Tuesday, August 03, 2010

UAE to crackdown on Crackberries

It's all about stopping the uncontrolled access to information, their people would be much harder to control if they could know things about the world outside the government-controlled media.

The Detroit News: BlackBerry crackdown looms over Mideast

Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- The United Arab Emirates' looming crackdown on BlackBerry services will extend to foreign visitors, putting the government's concerns over the smartphones in direct conflict with the country's ambitions to be a business and tourism haven.

The Emirates' telecoms regulator said Monday that travelers to the city-state of Dubai and the important oil industry center of Abu Dhabi will -- like the 500,000 local subscribers -- have to do without BlackBerry e-mail, messaging and Web services starting Oct. 11, even when they carry phones issued in other countries. The handsets themselves will still be allowed for phone calls.

Emirati authorities say the move is based on security concerns because BlackBerry data are automatically shipped to company computers abroad, where it is difficult for local authorities to monitor for illegal activity or abuse.

Critics of the crackdown say it is also a way for the country's conservative government to further control content it deems politically or morally objectionable.
The ruling house of Dubai is terrified their subjects might receive other than approved news and information.

After all information control and keeping their people ignorant and controlled is what it is all about as noted in the Arab Human Development Report:
Arab societies are paralyzed because of the absence of political freedoms, the persecution of women, and isolation from the world and new ideas.

The oil wealth is matched by social backwardness, and the only other region of the world with an income level lower than ours is sub-Saharan Africa. Productivity is decreasing, scientific research is virtually nonexistent, the region is suffering a brain drain, and illiteracy afflicts half of Arab women. The report was only diplo-matic concerning implicit criticisms of extremist Islamist movements as a cause of the culture of backwardness and absence of fertile ground for democ-racy. Interestingly, the report found that the total number of books translated into Arabic yearly is no more than 330, or one-fifth of those translated in a small country like Greece.

Indeed, the total number of books translated into Arabic during the 1,000 years since the age of Caliph Al-Ma’moun [a ninth-century Arab ruler who was a patron of cultural interaction between Arab, Persian, and Greek scholars—WPR] to this day is less than those translated in Spain in one year. The report noted that Arab rulers stay in office all their lives and create dynasties that inherit power, and the peoples are unable to institute change.
Whether the UAE can maintian this blockade in the face of technological progress, not to mention the likely protests due to the inconvenience it will place on westerners in Dubai on business will be interesting to see.

No comments: