Bahrain Internet Filtering

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Presentation on Bahrain and Internet Filtering

Presentation on Bahrain and Internet Filtering

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  • 1. Bahrain Internet Filtering Presentation By Michael Seim PHIL 3360 - W1 S1 2010
  • 2. Where Is Bahrain?
    • Bahrain, officially Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island country in the Persian Gulf.
  • 3. Intro
    • One of the most connected countries in terms of Internet in the Middle East.
    • Government prevents access from a small number of sites, mostly pornography or gay and lesbians.
    • State also blocks access to political Web Sites that criticize the government or the ruling family.
  • 4. Background
    • Bahrain attempts to delicately balance its policies to preserve the governments power.
    • Bahrain has partnered with the United States in the war on terror and receives assistance accordingly.
    • Very protective of mentioning the royal family and other politicians in a negative way. The supreme court even banned the mention of such a scandal.
  • 5. Internet In Bahrain
    • Has one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the region.
    • According to the ITU, an estimated 152,700 use the internet out of 738,874. While 121,000 Bahrainis own computers.
    • ISP competition became legal in 2002 ,unlike in other Gulf Arab States, springing out smaller competitors over the Monopoly known as Batelco.
  • 6. Legal and regulatory frameworks
    • Internet is regulated by legal infrastructure governing both access and available content.
    • The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was created in 2002.
    • The TRA encourages continued introduction of competition into the market as well as the eventual divestment of the state’s shareholdings in Batelco. (Former Monopoly)
  • 7. Legal cont.
    • TRA also has penalties for illicit use of the network as well as transmission of messages that are offensive to public policy or morals.
    • Any sites containing content involving Bahraini affairs must register with the government.
  • 8. Blocked or Filtered Sites
    • Sites containing the following :
    • Pornography, gay and lesbian, proxy and anonymizing servers.
    • Conversion of Muslims to Christianity, critical to Bahraini government, parliament, and ruling family.
    • Users do not always get a blockpage when trying to access such pages, users often times got an error simply saying “The page cannot be displayed”
  • 9. Conclusion
    • Although, Bahrain filters a broad range of topics, compared to its neighbors they are allowed much more access.
    • Heavy blocking and filtering is only placed on the majors such as pornography, conversion of religion, and royal family talk.
    • For each blocked site, there are numerous similar sites that are not blocked by the government.