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Chan'ad Bahraini

(Scomberomorous maculatus Bahrainius)

Note: This page has moved to a new address. Please click on the following URL to get there: http://chanad.weblogs.us/index.php?s=Web registration commences. Sorry for the trouble.

Web registration commences

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Around 40 or 50 people showed up today in front of the Ministry of Information to protest its decision to press charges against the BahrainOnline trio. Although the three (Ali Abdulemam, Hussain Yousif and Mohammed Al-Mousawi) were released from prison in March, they still face charges for the material that was posted on their website, and are not allowed to leave the country.

Despite this however, the government is going ahead with its plan to obligate all Bahraini websites to register with the Ministry of Information, ridiculously claiming that "it is intended to protect people running websites". In this article in today's Bahrain Tribune, Jamal Dawood (head of Press and Publication at the MoI) claims that "many" website owners have already come forward to be registered. But this can't be too many since most the popular online forums have agreed that they will not register. And certainly all of the bloggers I have spoken to are ardently against the registration also (including myself).

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Batelco (Bahrain's sole ISP) had blocked Proxify.com. Well it seems that today Batelco has taken steps so that users can't access blocked sites using many of the freely available proxy servers. Not to worry though, as there are many other ways to get around this. But this is significant. Earlier, Batelco's block on sites was just nominal and very easy to get around. But it seems that now the government is actively trying to make sure that blocked sites are actually blocked, to go along with its website registration mandate.

And I have also been informed by a friend that my blog is no longer accessible from computers at the University of Bahrain's Sakhir campus. (I'll take that as a compliment for now).

Well, happy World Press Freedom Day all.

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4 Responses to 'Web registration commences'


Blogger Leila M. says:

Jeez this sucks. Ok give me something to do about it from here. I'll heckle the crap out of folks in blogistan about it.    

Blogger praktike says:

argh.    

Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) says:

seems like OpenNetInitiative & the U of T in Canada might need to revise their report on Internet filtering in Bahrain a bit to include this bit of info you've got up here chanad.

The current Internet Filtering in Bahrain in 2004-2005 report can be viewed over here.    

Blogger Angelo Embuldeniya (Strav) says:
5/03/2005 10:11:00 pm

And i've got it confirmed that UOB users can access your blog via the following url (however, pics don't show, - just a text-only version).

And on the topic of blogging anonymously, I've been looking at the way blogs come up on search results. Thanks to a Data Structures class this semester I've been able to get a complete insight on how search spiders work too, and censor spiders somewhat use the same methods of crawling for keywords on sites, afterwhich if it detects a site using words/urls banned on the access control lists [ACLs] an instand notification is sent to the censor sys in use and a method is called upon which blocks access to the website in future.

There is a way to beat this system, i call it image blogging, nonot photo blogging 'cos thats completely something else. But image blogging is something like typing out your post on a word processor and you could include pics/links in them, then capture it using 'screen capture' - (alt+print screen on yo keyboard) paste in in MS paint or any other image editor, and save it in whatever format you wish to - i suggest either jpg or png and then upload that to a free image server - like imageshack.us or photobucket.

Then embed the image link in your blog as it would normally display a pic :)

I'm still looking at a way of embedding images with image link mapping within it. I'll work out around that and post it up on my blog later on.

But seriously for how long can Batelco keep blocking access to websites? There's other ISPs in the pipline like Light Speed Communications, MENA Broadband, Northstar Communications, etc. and they're going to start or probably have already started providing net services and i really doubt they've blocked access to any sites.

Oh well - just remember, computers & tech systems are idiots, they're all functioning on pre-defined instructions and tho some of them have user-defined procedures - u can always get around them.

have a nice day everyone :)    

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