Another attempt at Big Brother coming up…

I can’t believe this, once again the Ministry of (dis)Information has taken it upon itself to protect our true Arabian and Muslim culture and ourselves from ourselves by insisting on blocking some Internet sites it deems offensive and “alien to our culture.”

Well who the hell put you as a chaperone for me and my thoughts? If I want to see porn, I’ll get porn, and no matter what the hell the Misery of Information or BIX does is going to stop me or anyone else from reaching the information we seek.

But, the thing about protecting us from porn is really just a red herring that is sold and over-sold to pea-brained individuals who probably don’t know anything about the Internet in the first place. The real reason as the following report from Al-Wasat shows, they really want to control the Internet and our access to information:

«إنترنت البحرين» تحجب المواقع الإباحية قريباً

المنامة بدالة إنترنت البحرين –
صرح المدير التنفيذي لبدالة انترنت البحرين محمد إبراهيم الذوادي أنه سيتم تفعيل قرار وزير الإعلام وزير الدولة للشئون الخارجية رقم (1) لسنة 2006 بشأن حجب المواقع الاباحية على شبكة الانترنت في القريب العاجل حال صدور تعميم من هيئة تنظيم الاتصالات بذلك.

وأضاف الذوادي أن «تفعيل قرار وزارة الإعلام يأتي التزاماً من البدالة بتنفيذ قرارات السلطة التنفيذية ممثلة في وزارة الإعلام. وستظهر صفحة تحذيرية باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية عند محاولة الدخول على المواقع المحظورة توضح أن الموقع تم إغلاقه من قبل وزارة الإعلام وذلك لاحتوائه على نشاط مخالف للقيم الاجتماعية أو السياسية أو الثقافية أو الدينية»، وأضاف أنه ستحتوي تلك الصفحة على رابط لتعبئة استمارة لطلب فتح أية مواقع مفيدة تم إغلاقها بالخطأ وبالتالي سيتم التنسيق مع وزارة الإعلام بشأن إمكان إعادة فتح تلك المواقع.

وذكر الذوادي أن مسئولية حجب المواقع الاباحية تقع على عاتق الجميع وذلك لحماية مجتمعنا المحافظ وعاداتنا وتقاليدنا العربية. ومن هذا المنطلق ستوفر بدالة انترنت البحرين عبر موقعها على شبكة الإنترنت وق.ّ ىق.ٌٌٌّّّ رابطاً لاستقبال الملاحظات أو الطلبات بإغلاق بعض المواقع المنافية للأخلاق التي لم يتم غلقها مسبقاً.

يذكر أن بدالة انترنت البحرين كيان لا يهدف إلى الربح، وتقتصر عملية تقديم خدمات الانترنت على الحاصلين على رخصة مزودي خدمة الإنترنت من هيئة تنظيم الاتصالات، والبدالة حالياً تعمل بكامل طاقتها لتقديم خدماتها للزبائن الذين بلغ عددهم 16 شركة من مزودي خدمة الانترنت، وفي الوقت الراهن تتم معظم خدمات الاتصالات الدولية عن طريق بطاقات مدفوعة الأجر عن طريق شبكة البدالة

So there you have it, as I’ve highlighted the real issue in bold above, it says that when (not if) a site is blocked, it will have a page displayed which will say that the site has been blocked due to it containing “material against the local culture, religion, politics or societal norms”.

When are these dinosaurs going to leave us alone? Every few weeks we get yet another disaster and them restricting our God-given freedoms in the guise of “protecting” our culture and ourselves from ourselves. Well, to hell with you, I know how to protect myself and I am free to get any information I want to get, and I will get it in spite of all your futile attempts at closing my mind.

Don’t these dickheads realise that this is the very recipe for raising terrorists? Block the whole world and paint our own country/culture/religion as the best in the world and not allow people to interact with other cultures? How is our critical thinking as a society ever going to develop if we continue to allow morons to control our lives?

Where the bloody hell is parliament and parliamentarians to protect our freedoms? Where is the government? Where is everyone?

We should not allow this to happen. This is against every single human right AND BAHRAIN IS A MEMBER OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL! What the hell is going on?

Can someone DO something PLEASE?

signature
25 Comments
  • D
    3 August 2006

    Hey … i just happened to watch the video on Wafa Sultan. Thanx for putting it up

    Good luck
    take care

  • Henry
    3 August 2006

    Hi if you want to get round your problem first look hear

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proxy_server

    then go hear and get an account

    http://www.publicproxyservers.com/

    this is what lots of pople in the UAE do and thear is nothing Etisalat can do about it

  • Ingrid
    3 August 2006

    Mahmoud, I can understand your frustration but, I figured you’re so web savvy you could access anything you want anyway! Perhaps your average computer user cannot, I don’t know. Maybe there is something going on that you’re not privvy to yet and ‘they’ have to reassert themselves in order to look good…
    election issue anyone? (did someone not want you to run for office??)
    Ingrid

  • Anonymous
    3 August 2006

    Nothing new

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1968446.stm

  • Anonymous
    3 August 2006

    I’ve just had a look at http://www.vob.org/ (which used to be blocked for God knows how many years) and now seems to be working again.

  • Ehsan
    3 August 2006

    This will work for sites blocked in the office, from the ISP, and anywhere else as long as you can access Google. You don’t have to be an expert in computers to follow these steps.

    How to access any blocked website:

    1 – In the browser’s URL bar, enter
    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=
    where is the address you are trying to get to.

    For example:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://www.vob.org/

    Yeah that’s it. One step.

    If they are blocking based on words (for example any website with “democracy” in the URL, use the following procedure:

    1- Go to tinyurl.com and enter the URL you want to make tiny. Follow the new link. If tinyurl is blocked, use the above Google method to get to it.

    For example:

    http://www.vob.org becomes http://tinyurl.com/mh7s3

    Again, just one step.

    You can also combine both methods to ensure you will never be blocked from accessing any site on earth:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://tinyurl.com/mh7s3

    As Mahmood said, there’s nothing they can do to stop anyone from getting what they want. The above is the simplest form of circumvention, and I can assure you that there is no filtering/proxying/firewalling method they can employ that doesn’t have a workaround.

    So all this is just another useless step in the wrong direction. Unfortunately the people who “get it” just can’t do anything about it.

  • Anonymous
    3 August 2006

    Mahmood… why would you sabotage your quiet prescient viewpoint by using terms such as d*******? Oh my, I’ve been censored. Run, Mahmood, run! They’re after us, after our right to utter 80’s insults (retrosults.)…. fast forward ten years….

    August 03 2016 BNA Direct-to-Brain-TV-Channel Transmission:

    “In other news, the Department of Retrosults Containment (DoRC) has arrested mahmood.tv’s Mahmood on charges of breaking Communication Law XII233 (2.2) which prohibits the usage of retrosults on blogs and other information mediums.

    Speaking from the Jidda Cryogenic Incarceration Facility (Mahmood’s head was not frozen, only his body,) Mahmood expressed his dismay: “This is typical of the gestapo regime we have brought on ourselves. I refuse to abide by trite laws. They can freeze us all they want, but they’ll never stop being *********!” ending his response in a classic circa 1982 usage of short-form Richard and head.

    In other news, Sakhir campers on sector Jebel Dukhan next to bitry one (Battery one) have been attacked by what seems to be a Chupacabra. The Ministers of Interior and Immigration said that an investigation is underway to check whether the legendary Mexican goat-eater’s one month F1 visa expired.

    This has been a direct-to-your-frontal-lobe broadcast of BNA News. The channel you cannot avoid. We tune into you. No the other way ’round.”

    End of time-slip fast forward daydream brainfart. Hope you had a chuckle or two.

    H

  • MooDy
    3 August 2006

    Oh naww no more porn for Bahrain …
    Well there is always a way arround it … MOI , touching my lovely magazines ,cropping of my Fav pages … WTF mate …
    big WTF !!!

