Tag Archives ali abdulemam

“It’s a snafu, honest!”

BAHRAINI authorities yesterday claimed to have blocked a number of websites and blogs by mistake.

The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) claimed a technical error resulted in blocking of several sites, but said in a statement it was fixing the problem.

[…]

She said her site www.sillybahrainigirl.blogspot.com was blocked on Tuesday after being incorrectly categorised as pornographic, but she was told during a meeting at the IAA yesterday that it would soon be accessible.

GDN

Oh yes, we believe that. What’s worse I wonder, their ignorance of how the Internet filters work after spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of Dinars on them, leaving these systems to be configured and run remotely by a foreign power, or this blatant convoluted lie they’ve thrown into the press this morning quoted within the same article above that:

“The increasing number of blogs and websites indicates freedom of expression in the country,” it said.

Huh? There are almost no bloggers left! They’ve either migrated to Facebook or Twitter or evaluated the situation far too tenuous, fickle and dangerous to continue to expose their personal thoughts especially after the apprehension and alleged torture of our dear friend Ali Abdulemam?

If they did really respect freedom of expression, Ali Abdulemam would have never been apprehended, and the thousands of sites blocked at their whimsical behest would have been unblocked. So spare us the violins, we’ve heard this broken record over and over again.

But then wait… while the Information Authority (neé Ministry of Disinformation) is “doing us a favour” and unblocking Amira’s blog, their next door neighbour (by coincidence of course!) the information intelligence agency, which is imaginatively named the Central Informatics Organisation / CIO – has come out in a press conference reported in the very same paper today assuring us that it spending BD800,000 in creating a “single login architecture” for every citizen wishing to access the various government websites and services, will be presumably secure enough too, and hopefully not require too much remote tweaking by the Singaporean vendors.

BD800,000 – that’s 2.1 million greenbacks to the uninitiated – will solve a problem which has never existed! Talk about fixing something that ain’t broke.

I guess as the new new National Authentication Framework – aka, NAF (seriously? did they even look up this unfortunate acronym up?)’s going to:

“The whole purpose of this project is to unify e-services by providing a single authentication profile for users,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa told a Press conference at the Mšvenpick Hotel yesterday.

I thought we had the much vaulted CPR number for that, didn’t we? Or is that old hat now and requires some re-engineering, maybe put in yet another uberspychip to make us feel even more secure? What’s wrong with us using our CPR numbers to access those so called services? Didn’t they spend a humengous amount with yet another foreign firm to bring out these new chipped CPR cards which were supposedly going to be the be-all and end-all for personal transactional processing, even – listen to this – using the card to log in to services using the very same chip introduced?

Whatever.

We’ll probably see these schemes mentioned in next year’s Audit Report… along with yet another brand new unneeded scheme dreamt up by the CIO (or a good salesman maybe) to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Dinars.

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Who’s next?

Ali Abdulemam, the blogger and system operator of the banned BahrainOnline.org has been summoned to appear before the National Security accused of allowing his forum to broadcast wrong and malicious information.

Bahraini blogger and system operator Ali Abdulemam

Abdulemam joins tens, possibly hundreds, more apprehended Bahrainis all accused or charged with some malicious intent against the ruling regime. According to most operating human rights organisations in the country, they have had their rights violated and some even went as far as accusing the security services of applying systemic torture on some of those incarcerated.

I fear that this latest development further degrades the country’s reputation and gives some credence to the charges of it being an enemy of freedom of expression and that of human rights too.

I hope that Abdulemam gets released untouched soon. Like any other forum operator and blogger, he has no real control over his guests’ contributions. Sites like those offered by Abdulemam should be supported and allowed to freely operate as they serve an extremely important function in providing a place for citizens and others to voice their opinions. BahrainOnline.org is known to be a central venue for this, so much so that it is said that even ministers tend to log in first thing in the morning to find out what’s happening in the country rather than read the papers.

I would ask for Ali Abdulemam to be immediately released. As far as I could deduce, he has not done anything wrong.

Maybe it’s time to resurrect the Free Ali site and prepare a few more for other Bahraini bloggers and forum sysops?

Update [email protected]: This statement was released on the Bahrain News Agency‘s website in connection with his arrest earlier:

STATEMENT ON ARREST OF ALI ABDULEMAM

Manama Sep 05 (BNA) Following reports of the arrest of Ali Abdulemam, referred to as a blogger, Bahrain’s Ministry of the Interior released the following statement:

“Ali Abdulemam was arrested on Saturday 4th September as part of the ongoing investigation into the terrorist network accused of planning and executing a campaign of violence, intimidation and subversion in Bahrain. As part of this investigation compelling evidence emerged connecting Ali Abdulemam directly to this network. “Any assumption that Mr.Abdulemam has been arrested purely on the basis of any political views he may hold is entirely inaccurate and is connected solely to evidence of his involvement with senior members of the terrorist network. “On Saturday 4th September, Bahrain’s National Security Agency requested that Mr Abdulemam come in for interview. Following this request, Mr Abdulemam attempted to flee the country and was arrested at Bahrain International Airport under the Protection of the Community Against Terrorism Act 2006 and has been presented to the Director of Public Prosecution. “At present authorities are continuing to investigate the full extent of Mr Abdulemam’s involvement in the terrorist plot and his detention will continue to be fully in-line with international standards as well as in strict adherence to Bahraini law.” A H N BNA 1742 GMT 2010/09/05

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