Monday, August 07, 2006

BIX TO BLOCK GOOGLE EARTH!


Note: For those looking for a way to access Google Earth from Bahrain or other places where it has been blocked, try
JAP Anonymity and Privacy.
علمت «الوسط» ان بدالة البحرين للانترنت، وفي ثاني خطوة لها بعد غلق المواقع الاباحية، قررت أمس اغلاق خدمة «غوغل ايرث»، التي يتمكن من خلالها متصفحح الانترنت من مشاهدة المعالم الجغرافية والخرائط الطبيعية لاي منطقة في العالم.

وليس من المعروف فيما اذا كانت بتلكو ستنفذ هذا القرار اليوم، خصوصاً وانه يرتبط بنوعية خدماتها وبعلاقاتها بشركات كبرى مثل «غوغل».
ويعتبر هذا القرار ­ في حال تثبيته بصورة دائمة ­ منافياً لحرية تدفق المعلومات، وستكون البحرين من الدول القلائل في العالم التي تمنع احدى خدمات «غوغل» الرئيسية. وفيما لم يتسن الحصول على رد رسمي بشأن حجب هذه الخدمة، توقعت مصادر ان يتم الزام بتلكو بتنفيذ القرار، خصوصاً مع غياب المساءلة البرلمانية او الامكانات الاجرائية لمنع اصدار مثل هذا القرار
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Well, well, well... the gestapo mindset seems to be at it again! According to Al-Wasat, The Ministry of Information has ordered BIX to BLOCK GOOGLE EARTH! As of 0900, it still works. However, it's only a matter of time before Batelco implements the ban.

According to fellow blogger Mahmood, the block is active on ISPs directly connected to BIX such as Kalaam and 2Connect.

UPDATE: GOOGLE EARTH HAS BEEN BLOCKED BY BATELCO.


Boilerman is distressed at this situation. "What great minds might be at work here? Is our country to be relegated to the backwater of information freedom and connectivity? The Censorship State is far from over.

"I'm continually gobsmacked by the futile approach that is taken against technological progress. From having people register their Bluetooth and WiFi devices (now that's genius, call the Noble Prize Committee,) to this debacle with Google Earth, it seems that Bahrain is heading into a self-imposed 1984," Boiler said, refering to Orwell's dystopic vision.

"What is there to hide in Bahrain? The lack of public beaches? The destruction of the seafront when we have vacant land on the island in abundance? The underdeveloped villages and shoddy housing compared to the new residential super developments? Etcetera! Here's news for the government: WE KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THAT ALREADY. BLOCKING GOOGLE EARTH WILL NOT MAKE US FORGET.

"So far the block has not been implemented by Batelco. However, this by no means suggests that people should not petition against censorship and baby-handling by the government," he said, adding that Boycott Batelco seems to have its work cut out for it for a very long time to come.