  • mahmood
    3 August 2006

    Thanks Ehsan, your demonstration how to access any site is poetry! Now will “they” actually understand that the ONLY good blocking the Internet is for is to further relegate Bahrain to the bottom of every human rights and censorship leagues?

    I honestly doubt it, but I do hope that people who CAN do something about this stupidity will actually DO something about it before it gets too late, again.

    Anon, thanks for the laugh and I know, I know, I get very worked up when faced with situations like these, because these controls are as effective as drying up the sea with the sieve.

  • Anonymous
    3 August 2006

    From what I am aware, ISP’s in Bahrain have the choice whether to accept putting firewalls or block sites or not. There is no ‘Law’ stating that Ministries are going to block websites is there? ISP’s who wish to block if they think it’s deemed bad then they just do it.

    If I were you, ask your ISP whether they intend in blocking sites or not.

  • mahmood
    3 August 2006

    nope, you got it wrong I think. The blocking is at BIX (the Bahrain Internet Exchange) through which all internet connections pass, so if they block it there, it will be blocked globally regardless of whatever Bahraini ISP you choose.

    It’s somewhat like Saudi’s KACST.

    So expect Flickr and YouTube and like services to be blocked first.

    Do you want to wait for that to happen first before anyone takes action?

  • Ibn
    3 August 2006

    Mahmood,

    I can’t believe this, once again the Ministry of (dis)Information has taken it upon itself to protect our true Arabian and Muslim culture and ourselves from ourselves by insisting on blocking some Internet sites it deems offensive and “alien to our culture.”

    My heart sinks Mahmood, tsk tsk.

    If I were in Bahrain, I would be very tempted to go to those people, and hold up a giant billboard saying:

    “Telling us what is alien to our culture is alien to our culture.”

    Or maybe some reverse psychology:

    Our culture is so weak compared to others! Please Ministry of Information! Please ban all other alien concepts that will destroy our weak culture if we are exposed to them!

    Heh. Idiots.

    -Ibn

  • Anonymous
    3 August 2006

    Guys, one thing led to another and I said what the heck, let’s blog… so, stemming from the fun I had writing the anon blog above (about BNA direct-to-brain-transmissions) I hereby announce a new blog. Part fact, part fiction. Where truth and art are one. A point at which reality blurs with fantasy culminating in an explosion of intelligent, fun, entertaining, and dare I say; informative absurdity.

    So, hop to http://boilerhero.blogspot.com/

    H.

  • Teeth Maestro
    4 August 2006

    I am very sorry to hear that Bahrain is going to censor websites, Mahmood I too believe in the true freedom of information – its simply MY RIGHT to see whatever I WANT TO SEE.

    Pakistan went through a blogspot ban this Feb and we organized teh Dont Block the Blog campaign. we created a few tools posted on our website – http://Help-Pakistan.com do check it out if any might be of use to the Internet surfing community of Bahrain.

    All the best from Pakistan

  • Cece
    4 August 2006

    Uhma bs ma 3induhum salfa. And the people who posted above are right in the fact that you canuse different proxies o madry shnu.. I know how frustrating it is, but we have our own way right? And you said it yourself, you “will get it in spite of all your futile attempts at closing my mind.” Cool your jets for now 😉

  • alfalfa
    4 August 2006

    this should work as good as my dumb ass ameriki friends attempt at prohibition our outlawing booze in the roaring 20s. it will just creat a massive underground everything, my friend works in corporate internet security one thing he allways tells me is these people mainly governments
    do no realize they are making very skilled hackers in massive numbers, tell someone they can not have it and they will find a way to get it. Very good idea Bahrain you will by your cromagnum brain & mentality train thousands of future hacking and computer geniuses.

    Three cheers for Ron jeremy!!

  • NomadicArab
    4 August 2006

    hip hip horaaaaay!!!!

  • Ibn
    4 August 2006

    this should work as good as my dumb ass ameriki friends attempt at prohibition our outlawing booze in the roaring 20s. it will just creat a massive underground everything,

    Absolutely right alfalfa – this has been shown time and time again. If a commodity is banned, you can garuantee an underground black market will develop. And since trades and transactions in a black market cannot be governed by lawfull contracts, the way to enforcement lies in pure force, and this is where criminals come in.

