the URL or something.

  • mahmood
    7 August 2008

    nyud.net:8090

    and when they block that, there are many more ways to get through! 😉

  • Sam
    10 August 2008

    Mahmood,

    MP Abdul Haleem Murad wants Facebook banned as it is “against Islamic teachings”.

    Do you think it’s nothing more than hot air?

    Link

  • mahmood
    10 August 2008

    To him it might not be hot air, to everyone else in the world it is, and it has an unhealthy odour too.

    Like any gaseous discharge, it too will eventually dissipate.

  • Redbelt
    14 August 2008

    Your checking if Playboy.com is blocked or not?? Eshlah?

  • Sam
    15 August 2008

    There’s allot of inconsistency (not surprisingly) between what sites are blocked by what ISPs.

    Sex.com and Playboy.com are both blocked on Batelco’s network.

    Mahmood, should such sites not be added to the “blocked” list even if the ISP in question has taken it upon themselves to block the sites with no administrative order from the powers that be?

  • mahmood
    15 August 2008

    The reason I check whether these sites being blocked is academic and the results are used for the compilation of an annual index which helps categorise Bahrain’s internet activities.

    This particular list, for instance, is the one used by RSF in the past couple of years. From it (and others) one can deduce the trend – if any – of censorship ideology.

    playboy.com is open through Zain
    sex.com redirects to a sex search portal – again, open through Zain

    • G
      28 June 2014

      A revisit after so long…. kind regards mate.

      Nope! ‘Block.BB.zain.com’. It would ‘appear’ that an external portal is monitoring um….er…. ah…… .EVERYTHING! (PC terminology meaning ‘the b*stards’ have nobbled us) With that little black box just before Batelco’s still piddly 500 megabyte gateway serving all (except Viva, but that is worse). It will block any ISP not blocking the block. Although most ISPs have another obligatory Edward Snowden like black box in their machine rooms as the evidence recorder. Worse still, Google help these boogeymen by still porting though google.com.bh even though one is on a VPN from Timbuktu. It is actually heinous!

      It is beyond pathetic, beyond comprehension how some hideous bigot spends ‘its’ (PC for ‘HIS’ – for sure) life surfing and picking out even the most obscure sites. It thoroughly boggles the minds of thinkers as to how ‘it’ knows where to look in the first place with so many URLs utterly incomprehensible; just numbers in fact. Such totally random and ostensibly having zero association until one looks? I bet ‘it’s’ bookmark or little black book is a gold mine.

      EG: A well known Dubai classified site was blocked for some reason when I only saw cars and washing machines advertised. I must be naive.

      ‘T Shirt hell’ blocked.. Ridiculous, when Amazon sell the same things.
      Beyond beyond beyond the ridiculous when anyone with a satellite receiver can (and most do) have it all in glorious HD colour – Wow! 3D even……. all unblockable.

      On your Mac dictionary, a stupid typo when looking up words beginning with ‘hy’ as in hymen, results in your on-board dictionary being blocked. Whoever is doing it speaks damn good English.

      As Fahad states below; Sex is merely a cloak though – an excuse isn’t it? For the most, I doubt it is even the perceived subversion, or they’d block You Tube.. (shhh! Don’t give them ideas or they might), but this censorship is mainly used to ‘blinker’ within bigoted religion and one asks; Who actually decides? I know this writer caught two and bitterly complained in the very early 90s, when we had dial up. Resulting in their removal. Both sitting there nightly on the platform, deciding independently as individuals what we should all adhere to. Even pettily blocking Christian sites.

      A quote from a dear close Bahraini scholar: ‘Sex is above everything – and religion above that’. Must mean something.

      And overheard – a quote from the lovely man who is in charge of Batelco engineering; “Batelco block NOTHING! – Speak to the Ministry”.. Ok.. which Ministry and who within?

      Get a life people!

  • Sam
    15 August 2008

    I understand, but it makes it rather difficult to compile a list when such blockages aren’t imposed/applied uniformly.

    Considering the vast majority of internet users in the country get online via Batelco dialup & broadband, shouldn’t a Batelco internet connection be used as the test bed for verifying which sites are blocked?

  • mahmood
    15 August 2008

    Yes I agree, I have tried to do that by eliciting responses from people who connect using the various service providers in Bahrain and have noted them. For an exhaustive test of these sites, I would go through the service provider’s own proxy servers to ensure an accurate result. I just didn’t have the time to go through them with a fine tooth comb yet. Having said that, you will notice that the main table is Batelco-based.

  • Fahad
    27 August 2008

    On the subjects of blocked sites, the current ministry approach is this:

    We inform BIX (Bahrain Internet Exchange).
    We inform Batelco.
    We do NOT inform the Regulator.
    We do NOT inform anyone else.

    BIX is kindly informing all it’s members of the block requests but since BIX has no authority to request site blocks and since the ministry has NOT made a public decision or order to the BIX members to allow BIX to dictate what sites are to be blocked or not, it is up to individual ISPs to decide what falls within the requirements of the law and what does not.

    You want more fun? Here it is: The Ministry said we don’t CARE about blocking porn sites. All porn sites should be blocked but we are too busy to tell you what is a porn site and what is not so please, all ISPs out there, use your best efforts.

    BUT we do care about what may be considered free speech, rightly or not. And we WILL spend resources trying to catch every site and every derivative of such sites and we WILL order those blocks. However, we don’t want to follow the pre-approved process under the law. We are the ministry. We’ll do it our way. Even if it does not work.

    Mahmood, long time 🙂 Hope you’re doing well.

  • ALIsszz
    4 September 2008

    Thanks mahmood

  • sTylo
    30 December 2010

    Ladeeni.com Blocked
    Tubli.net On Parking (by domain owner)
    Bhteachers.org Live.

    I’m using Bateclo Unlimited Business Landline..