    They automatically generate not only a black market, but a crime-ridden black market.

    *sigh*

    -Ibn

  • MooDY
    4 August 2006

    Maybe we should just gather some hackers here and there and start attacking some important servers/services so they do not block any in return !

    i can imagine help-bahrain.com … pile of poos that is …

  • Boilerman
    4 August 2006

    True. There’s always a way to circumvent proxies (from public proxies to php page forwarding scripts.) Besides, will these proxies apply to Satnet and other such services whose exchange is not BIX?

    H.

    PS. Visit boilerhero.blogger.com now! :O)

  • Boilerman
    4 August 2006

    Oops: boilerhero.blogspot.com 🙂

  • Seef
    5 August 2006

    Alright, technically … here is the funny thing BIX is not the only way ISPs access the net. So if they forcefully start proxying the net ISPs can choose to go through Batelco or a Satellite or hell even start another exhange – I hear its not that hard anyway (I mean the Government was able to do it!) – Other than that it is a clear violation of the Telecommunications Law for the Bahrain Internet Exchange to and let me get a little legal on you guys …
    Firstly Section 41-D states that BIX is binded by a Charter that is approved by the TRA which states that after the first Board leaves the ISPs use their membership status to form a General Assembley and vote for a new board. What has happened is that the Government mysteriously held onto a Government appointed board in clear violations of BIX’s internal charter!!! This board mostly constitues Ministry of Transportation employees, and a few not ALL the ISPs if your wondering how that IS fair and non discriminatory well I think you can make a good case against it…

    OK NEXT, it is a clear violation of the to impede a telecommunications network or to create a anti-competitive environment. I would argue that BIX now with all its customers has dominance over International Bandwidth since new companies cannot aggregate on their own! Therefore, the fact that they will start proxying, slowing down etc… is against the law. Secondly, the Minister of Information can only list specific websites that he can ban (legally speaking) what is BIX intending on doing?! Creating an online banning system??? It looks like we are going to be banning much more than porn … In the end of the day, we’ll have a complete mess…and the thing that frustrates me the most is that it is ILLEGAL!!!! Mahmood, your our TRA contact guy why don’t you do something we’ll all support you! … We need to talk to BIX figure out what their illegal board is upto… and contact the TRA all you need to do is look at Bix.bh for their charter, and the TRA’s site for the law!! … Now if I can only get my hands on BIX’s license ….

  • mahmood
    5 August 2006

    Seef, thanks for the explanation, and it makes sense to fight them as clearly by your examination BIX is outside the law and their own constitution. The same would go for the TRA should it be part of the approval chain to ban Internet sites for the reasons that you mention.

    I would love to take the issue up, but I would rather leave that to someone else, the consumer protection society or some other person/organisation. I am really tired running around doing/managing/maintaining all of these “issues.” I would be happy to lend a hand to who ever wants to take these issues up.

  • alfanan
    5 August 2006

    This is ridiculous!

    I agree with most of you, they can try to block websites, put up fire walls, kidnap our children, and slaughter our pets…. But they can’t take… OUR FREEDOM!

    This is just another attempt to take us back in time, instead of moving forward. Few years back, when the ban was lifted off of Bahrain’s Internet, I thought to myself “What a smart move, whoever lifted the ban thought there was nothing to do to stop these people”

    Now, I’m wondering… What’s next? Make a list every month of websites that you visit and submit it to the MO(d)I?

    Stupid, stupid, stupid…..

    Oh, and how do you expect to move forward with all the ‘e-projects’ that the country is purportedly ready to initiate if you’re holding information back from the ppl, and showing off yourself as the Big Brother? How do you create a name that people can trust for your organization if your strategy is based on nothing but control? People need to trust your institute, and they need to know that you’re trying to do the best for them. So far, this is NOT the case.

  • Faisal
    6 August 2006

    Fucking morons taking the country years backwards.First we have mps calling for cutting the hands of thieves and now this ! What else is up who knows ?

Previous
Goodbye Abbas